Leg Extension Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Strength
  • Machine
  • Isolation
  • Push
  • Beginner
  • None
Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
Quads Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Exercise Instructions

  1. The leg extension is a great exercise for isolating the quads. Sit on the leg extension machine and adjust it so that the leg pad sits on your ankles.
  2. Then adjust the back rest so that your knees are just off the end of the seat.
  3. Select the weight you want to use on the stack.
  4. Take the weight off the stack by extending your legs slightly. This is the starting position for the exercise.
  5. Holding onto the handles for stability, and bending at the knees only, extend your legs out as far as possible.
  6. Hold for a count of 1 while squeezing your quads, and then slowly lower back to the starting position. The weight should not touch the stack.
  7. Repeat for desired reps.

Exercise Tips:

  1. Use a slow and controlled movement - do not "kick" the weights up.
  2. Pause at the top of the movement and squeeze your quads. This adds intensity to the leg extension.
  3. Leg extensions can be used as a pre-exhaust exercise for squats or other big compound movements. It is also used for the second exercise in compound/isolation supersets.
  4. Do not drop your toes down and back beyond your knees. At no point should your knees track out over your toes as it causes undue stress on the knee joints.

Join over 500k subscribers who receive weekly workouts, diet plans, videos and expert guides from Muscle & Strength.


8 Comments+ Post Comment

No Profile Pic
Posted Sun, 06/14/2015 - 14:53

Instead of this exercise you can do squats with the bar in front of your neck these are called front squats and isolate the quads

No Profile Pic
Posted Sat, 11/30/2013 - 09:06

I need an alternative to this. Have mainly free weights and simple machine.

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 10/23/2013 - 11:25

Is there any alternative to this exercise? I work out at home.

No Profile Pic
Posted Sun, 12/23/2012 - 09:24

I am also from India and just relying on your "12 day programme" for beginners and its helping me a lot. It has improved my knowledge of exercises as well as how to do the exercises in a correct way which is very important.
Thanxs :)

No Profile Pic
Posted Sun, 12/02/2012 - 16:39

for people thet are 200 cm tall and dont fit in the Machine :) what can we do instead ?

No Profile Pic
Posted Fri, 11/23/2012 - 13:42

How I can figure out what is the weight to start?

mnsjason's picture
Posted Thu, 11/29/2012 - 19:56

Hey Jose! Simply pick a weight that works for the rep range you are shooting for in each set. If you are unable to perform the desired reps, drop in weight. If it's easy to hit the rep mark, add weight.

No Profile Pic
Posted Mon, 10/22/2012 - 02:11

Hey Steve !I have recently found out this website.I am from India .I have already started this 4 day workout n finished day 2.I have seen good results.Thank you for ur article .My gym doesn't have this leg extension machine ,can u please suggest any alternative ..that will be truly helpful for me.Also I really wanna know if I can daily add 15-20mnts of skipping n ab workouts daily coz I want to desperately have flat abs..or may be ripped abs.I am man of 29 years .Hope u will help me Steve with may be any of ur recommended ab workout routines.Thanx man