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Leg Extension

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Leg Extension

Steps of Leg Extension

Sit on a leg extension machine. Position your legs under the pad and grasp the side bars with your hands. This is the starting position.

Extend your legs to the maximum, exhaling as you do so. Pause a second in this contracted position.

Lower the weight back to the original position as you inhale. Make sure your legs don't go past the 90-degree angle point.

Repeat for the desired number of reps.


Dumbbell, cable machine or leg extension machine.

Benefits of Leg Extension

Leg extensions are a key exercise in strengthening the patellar ligament and quadriceps attachment for the knee. This exercise focuses on strengthening the quad alone and, therefore, strengthens key attachments for the knee joint at the same time.

A machine-assisted training, it is a very good option for exercise beginners and you need not worry about form and posture.

It is also a good finisher exercise, as it is an isolation exercise for quadriceps that can be performed after compound exercises like squats or dead lifts.


If you have a knee/thigh to be rehabilitated, seek guidance from a qualified physical therapist, or strength and conditioning coach who specializes in weight training rehabilitation. Don't be surprised if they say to avoid the leg extension machine, though not all will.

Don't lift heavy. This is not the machine to be trying out for a maximum lift (1RM), or even low-rep, high-load strength conditioning.

Don't do more than around 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps at moderate load. You don't need to do any so-called endurance sets with high repetitions on the leg extension machine.

Don't use the leg extension exercise exclusively for quadriceps development. Feel free to include it in a program that also includes squats for lower body conditioning for variety if you wish.


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