The leg extension is an effective isolation exercise which builds muscle and strength in the quadriceps of the front leg. Now, this exercise is very beneficial if done with proper form but beginners should always receive guidance to ensure optimal knee safety during the movement.

But, the leg extension makes a great addition to any leg workout routine and can be used to further improve the development of the Quadricep muscles.

Many people use it as a warm-up which is a great idea but you can also perform a few sets after your intense leg training session.

In This Exercise:

  • Target Muscle Group: Quadriceps
  • Type: Strength
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Equipment: Leg extension machine
  • Difficulty: Beginner

Exercise Instructions

  1. Sit on a leg extension machine and adjust the back pad so your shins are under the extension lever.
  2. Then, hold onto the handles and lift the leg lever by extending your legs until they are parallel to the floor. Exhale during this portion of the exercise.
  3. Hold for 2 seconds.
  4. Now, slowly lower the lever back down by bending your legs until your feet are a few inches from the floor. Inhale during this portion of the exercise.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Variations & Tips:

  • Do not lock out your knees.
  • Warm up sufficiently with lightweight to ensure optimal knee safety and function.
  • The leg extension is not meant to be a compound movement so it’s recommended to keep the weight light to moderate since the leg extension places the knees is in a potentially compromising position.
  • The leg extension is a great isolation exercise for the quads.

Watch: How to do the leg extension