Leg Extension Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Strength
  • Machine
  • Isolation
  • Push (Bilateral)
  • Beginner
  • None
Quads Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Leg Extension Overview

The seated leg extension is an isolation exercise and one used to target the muscles of the quads.

This exercise can be particularly hard on the knees. So, for those with prior knee issues, it may be beneficial to stick with other movements, preferably compound, to target your quads.

The leg extension is a great exercise for quad development and may be beneficial to include in your workout routines if your goals are more aesthetics-driven.

The leg extension can be utilized in both leg workouts and full body workouts.

Leg Extension Instructions

  1. Select the desired resistance on the weight stack and insert the pin.
  2. Adjust the seat so that the knees are directly in line with the axis of the machine.
  3. Sit down and position your shins behind the pad at the base of the machine.
  4. Take a deep breath and extend your legs as you flex your quadriceps.
  5. As you lock out the knees, exhale to complete the repetition.
  6. Slowly lower your feet back to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Leg Extension Tips

  1. Ensure the axis of rotation for the knee directly matches that of the machine. In other words, the point of rotation for the machine should be in line with your knee joint itself. If the knee is positioned too far in front or behind the axis of rotation, there will be excessive stress added to the joint which could cause significant injury.
  2. Typically extensions should not be done excessively heavy due to the lack of hamstring co-contraction with the quads. When one occurs in isolation it could present an injury risk to the knee if done with excessive weight.
  3. Pointing the toes can help to enhance mind muscle connection.