As the name says, leg extension is an exercise for your leg muscles. Leg extensions are exercises done with a lever machine. You just have to sit on a padded seat and raise a padded bar with your legs.
The exercise works mainly on the quadriceps muscles of the front of the thigh—the rectus femoris and the vast muscles. You can use this exercise to build lower body strength and muscle definition as part of a strength training workout.
Set up the leg extension machine in such a way so the pad is at the top of your lower legs at the ankles. Your knees are at 90 degrees. Select appropriate weight that will give you an average load for 8 t 12repetitions.
- First of all, Place your hands on the hand bars.
- Lift the weight until your legs are almost straight.
- Do not lock your knees.
- Keep your back straight against the backrest and do not bend.
- Exhale and lower the weight back to the initial position.
- Do three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.
Avoid these common mistakes so you will get the most benefit and prevent strain or injury.
- Do not use this machine for maximum lifting. Due to the risk of strain in the knee ligament, do not use this exercise for low-rep, high-load strength conditioning.
- Go slow. Doing this exercise at any speed will use momentum rather than muscle engagement.
- Do not lock your knees at full extension. This can strain the knee joint.
- Don’t do more than three sets of 7-10 reps at a moderate load. You don’t need to do any strengthening sets with high repetitions on the leg extension machine.
Five Key Benefits Of Leg Extensions
- Leg extensions are very beneficial in strengthening the patellar ligament and quadriceps attachment for the knee. This exercise focuses to build up the quads alone and, therefore, strengthens key attachments for the knee joint at the same time.
- You can focus on target muscles more selectively. You focus just on quads while doing the leg extensions.
- This machine exercise is a very good option for exercise beginners and you need not worry about form and posture.
- It is an isolation exercise for quadriceps that can be performed after compound exercises like squats or deadlifts. So, it a great finisher for your leg workout.
- There is a common belief that leg extensions can be harmful to your knees. But actually, it is a good exercise for people with knee problems as they are performed while seated, reducing the impact on the knee. However, it is preferable to decrease the weight load and focus on the squeeze instead. Also, if you are recovering from any injury, it is best to consult a doctor before embarking on this form of exercise.
If you have an ankle knee or leg injury, seek guidance from your doctor, a qualified physical therapist, or a strength and conditioning coach who specializes in weight training rehabilitation. Advisory may say to avoid the leg extension machine. Reviewers say that open-chain exercises like the leg extension can damage the knees and that even full-depth squatting is safer. Don’t perform this exercise if you experience any pain in your knee or ankle. Also, maintain a proper form when doing leg extensions and mix up your quadriceps workout.
Leg extensions are ideal if you want to strengthen your squads. You can perform it at the gym and at your home easily. Make sure you avoid the mistakes and don’t get injured.
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