Give your quads the focus they deserve by constructing this key leg train into your lower-body exercise.
In a world of compound actions, purposeful coaching, and full-body workouts, the leg extension generally will get dismissed as a one-trick pony. After all, it’s an isolation transfer that hits only one muscle group, the quadriceps, and is carried out on a machine—in contrast to the squat, thought-about a extra manly barbell motion that hits the total decrease physique and delivers many advantages.
The leg extension is one in every of the extra polarizing workouts. Some individuals like it and see great worth whereas others discover it a waste of time, citing different quadriceps strikes that produce extra profit. Either method, the leg extension’s simplicity can be its biggest asset and a stable transfer for constructing leg power.
Leg Extension Benefits
Leg extensions goal the quads, which have gone unappreciated lately as the reputation of purposeful motion and CrossFit routines have emphasised the hips and core. But dismissing the quads as aesthetic muscle mass or “lower body triceps” neglects a very important a part of your physique’s working system. That’s as a result of the four-pronged quadriceps muscle mass serve to prolong the knees, thus making sturdy quads essential for strolling, operating, leaping, and squatting.
The quads play an important position in stabilizing the knees and serving to to flex the hips, which tighten after a full day of sitting at a desk or behind the wheel. Strong quads are needed for actions of on a regular basis life and athletic exercise. Few strikes work the quads higher than the leg extension.
What Does the Leg Extension Work?
With leg extensions, you focus simply on the quads: the vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, and rectus femoris. The rectus femoris is the mostly injured quad muscle in sports activities, partly as a result of it flexes the thigh at the hip and extends the leg at the knee joint.
This muscle, like the remainder of the quadriceps, deserves particular consideration. Few strikes provide you with extra rapid visible suggestions as leg extensions, since you possibly can see the quads flex and contract as you elevate and decrease the padded bar.
How to Do Leg Extensions
- When setting weight on a leg extension machine, battle the urge to load it with heavy resistance, particularly at first. Better to give attention to correct type and actually really feel it in your quads.
- Sit in the leg extension machine. Depending on the top of the final particular person to use the machine, you would possibly want to alter the seat pad again or ahead. Position your legs underneath the pad and seize the rails together with your arms. Adjust the shin pad so it’s simply above your ankles.
- Extend your legs so far as attainable, exhaling as you achieve this. Though that is a easy transfer, get the most out of it and keep away from damage by taking it sluggish and avoiding quick actions that may improve the probability of hyperextending the knees.
- Pause for two seconds on this contracted place, growing the time underneath rigidity with out locking the knees at full extension.
- Lower the weight as you inhale again to the beginning place. Remember, sluggish. Don’t merely drop again to the beginning place, or carry your legs past a 90-degree place.
How to Add a Leg Extension Into a Workout
As an isolation train for the quadriceps, leg extensions are a key a part of leg days and may be carried out after compound actions like deadlifts or squats. Some individuals like to lead off with leg extensions. Others choose to save them for final to get that ultimate leg burn in a lower-body exercise.
Leg Extension Variations
Unlike different strikes, there’s little variation to doing leg extensions apart from including or lowering weight. If you’re someplace with out a leg extension machine, you possibly can improvise with any train the place it’s essential to contract your quadriceps in opposition to a resistance that produces the identical impact. If at house or touring, sit on a chair and use ankle weights or resistance bands.