Leg Day. Easily the most brutal day of the week for weight lifters. Your legs are typically the strongest muscle groups, and can lift the most weight. They are also used constantly during your daily activities. This means you will be lifting serious amounts of weight, then waddling around the next day like your legs are made of rubber. This is an extreme case, but most people who work out have experience some sort of leg soreness.
Leg soreness and pain more than 2 days after your leg workout is a sign of damage to the muscles and other soft tissue. This typically occurs when improper form is used, too much weight is attempted, or most commonly a combination of both. If you are unfamiliar with weight lifting, make sure you consult a trainer who can help show you proper lifting form and design a regimen for you based on your personal goals. For example, if you are a runner looking for lean, explosive muscle, you shouldn't be aiming for the highest amount of weight possible on the squat rack or leg press machine.
Lower body exercise isn't limited to just weight lighting, however. Plyometric exercises are also ideal for incorporating into your routine to increase explosiveness, coordination, and flexibility. Wood, foam, or metal plyo boxes can be used as well as resistance cable systems to achieve the best results.
Developing your lower body is crucial to maintaining a balanced and fit body. Using lower body machines such as leg curl machines, glute masters, and calf raisers, you can gain strength and range of motion that is hard to come by otherwise. Developing specific muscle groups from specific workouts and machines allows you to understand what your working on, how your doing, and how you can improve. Using workout planners and trackers are helpful when using upper and lower body workout machines as well as cardio machines and really anything else you find at the gym because being knowledgeable about your workout can be extremely beneficial.
These machines can strengthen every muscle in your lower body from your calves to your hamstrings, to thighs, to glutes. Remember to create a balanced workout routine that doesn't focus only on certain muscle groups so that when you do find fitness or gain the muscles you are looking for, your body maintains a proper balance that is both healthy and attractive.