Total Gym Attachment Spotlight: The Leg Pulley System

Total Gym Leg Pulley Spotlight

Sculpt Lovely Legs and Great Glutes with the Total Gym Leg Pulley System

The Leg Pulley System is a versatile addition to your Total Gym. It allows you to work out your legs, especially the thighs, and muscles around the hips using your body weight as resistance. Leg Pulley exercises can help stabilize the hip and knee, and decrease chances of injury by strengthening muscles around these joints. The Leg Pulley System targets the hip specifically with multi-planar movement. Since the hip is a ball-and-socket joint, like the shoulder, it can move through all three planes. What Total Gym’s Cable Pulley accomplishes for the upper body, the Leg Pulley does for the lower extremity and the butt.

Best Pilates and Yoga Exercises Using The Total Gym Leg Pulley System

Before beginning, detach the hand cable pulley from the glideboard and attach the Leg Pull Accessory to the column with the glideboard clip hanging down below the ankle clip. Attach the cable clip to the hook under the glideboard. Put the foot harness on your foot before mounting the Total Gym. Once you are seated on the glideboard, clip the Leg Pulley to the foot harness ring. Try to avoid a groin, hamstring, and lower back injury by paying attention to how far you can extend the legs without pain. Note that, as always, increasing the incline on the tower dramatically ups the intensity of the exercises, while still supporting the body and allowing gradual gains in flexibility and strength.

Be sure to engage your core muscles at all times.

1. Basic Hamstring Pull

Lie on your back with your head toward the column and one leg bent to rest the foot on the glideboard. The leg attached to the Leg Pull cable is extended to the ceiling with the hip flexed to 90 degrees. Exhale, contract the hamstrings, and bring the extended leg down to meet the glideboard. Then raise it back up again. Start with eight reps. Do three sets.

2. Hamstring Pull with Lateral Abduction:

Begin in the same position as the basic hamstring pull, extend your leg while keeping it parallel with the glideboard. Allow your leg to open out to the side as far as comfortable and then contract the inner thigh to bring the leg back to the midline. When the leg is abducted pay close attention to how much the groin muscles are stretched. Allowing too great of a stretch will make it difficult to return the leg to midline. Work your way into deep stretch/lateral abduction gradually. Holding this stretch is similar to the “extended hand to toe” standing pose in yoga. Start with eight reps. Do three sets

3. Inner Thigh Pull

Lie on your side, with your ear on your arm. The cable is attached to the ring on the lateral side of the ankle of the top leg. Lift the leg up as far as is comfortable while maintaining stacked hips and keeping the toes pointed down. Exhale and pull the thigh into adduction. You can bring the leg slightly across the midline for a deeper contraction. Start with eight reps. Do three sets

4. Leg Press

Lie on your side, with your ear on your arm. The cable is attached to the ring on the lateral side of the ankle of the top leg. Bend the bottom knee as it rests on the glideboard. Bring the top leg to a 90-degree bend at the hip and knee, and then extend the leg straight down toward the bottom of the Total Gym in a pedaling motion. Start with eight reps. Do three sets

5. Leg Press with Back Extension:

From a 90° bend at the hip and knee, press the leg down until the hip and knee are at 180°. Then extend the leg behind the body while squeezing the Gluteus Maximus.

6. Basic Leg Circles

Either lying on your back or side, circle the leg attached to the cable clockwise and then counterclockwise in small or large circles with toes pointed and knees straight. Remember to do both sides. Start with eight reps in each direction.

7. Hamstring Curl

Mount the glideboard on your hands and knees. Attach the Leg Pulley cable to the ring on the back of the foot harness. Bring the knee up to hip height behind you, then curl the heel toward the buttocks and release it straight behind you, never allowing the knee to fall. Start with eight reps. Do three sets.

8. Hamstring Curl with Straight Leg Lift

After you extend the leg and relax the hamstring, lift the leg by contracting the glutes. Keep your center contracted. Start with eight reps. Do three sets.

9. Hamstring Curl with Open Knee Press

On one knee and both elbows, complete a hamstring curl, then open the hip joint (think doggy at a fire hydrant), bring the knee up toward the armpit and finish by extending the leg in a push kick toward the back. Start with eight reps. Do three sets.

Jodai Saremi

Jodai Saremi, DPM, BS , is a freelance writer, AFAA certified trainer, and fitness model. She has written for American Fitness, SPIN fitness, Your Health Connection magazines, and other online publications. Her articles have also been featured in textbooks. She enjoys an active lifestyle and lives in Ventura County, Calif. with her husband and two children.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Hi Jodi, can you please tell me, or direct me to a video where the 24 inch leg pulley extension is being used. I’ve received my Total Gym Fit, and love it, but was surprised it only came with one leg pulley , so I have ordered the 24 inch extension, but cannot visualize how it will work.

    Thank you

    Bob Grenier

    1. Hey Bob,

      The leg pulley system is designed for one leg at a time usage. Based on the way the system works, it would be very hard to attach both legs while standing or even sitting on the glideboard, yet still keep your balance and be able to get into position for exercises while attached.

      We include two ankle cuffs for easy transitioning between legs, without having to remove the cuff from the previous leg.

      The 24 inch extension is exactly that: an extension.

  2. I just bought a total gym 1400 series. It came with Pilates package. One leg pulley. I see many work out videos that show pulley for both legs to work out at the same time. Some call them trapeze cables. I also see the feet straps that don’t have the rings attached. Where can I purchase this? Having a hard time finding these. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank You!
    Mari Mauro

    1. Mari, we don’t sell “trapeze cables”, which is probably why you can’t find them easily.

  3. My leg pulley kit came with an additional metal piece that I can’t figure what it is for; I have the D ring, but the other piece is kind of rectangular. Does anyone know its use?

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