The legs extension exercises add strength to the hip flexion and knee extensions and train the quadriceps. The leg extension workout equipment has a chair in which you will have to sit and lift the weight bar, which will affect the quadriceps muscles. Leg extensions will contract the quad with the weighted resistance by bringing the knees up. Various leg exercises work on the quads like lunges, squats and deadlifts. But these do not isolate the quadricep muscle as effectively as a leg extension. One more exercise called the reverse leg extension works the direct opposite to the quadriceps and strengthens the back muscles.
Leg extension machines are effective and target both the rectus femoris and the vastus muscles in the body. A lever machine is a piece of very common equipment that is used to build lower body strength by defining the muscles throughout the training workout.
However, any exercise capable of contracting your quads against resistance will provide the same effect as a leg extension exercise. For an effective workout at home, use a chair with resistance bands or ankle weights. Walk backwards on a treadmill or perform a reverse step on a raised platform to mimic the exercise.
Leg Extension Benefits
The muscles worked with the leg extension are the quads, the largest muscle group in the front thigh region. To be more precise, leg extensions are open-chain kinetic exercises wherein the legs are not stationary as they work through the padded bar. Thus, the chain of movement is open here.
Building quads will help you increase the force in a kick movement which will eventually help you with any sports activity like martial arts or soccer. Therefore, apart from cycling the other cardio like running or walking exercises, work only the hamstrings at the back of the thighs. Leg extensions will also allow you to gain more balance.
Leg extensions are an effective lower body workout that will strengthen the knees' patellar ligament and quad attachments. It focuses more on strengthening the quads than any other muscle in the body.
A leg extension workout is a machine-assisted form of training that is very good for beginners as you need not worry about posture and form. Leg extensions are an isolation technique for quadriceps, and they can be performed after compound exercises like deadlifts and squats. Legs extension exercises can target muscles selectively and hit them, unlike the other leg exercises where many muscles work out, expanding a lot of energy.
Leg extension benefits the knees in the body as they reduce the impact on them through a seating posture. But there is a common belief that they are harmful on the knees, which is not true. However, it is always advised to check the load and focus on the workout. If you have any leg injury, do not attempt it before recovering completely. You will also achieve better results with the best diet and fitness schedules.
How To Do A Leg Extension Exercise?
The stepwise instruction to perform a leg extension exercise is elaborated here. Start by setting up the machine such that the pad is at the top of the ankles. Your knees have to be at ninety degrees. Select a weight that will offer a load that will be moderate to handle for at least 10 reps.
Hold the hand bars properly and start lifting the weight with a gentle exhalation. Your legs must be straight, and take care not to lock the knees. Keep the backrest for support, and don't arch it. Now lower the weight back to the starting position. Perform three sets with twelve reps for best results.
What Are The Variations In Leg Extensions?
The muscles worked with a leg extension can be done through certain modifications and variations. So read on to know-how.
You can perform leg extensions with ankle weights and resistance bands. The first variation is called the seated leg extension. Start with a five-pound weight and progress up to ten pounds as you advance. You can loop them around the chair's rear leg and the ankle on the same side with resistance bands. Start the seated leg extension by sitting on the chair with the back straight. Then lift one leg such that it is in line with the body and hold the position for five seconds. Get back to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
A standing leg extension is a move wherein you anchor the end of the resistance band behind you and loop it around your ankle. Stand in a position at which the band has no tension. Place the knees in a bent position with the ankle behind you. Then hold something for balance. Straighten the knees to add tension to the band but do not forget to erect the back. Extend it as far as possible and pause for some time. Return to the starting position and try doing 10 reps. Shift to the other leg and perform the same.
What Are The Errors Committed With A Leg Extension?
The errors discussed below are emphasized so that you do not strain and get injured.
- The first mistake is that many confuse the reverse leg extension as a variation of leg extensions. But it is not the same. It works the back of the thighs and does not affect the quadriceps.
- Do not perform more than 3 sets with 12 reps at a moderate weight. High repetitions are not ideal for any endurance set.
- Do not lock the knees when you are doing a full extension. If you do so, you are going to strain the knee joints.
Critics suggest refraining from open-chain exercises as it will damage the knees. But the fact is that you should not perform it only if you have an injury on your knees, ankle, or thighs. Otherwise, it is entirely safe to perform. Mix the leg extension machines workout with other quadriceps exercises for best results.
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