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Top-Recommended Machine Exercises for a Slimmer Figure

Achieving a slim, sleek physique just got a whole lot easier.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Slimming down to achieve a sleek physique just got a whole lot easier with strength training on deck. (After all, a study from the University of New South Wales found that you can drop around 1.4% of your body fat by performing strength exercises.) Although your workouts should mostly focus on free weights, you also don't want to skip out on machine exercises. Working with different machines is a solid way to burn fat and build muscle. We have some top-recommended exercises for a slimmer figure that'll have you moving from machine to machine. Grab your water bottle, and get ready to work up a sweat at the gym.

In some instances, machine exercises may even reign supreme over free weights and can help you maintain better tension in the target muscles. You'll want to choose machine exercises that target the major muscle groups in your body. For most individuals, I recommend prioritizing your legs and your back. Although they're the most challenging areas to train, this will help you achieve a slimmer appearance as those body parts continue to improve. After you're finished training them, you can wrap up with another area of focus, such as your biceps.

Here's a list of machine exercises for a slimmer figure you can incorporate into your workout routine. Perform three to four sets of each of the following moves.

Machine Hack Squats

machine hack squat exercise to lose your gut in your 40s
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Our top-recommended exercises start with the machine hack squat. Position yourself on the machine with both feet in front of you and slightly turned out. Push yourself up before hitting the switches to unlock the machine. Then, lower your body using control as you would for a typical bodyweight squat. Come down until your hips are at least at a 90-degree angle. Push back up through your heels, flexing your quads and glutes to finish. Perform three to four sets of 10 reps.

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Lat Pulldowns

trainer doing lat pulldown to demonstrate how to get a toned belly in 1 week
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Begin lat pulldowns by gripping the lat pulldown bar with your hands just outside shoulder-width and your palms facing away from your body. Lean back just a bit, and pull the bar down toward your sternum with your elbows, squeezing your lats at the bottom of the motion. Resist on the way back up, maintaining tension in your lats. Let your shoulder blades come up at the top of the motion so you get a nice stretch. Perform three to four sets of 10 reps.

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Wide-Grip Seated Row

wide grip row exercise part of visceral fat reducer at 60
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

To set up for this exercise, grab the wide grip attachment on a seated row machine, and firmly plant your feet on the footpad. Pull the handle out, then completely straighten out your legs. Keep your chest tall, and drive your elbows back toward your hips, squeezing your back and lats hard to finish the motion. Straighten your arms, and get a solid stretch in your shoulder blades before doing the next rep. Perform three to four sets of 10 reps.

Machine Seated Leg Curls

trainer demonstrating machine exercises for a slimmer figure
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Sit down on the leg curl machine, placing your ankles on top of the roller. Have the top padlocked in. Press your back flat against the seat, and keep your chest tall. Drag the weight down with your heels, flexing your hamstrings hard at the end of the motion. Resist on the way up until you're back to the position you started in. Perform three to four sets of 12 reps.

Machine Bicep Curls

machine bicep curl exercises for a slimmer figure
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

This last exercise begins with you sitting down on the machine with your arms on the pad, completely straightened out. Grab the handle, and perform a bicep curl. Squeeze your biceps hard at the top of the motion, then lower the weight under control until your arms are fully straightened once again. Perform three to four sets of 12 reps.

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles Read more about Tim
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