The leg extension is among the hottest quad isolation workouts

It’s well-liked as a result of it’s straightforward to be taught and carry out, much less tiring than most different leg workouts, and successfully trains your quads.

On this article, you’ll be taught what the leg extension is, why it’s useful, which muscle tissue it really works, the way to carry out it with correct kind, the most effective options, and extra. 

What Is the Leg Extension Train?

The leg extension is a quad isolation exercise involving a leg extension machine

To carry out it, you sit on the leg extension machine seat together with your knees bent, raise a weight stack by urgent your shins right into a pad, and prolong your legs till they’re straight.

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Leg Extension: Advantages

The leg extension successfully trains the 4 muscle tissue of the quadriceps: The rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medius, and vastus intermedius. This makes it supreme for constructing muscle in your higher legs. 

It’s additionally simpler to be taught and carry out than dynamic leg workouts, such because the strolling or reverse lunge, step-up, or Bulgarian split squat, making it a fantastic possibility for brand new weightlifters. Moreover, in contrast to many quad workouts, corresponding to the front and back squat, it locations no stress in your backbone. Therefore, it’s a viable technique to prepare your legs if in case you have back issues

One other advantage of the leg extension is that it lets you prepare your quads when your decrease again is drained.

Throughout most squat variations, your decrease again muscle tissue work laborious to stabilize your higher physique. Should you solely do free-weight leg workouts like these, your again could fatigue sooner than your quads. This may occasionally imply you need to cease coaching when your again is drained, although your quads might deal with extra.

The leg extension provides a workaround on this situation. It lets you prepare your quads after your again is fried, guaranteeing you prepare your legs with sufficient volume to construct muscle and get stronger with out your decrease again changing into a limiting issue.

Leg Extension: Muscle tissues Labored

The primary muscle tissue labored within the leg extension are the quadriceps, or “quads,” the muscle group on the entrance of your thighs that comprise the . . .

Right here’s how these muscle tissue look in your physique:

leg extension

Leg Extension: Kind

To grasp the leg extension train, cut up it into three elements: arrange, prolong, and descend.

1. Arrange.

Sit on the seated leg extension machine seat and alter the again pad so your knees are simply in entrance of the sting of the seat. Regulate the decrease leg pad so it touches your shins proper above your ankles and places your ft as near your butt as potential.

If there’s a thigh pad, guarantee it’s cosy however snug when seated.

2. Lengthen.

Seize the handles, interact your core, and push your ft towards the ceiling, extending your legs till your knees are straight. 

3. Descend.

Bend your knees to decrease your ft and return to the beginning place. This could mirror the “extension.”.

Don’t attempt to decrease the burden too slowly. Your entire “descent” must be managed however solely take a couple of second.

Right here’s the way it ought to look whenever you put all of it collectively:

leg extension machine

Leg Extension: Different Workouts

1. Single Leg Extension

leg extensions

The only leg extension allows you to prepare every leg independently, serving to you discover and repair any muscles or strength imbalances you might need. The shape is similar because the common model, solely as a substitute of lifting the burden with each legs, you alternate between your legs with every rep. 

2. Reverse Nordic Curl

leg extension alternative

The reverse Nordic curl is a wonderful leg extension different should you don’t have entry to a leg extension machine. To carry out it, kneel on the ground and squeeze your glutes in order that your physique types a straight line between your head and knees. Lean backward so far as you comfortably can, then straighten your knees till your torso is perpendicular to the ground.

Whereas the reverse Nordic curl is an efficient quad train, it may be robust in your knee joints, so solely do it should you can carry out it by a full vary of movement with out discomfort. 

3. Goblet Squat

leg extension muscles worked

The goblet squat trains your quads to a excessive diploma. To execute it, maintain a dumbbell by one finish with each arms in entrance of your chest. Place your ft a little bit wider than shoulder-width aside and level your toes out barely. Squat down till your thighs are parallel to the ground, then rise up and return to the beginning place.

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4. Sissy Squat

muscles worked in leg extension

The sissy squat is an efficient quad train which you can carry out utilizing your physique weight or whereas holding a dumbbell towards your chest (proven above). Its foremost benefit is that it trains your quads by a full vary of movement and in a stretched place, which is important for maximizing progress.

Start the sissy squat by standing together with your ft shoulder-width aside, holding onto a sturdy object together with your dominant hand. Squeeze your glutes, then bend your knees, permitting them to maneuver ahead over your toes. As you descend, let your physique lean backward, and your heels come off the ground. 

Decrease your self so far as you comfortably can or till your glutes are 6-to-12 inches out of your heels, then reverse the motion and return to the beginning place

5. Dumbbell Leg Extension

seated leg extension

The dumbbell leg extension is a viable different to the leg extension whenever you don’t have entry to a leg extension machine. It entails greedy a dumbbell between your ft whereas sitting on a bench,  extending your legs by straightening your knees, then decreasing the burden.