Bowflex equipment is a popular brand for the home. The design allows you to get a full body workout with just one machine. This can save both space and money which is important if you do not have lot of space in your home for a gym. The Bowflex Extreme 2 SE is just one of the many models available. You can use this machine for a total body workout. However, there are also some great exercises you can do to help shape, tone and strengthen the legs. The following five exercises can be done on the Bowflex Extreme 2 SE to give you a well rounded lower body workout.
Do squats. Squats are one of the best lower body exercises as they target the quadriceps, hamstrings and buttocks. Remove the leg attachment in the front of the machine. Stand on the platform with your back to the machine. Squat down and place the squat bar on your shoulders. Adjust the strap until you feel enough resistance. Then stand up all the way, but do not lock the knees. Reach the hips back as if you were about to sit in a chair. Squat down as low as you can without hurting the knees. However, to avoid knee injury, do not drop the hips below the knees. Press into your heels and come back up without locking the knees. Do three sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.
Try leg extensions. Leg extensions target the quadriceps muscle. This muscle is located on the top front of the thigh. Sit on the Bowflex Extreme 2 SE with your back against the seat pad. Place your knees over the top round pads. Line your knees up with the pivot point. Place your ankles behind the lower round pads. Lift the feet up until the knees are straight, yet not locked. Then slowly lower down. To protect your back from injury, keep your low back in contact with the seat pad at all times. Make sure as you lift the leg pads up, you do not lock or hyper extend the knees. Do three sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.
Perform standing hip extensions. Hip extensions work the hamstring muscles which are located on the back top of the thigh. Stand facing the Bowflex Extreme 2 SE. Place the hand grip around your foot. Hold onto the seat for balance. Bend your right knee and press your flexed foot straight back. Keep the abdominal and buttocks muscles contracted to support your back. Only press back as far as you can without arching the back. Slowly bring the leg back. Do three sets of 8 to 12 repetitions. For a different variation, this exercise can also be done with a straight leg.
Tone your thighs with hip abduction and adduction exercises. The hip abduction exercise works the outer upper thighs, and the hip adduction works the upper part of the inner thighs. For the hip abduction, stand with your left side next to the Bowflex Extreme 2 SE. Place the hand grip around your right foot. Lift your right leg straight out to the side as far as you can without tipping the body. Then lower slowly back down.
For the hip adduction, change the hand grip to the left foot. Slowly bring the left leg across the front of the body. Only go as far as you can without twisting the hips. Then lower slowly back down.
Do three sets of 8 to 12 repetitions of each exercise. Change sides.
Finish with calf raises. The calf raise exercises work just that, the calf. This is located on the back bottom of the leg. Stand on the platform facing the Bowflex Extreme 2 SE. Stand so that your toes are on the platform. Your heels, however, should be off the platform. Grab onto the hand grips. Keeping your knees straight but not locked, raise your heels up as high as you can. Then slowly lower down. You can lower to where your heels are level with the platform, or you can let the heels drop lower then the platform which is more challenging. Do not let the body rock backwards as you lower the heels. You can also do a single leg variation to make it even more difficult. Do three sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.
Tips & Warnings
- Always start slowly and listen to your body to determine the appropriate level of exercise.
- Never lock any of you joints when exercising. Always move slowly and with control whenever using resistance with exercises. Stop any exercise that causes joint pain.
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