This is just a recap for all people who haven’t read our earlier articles of this series. The benefits of leg extension is a weight-training exercise. It targets the quadriceps muscles located in the front of the thigh, from the knee to the pelvis.
These muscles are responsible for hip flexion and knee extension. For this exercise, you sit on a chair and lift weight bars using the force of your quadriceps muscles.
While performing leg extensions, you contract the quad to bring up your knees against the weight resistance. Although deadlifts, squats, and lunges work on the same muscle group, i.e., quads, they do not isolate the muscles like a leg extension. Even the alternatives of this exercise also have the same impact on the same muscles.
Benefits of Leg Extension You Should Know
- Leg extensions are well known to strengthen the patellar ligament and quadriceps attached to the knees and therefore top the benefits of leg extension list among all. The exercise focuses on strengthening the quads and the critical attachment of the knee joints furthermore.
- The leg extension is an excellent exercise for the quadriceps, but it is essential to ensure that the force is never shifted to the back of the upper half. Doing this may cause some serious injury to you.
- A machine-assisted exercise always gets the best results, without a doubt. We won’t question the alternatives or the other manual exercises, which can give you the best-desired results. A machine-assisted exercise is also a good option for beginners, where they don’t need to worry about minor details like posture or form. However, it is a great help for the already practicing users.
- People who prefer an excellent squat and deadlift workout can always finish their routine with a leg extension set to get better results. Due to being an isolation exercise for the quadriceps, this exercise is a fantastic option to perform after doing compound exercises and benefits you.
- If you are a person who doesn’t like to invest your time in multiple muscle exercises for your lower body, then you can choose this. This exercise focuses on a targeted muscle and works selectively. When we say you can target a single group of muscles with this exercise, we don’t say that you would use up all your energy level and exhaust yourself.
- The benefits of Leg extension only focus on the core muscles, so it does not exhaust the whole body’s energy.
- Many people believe that leg extension is harmful to the knees. But if we think of the other side of the story, it is one of the best exercises for the knees. This is because this exercise is performed in a sitting position, which reduces the impact on the knees.
- This point is not a directly relevant benefit but rather an indirect one. The lower body’s movement is very natural and can be applied to various other sports and activities.
- Strong quads support other exercise activities. The quads extend your knees and make them strong, so their benefits are included in other exercises with similar knee movements.
Types of Leg Extension Exercises
- Single-Leg Extension
- Leg Extension With Cable
- Classic Barbell Squats
- Front Squats
- Power Clean
- Barbell Hack Squat
- Bulgarian Split Squat
Common Mistakes We All Make While Doing Leg Extensions
1. Keeping Proper Form
Following a proper procedure and form while doing leg extensions is essential to reduce the risk of injury. When you’re sitting in the initial position during a leg extension, you should ensure that there must be a 90-degree angle between your upper and lower leg. And if the angle decreases, your knees are over the toes. An improper position causes excessive pressure on the knee point.
Overextending is another way people injure themselves on this machine. It is a prevalent mistake that people make. Ensure not to lock your knees while fully extending your legs. This posture can put a strain on your knee joints.
3. Heavy Lifting
This is not the machine to try for a maximum lift, which is the most weight you can lift for just one reputation. Due to the risk of knee ligament strain, do not use this exercise for low-reputation, high-load strength conditioning.
4. High Reputations
Don’t do more than three sets of eight to 12 reputations at a moderate load. You don’t need to do any endurance sets with high repetitions on the leg extension machine.
5. Going Too Fast
Doing this exercise at any speed will use momentum rather than muscle engagement.
6. Locking the Knees
Do not lock your knees at full extension. This can strain the knee joint.
How to Do Leg Extension Exercise
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best exercise routine for leg extension depends on your goals and fitness level. However, here are a few general tips that may help you achieve your desired results:
- Start with a basic warm-up – Before you start any strenuous exercise, it’s important to warm up your muscles and joints. This includes stretching your calf muscles and quadriceps before you do any leg extension exercises.
- Use the proper form – When performing leg extension exercises, make sure to keep your back straight and spine neutral – otherwise, you run the risk of injury. Use a weight that is comfortable for you and allows you to complete the desired number of reps with good form.
- To do leg extension exercise, you need to lie supine on a flat surface with your feet flat on the floor and your legs bent to 90 degrees. Place your hands behind your head for support. Contract the abdominal muscles and lift your torso and legs off the floor, extending your legs until they are fully extended. Reverse the motion and return to the starting position.
- Lie flat on your back with both legs extended straight in the air, shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your knees so that you can place them on the floor beside you and press down into your heels as you lift yourself up off the ground by extending your hips and knees until they are fully extended.