Leg Extension By Clarissa Flores & Nicole Escalante
Variations • Leg extension machine • Chair and band
Leg Extension Techniques Leg extension machine The Setup Sit on the chair and place your feet behind the foot pads, which should make contact with your lower shin, just above your ankles. Adjust the seat so that the back of your legs lie flush with the seat and your back is fully supported by the seatback. The WeightThe quads are pretty strong muscles, but start with a low weight until you are comfortable lifting more. Aim for a weight that is challenging for you to complete one set of 8-12 reps. The PositionGrasp the handles down at the sides of the chair, or place your hands on your lap. Try to keep your feet and ankles relaxed (do not flex your feet), with your toes pointing naturally forward. Pull your abs in tight to help prevent your back from arching. The MovementStraighten your legs and lift the weight slowly as your exhale. Be sure that you don't lock out your knees. Hold this position for 1-2 counts. Inhale and slowly lower your legs back down—but not completely (the weight stack should not slam, but should come close to touching). Aim for 8-12 repetitions and 1-3 sets.
Leg Extension Techniques Chair and band Preparation/Setup Anchor a resistance band or tube to the back leg of a chair, or if you prefer, you can also mount the band to a secure and stationary object behind the chair. Sit in a chair with your back straight against the back of the chair and secure the resistance band to your lower leg slightly above your ankle. There are a variety of different bands and tubes that include ankle cuffs or straps you can use to secure the band to your lower leg. Your knee should be flexed to approximately 90 degrees. Movement/Execution Extend your leg, keeping your ankle in line with your knee. Once your leg is straight, lower your leg, returning it to the start position. Repeat for your opposite leg. Notes You may place a towel under your knees to support your legs and slightly elevate your feet to prevent them from dragging on the floor.
Muscles involved • Quadriceps • Vastus medialis • Vastus intermedius • Vastus lateralis • Rectus femoris • Gluteus maximus
Spotting Because leg extensions are performed in a seated position, the assistance of a spotter is not required.
Contra-indications Flexing your knees beyond 90 degrees (relaxation phase), puts unnecessary strain on the knees which increases your risk of injury.