How to relax loop cuts?

Hi everybody, I am modeling a 4 legged robot with a very simple walking animation using bones. When I add the subsurf modifier to make it look less low poly I also smooth the legs too much. To solve the problem I add loop cuts, which works fine for the legs but it creates ugly shading on the body of the robot.

My question is, How do you work in these kind of situations, when the loop cut sharps the edges you want but also creates this unwanted sharpness in another part of the model?

Should i use creases? I watched CG Cookie’s video comparing creases, loop cuts and edge splits but the result provided by edge splits and creases is not so good an realistic, at least in the video (The video is also from 2013 so maybe things are different now). I am also worried about the loop cuts making more difficult to animate the armature.

Images to illustrate:

Thanks a lot.

personally, i would separate the legs from the body

I would certainly make use of crease and sharp. Also, I would select part of the edge loop and edge slide so only the edge around the tight section was so close. Using your imager from above…