Leg Extension-Correct Form,Benefits and Muscles Used

The leg extension is an isolation, strength building, resistance weight training exercise which is primarily used to work out the quads. This exercise is usually performed using a leg extension machine, something that many gyms have by default. It can be performed before going for Squats, but is usually performed after Squats.

Correct Form of Leg Extension Exercise


Given below is the correct form to perform the leg extension exercise.

  • Sit on the leg extension machine and load appropriate weight. Adjust and secure the pads at your ankles.
  • Adjust the back rest such that your knees bend just at the edge of the seat, such that the lower and upper legs are at a 90° angle. Grab the handle bars at the sides. This is your starting position.
  • Bending at the knees, extend your legs outwards until your legs are almost straight. Exhale as you do so. Hold at the top for a second and squeeze your quads.
  • Slowly bring the weight down to the starting position, inhaling on the way down. Go down till your upper and lower legs are 90° to each other.
  • This completes one repetition. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Variations of Leg Extension Exercise


There are a few ways in which you can add a few variations to the leg extension exercise.

  • You can vary the position of the pad across the legs to lay stress on specific areas of the thighs.
  • You can also perform this exercise using single leg at a time. Weight moved will be slightly less though.

Precautions To Keep During Leg Extension Exercise


There are a few precautions you need to keep while performing the leg extension exercise.

  • Always be in control of the weight throughout the motion. Never kick the weight out, or let it come down under gravity.
  • Keep your toes always ahead of your knees, as not doing this will put un-necessary stress on your knees.
  • Some studies have also said that the leg extension exercise causes knee damage by creating large amount of torque at the knees while bringing the weight down.
  • Hence, consult your doctor if you have knee problems.

Video: Leg Extension

Muscles Used In Leg Extension


Quadriceps are the primarily muscles used in the leg extension exercise. They can also be worked out in squats and leg press exercise.

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