Substitute for Leg Extension That You Should Know

Substitutes For Leg Extensions

Are you also wondering why to think about substitute for leg extension? You do need them, for….no, not so early. Read down below to know why. But before that, let’s get some basic introduction about the topic. Leg extensions are a popular addition to any bodybuilding routine for developing large muscles in front of their legs, also called quads.

Every person should consider including leg extensions at the end of their workout. It helps burn out the quad after a heavy intensity lower body workout and is an isolation exercise.

However, leg extensions can be annoying (especially if you have them in your workout schedule for a few weeks), and the availability of the machine may add to it sometimes. Fortunately, other similar benefits can target the same muscles.

What Muscles Are Worked Out In Leg Extensions?

Worked Out In Substitutes For Leg Extensions

The main muscles you will use to stretch the leg are, of course, the quadriceps. Stretching but also crucial for hip flexion. The rectus femoris is a muscle in the quadriceps that flexes the hip – making it much harder than moving your knee.

The fact that this activity only affects the muscles of the 4 quads is unique. Whatever your favourite leg exercises, you are more likely to get glutes and hamstrings – even stability.

It is not a leg extension: it is a complete isolation movement that has no real effect on training the hamstrings or glutes. You can use it to improve hamstring control by trying to rotate hams and quads simultaneously, but it will not load them. This is incomparable to low physical training!

5 Easy Substitutes For Leg Extensions

1. Cable Leg Extension

Cable Substitutes For Leg Extensions

While seated or standing on a box, the cable leg extensions isolate and primarily focus on the quads. This substitute of leg extension is very similar to leg extensions, making them a better alternative than the traditional leg extension.


  1. Tie an ankle cuff that is tied to a cable stack.
  2. Stand or sit in a position facing away from the cable stack.
  3. Now kick until your knee is fully extended.
  4. Then turn your leg to form 90 degrees by bending.


If you are suffering from a knee or a hip injury, a leg extension can be an important activity that can be useful in your system. Restoring the range of motion and improving quad flexibility through the extension of the cable leg promotes the recovery process of any knee injury.

2. Dumbbell Substitute For Leg Extension

Dumbbell Substitute For Leg Extensions

Although this substitute for leg extension is a variation of the leg extension, it is very different from its machine counterpart. You can do dumbbell leg extensions anywhere with a dumbbell, which makes this incredible on the road or instead of a home leg extension.


  1. Begin by sitting on a bench or in a stable position.
  2. Press the dumbbell just above your two ankles.
  3. Keep stretching both legs until the knee is fully extended.
  4. Control the weight till you hit the starting position.


As you use dumbbells for this exercise, you will be unable to load them like a machine. To get the most out of this, choose three different-weight dumbbells to make pull sets.

You can get the most out of limited resources by doing 10 sets of heavy loads and descending into a series of light loads.

3. Bulgarian Split Squat

Bulgarian Split Squat Substitute For Leg Extensions

The ideal number of reps for this substitute for leg extension exercise can be above 10 for each leg. 


  1. Keep your feet and take two steps away from the bench.
  2. Now position yourself in a way that you’re facing your back to the bench.
  3. Then gently put one foot on the bench.
  4. Ensure the top of your foot is lying down flat on the bench.
  5. Keep your hips forward and place your legs shoulder-width apart.
  6. Now bend both knees and get down in the descending squat position.
  7. The thigh of your front leg should align with the floor. 
  8. Your back thigh should always be straight from the lower area.
  9. Press your front foot down while placing the tension on the back leg to return to the initial position.


You may want to make changes to earn first place in the Bulgarian section squat. One super tip is to place it in a low, secure position. Your front thigh is parallel to the ground, your back thigh to the top, and your back foot is pressed against the bench/step. 

From here, you will gain stability in your form and be able to press from the ground and stand without losing balance. Use whatever is fixed in the area to help you balance if needed.

4. Step-ups

Step-ups Substitute For Leg Extensions

The ideal number of reps of this substitute for leg extension exercise ranges from 10-12 reps for each leg. 


  1. Start by standing about a foot from the bench/step. 
  2. Place one foot on the bench and the other foot on the floor.
  3. Hinge the hips slightly and lean your body against your front foot.
  4. Remove the weight from your front foot, push the bench and stand in a standing position.
  5. Keep the same foot planted on the bench, bend slightly at the knees, and lower your opposite foot to the floor.


Climbing steps in strength training work best when you ignore jumping or running. It is not very common among people to observe a bounce while starting when you try to step on the bench. 

Instead, consider relying on a bench to help you stand on your feet. This stimulates the quads and glutes. Slowing down will test your strength and balance. When training your right leg, sit on the bench at all times to benefit from eccentric contractions and loading.

5. Reverse Lunge

Reverse Lunge Substitute For Leg Extensions

The ideal number of reps ranges around 10-12 reps for each leg. 


  1. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Send one foot straight back while you are at shoulder width.
  3. Keep the tension in the front and lower leg by bending at both knees, creating a 90-degree angle at the knees.
  4. Get back into shape by removing a large portion of your weight with your front foot.


Leaning the front leg slightly over the active leg helps remove most of the weight from the front foot. This helps to separate the quads and helps the body find balance. Use whatever is fixed in the area to help you balance if needed.

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