How to Get Big Legs Using Only One Gym Machine

If your gym has one of these, you can get a great leg workout without changing equipment.

Find out how to get big legs using only one gym machine!

How can a person grow bigger and stronger legs? With proper diet, enough calories + protein, and a good workout. When it comes to the exercise part, there is a plethora from which to choose. Some of the most traditional are squats (with a barbell) and its many variations, lunges, deadlifts, leg presses, calf raises, box jumps, leg extensions and much more.

And just looking at the list mentioned above of exercises to strengthen your legs, you can see the many different fitness gear you would have to use – from boxes, to barbells and dumbbells, and even specific machines.

Woman does leg press at the gymSource: Scott Webb / Pexels
No, we are not talking about the leg press machine.

But what if we explained that you can get big legs using only one gym machine? Actually, we are not the ones who said this, but rather Mike Israetel.

Dr Mike Israetel, PhD in Sport Physiology and co-founder of Renaissance Periodization, is a well-respected professor in the bodybuilding community. He shared a video on YouTube explaining which machine that is and took two bodybuilders to test a lower body workout using it.

How to Get Big Legs Using Only One Gym Machine

Accompanying Israetel are IFBB professional bodybuilders Marc Lobliner and Jared Feather (Mike’s biological son) to try this brutal leg workout utilising only one machine.

But which machine is this? The formidable Matt Wenning belt squat.

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You can see the man himself explaining every single way he uses the belt squat for gains (which is more than simply squatting, by the way.)

Back to Israetel, Lobliner, Feather, and the Matt Wenning belt squat, a versatile apparatus that promised an intense session. Stiff-legged deadlifts and rep-matching squats were on the menu, promising a gruelling yet effective workout.

Transitioning to the main event, the belt squat took centre stage. Jared Feather, the designated guide through this fitness odyssey, demonstrated the transformation of the belt squat into a stiff-legged deadlift machine. A simple adjustment with a Carabiner turned this piece of equipment into a formidable tool for targeting the posterior chain.

As the workout commenced, Dr. Mike stepped into the role of a fitness maestro, guiding through the intricacies of proper form and technique. The focus on maintaining a lordotic spine, sinking into the movements, and feeling the tension in every fibre underscored the commitment to optimal muscle engagement.

The narrative then pivoted to the nuances of the stiff-legged deadlift—a fundamental exercise regardless of the equipment used. The emphasis on keeping the bar close, maintaining a lordotic spine, and sinking into the movement while resisting the urge to round the back showcased a commitment to sound biomechanics.

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horse stanceSource: Ivan Samkov / Cottonbro Studio on Pexels

Dr. Mike also delivered a master class on maximizing the benefits of this machine, focusing on foot placement, quad stretch, and a controlled descent for optimal muscle engagement.

Jared Feather and Mr. Lobliner took turns pushing the limits of the belt squat – the workout unfolded as a series of sets, with intermittent rests providing a glimpse into the intensity of the session. As the weights piled up, the challenge intensified, and the athletes pushed their bodies to the brink.

Dr. Mike continued to provide insights into the mechanics of the workout. From the importance of controlled descents to the benefits of using wraps for added stability, each tip added layers to the understanding of effective strength training.

You can watch the entire banter, workout and fitness tips in the video below.

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Training and strengthening the legs is a fundamental aspect of overall physical fitness and well-being. The importance of leg training extends far beyond aesthetics, contributing to functional movement, injury prevention, and enhanced athletic performance. Let’s delve into the myriad reasons why developing strong legs is a cornerstone of a comprehensive fitness regimen.

1. Foundation of Functional Movement: Legs serve as the foundation for nearly all functional movements in daily life. From walking and standing to climbing stairs and picking up objects, strong and well-conditioned legs are essential for executing these activities with ease and efficiency. Neglecting leg training can result in a weakened foundation, impacting one’s ability to perform basic movements.

2. Enhanced Athletic Performance: In the realm of sports and physical activities, leg strength is a key determinant of athletic performance. Whether you’re running, jumping, or participating in team sports, powerful and well-trained legs contribute to speed, agility, and overall athletic prowess. Athletes across various disciplines prioritize leg training to gain a competitive edge.

3. Injury Prevention: Building strength in the legs plays a crucial role in injury prevention. Strong muscles surrounding the joints provide stability and support, reducing the risk of injuries to the knees, hips, and ankles. A well-rounded leg training program that includes exercises targeting different muscle groups helps maintain joint health and resilience.

4. Functional Independence: Leg strength is closely linked to functional independence, especially as individuals age. Maintaining strong legs is vital for preserving mobility and independence in daily activities. Strong legs allow older adults to navigate their surroundings confidently, reducing the risk of falls and enhancing overall quality of life.

5. Metabolic Benefits: Engaging large muscle groups, such as those in the legs, during resistance training has significant metabolic benefits. Leg workouts can contribute to increased calorie expenditure, supporting weight management and promoting overall metabolic health. The intensity of leg exercises also stimulates the release of growth hormone and other factors that contribute to metabolic efficiency.

6. Balanced Physique: From an aesthetic perspective, training the legs is essential for achieving a balanced physique. A well-proportioned body not only looks aesthetically pleasing but also reflects a comprehensive approach to fitness. Neglecting leg training can result in an imbalance that may impact posture and overall body symmetry.

7. Core Stability: Strong legs are integral to core stability. The muscles of the legs, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, work in tandem with the core muscles to provide stability during various movements. A stable core is essential for maintaining proper posture, preventing lower back pain, and executing exercises with correct form.

8. Bone Density and Joint Health: Weight-bearing exercises, such as squats and lunges, stimulate bone growth and help maintain bone density. This is particularly important for preventing conditions like osteoporosis, especially in aging populations. Leg training also promotes joint health by strengthening the ligaments and tendons that support the joints.

9. Improved Cardiovascular Health: Leg exercises, especially those involving large muscle groups, can have cardiovascular benefits. Activities like cycling, running, or even high-intensity leg workouts contribute to improved cardiovascular health by increasing heart rate and promoting efficient blood circulation.

10. Mental Well-Being: Engaging in leg workouts has positive effects on mental well-being. Physical activity, including leg training, stimulates the release of endorphins, which are neurotransmitters associated with mood improvement and stress reduction. Regular leg training can contribute to a sense of accomplishment and overall mental resilience.

In conclusion, training the legs and developing strength in the lower body is not just about building impressive muscles; it’s about fostering functional movement, preventing injuries, and promoting overall health and well-being. Whether you’re an athlete, a fitness enthusiast, or someone seeking to enhance everyday functionality, prioritizing leg training is a foundational step toward achieving holistic fitness and long-term health.

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