One of the most effective ways to get defined and powerful quads is by doing leg extensions. This move isolates a large muscle group that enhances form so you can focus on effective reps with progressively heavier resistance. Leg extensions are usually exercises done with a lever machine. You sit on a padded seat and raise a padded bar with the help of your legs.
This exercise can be used to build lower body strength and muscle definition as a part of a strength training workout.
When it comes to choosing which leg extension machine to buy, it might get very confusing. We have compiled a list of leg extension machines along with their reviews to make it easier for you to choose.
Body Solid GCEC340 Leg Extension Machine
It is one of the top-rated leg extension machines. It helps in rehab exercises for the leg. It has a comfortable seating position and padding. it has excellent quality construction.
User video is a must if you are not familiar with the equipment.
The CAM allows individuals to adjust the machine to meet their individual size and maximum range of motion.
The maximum weight capacity due to the length of the load bar is 210 lbs.
It can be used for strength training, low impact exercise as well as weight loss. Overall…
- Easily assembled.
- Works perfectly for rehab work.
- An Assembly diagram is adequate if you are somewhat mechanically inclined.
- It lacks stepwise instructions.
It does not include the suggested collar lock for free weights used.
Valor Fitness CC-4
It is the most affordable leg extension machine available out there.it supports two key leg exercises while staying seated in the same location, leg extensions and leg curls.
If you want to build muscle and are on somewhat of a budget, this is the perfect bench for you. It has everything you need for leg extensions as well as curls.
The leg padding is comfortable and can be adjusted as required.
- Easy to use.
- It can be changed from sitting to lying position in an instant.
- You can use either size (Olympic or regular) on it. Just remove the sleeve and you can use regular size weight.
- It does not use up much floor space.
- It can be a bit unsteady at times.
It is not padded very well.
XM-7615 by X Mark Fitness
It can be used for both hamstrings as well as leg extensions. It is sturdy enough to support heavyweights. It is one of the highly-rated leg extension machines.
It is a great machine which is comfortable to use. It will be a solid addition to your home gym.
This machine isolates the quadriceps and hamstrings while providing a full range of movement through each motion.
It is designed with a 12-position adjustable thigh pad, 20 positions adjustable press arm, and a fully adjustable backrest pad.
- Easy to install.
- Works perfectly for hamstrings as well as leg extensions.
- The Olympic weight adapter is too narrow.
If the weights are not added in the back, the machine might tip over.
X Mark FID Leg Extension XM-4419
It is one of the widely used all in one gym equipment. It can be used for leg extensions as well. This equipment is known to be very sturdy and you can easily bench about up to 280lbs without any issues or concerns.
This bench does not wobble a lot and there is very little movement.
The padding is very firm and comfortable. It is affordable gym equipment with a lot of features.
- Easy to install.
- It changes positions instantly.
The padding is not up to the mark.
Body Solid GLP
This gym unit works perfectly fine and is widely used for leg extensions. It is a very sturdy and durable leg press.
It comes with a lot of features and accessories to add on.
This is good quality equipment.it provides user safety and the option of different start/stop positions.
This unit is very smooth and stable. It is easy to use.
- Easy to install.
- Height friendly
- Excellent quality equipment.
- Hack squats are smooth and effortless.
- The footprint is relatively smaller.
The quality of the cushions is not up to the mark.
Valor Fitness BD-62
This is one of the few machines that are also recommended for people having shoulder and knee issues. It is a versatile space saver, that provides the opportunity for strength training with the help of a cable system.
It helps with all the cable exercises.
It has a unique dual pulley system that offers 16 adjustment positions to perform a wide range of exercises.
It is adjustable vertically and proves to be of great help when it comes to leg extensions.
- Cost effective.
- Easy to install.
- Can be used for different exercises.
- The unit is very smooth.
- Lacks a few features for the perfect leg extension exercises.
Body Champ BCB5860
It is a very affordable weight bench that offers a variety of exercises including leg extension exercises.
It comes with leg and arm curl attachments that are easy to remove when required. It has a 7 position adjustable backrest and an adjustable dual-action leg developer.
It offers multiple positions for versatility in one machine.
This bench has built-in safety hooks and no pinch design to prevent injury to hand and grip.
- Easy to install.
- Smooth and durable.
- Bench lettering is a little tricky.
- Bars can be bent easily.
Body Solid Powerline PLCE 165X
This is a well designed and built leg bench. The materials are all of high quality. It is an affordable leg bench. This is one of the best leg extension machines available. It is a solid design with excellent construction with only minor limitations. This machine allows the user to perform leg extension and leg curls in their traditional upright and prone positions.
- Easy to use.
- Height friendly.
- The curled part of the leg arm has two long positions.
- Minor limitation.
- The leg extension part has only one set.
Deltech Fitness leg extension/leg curl machine
The manufacturing of this machine is quite good. It is a cost-effective leg extension machine. It is easy and comfortable to use.
It is a great way to shape your thighs and hamstring muscles.
It has a super sturdy frame that provides a stable steady base and the fully adjustable leg pads provide versatility for users of all sizes.
- Easy to install
- Does not support heavyweights.
Leg extension exercises can seem pretty simple and easy to do, however, they might not be as monotonous, like all strength training workouts, leg extensions as well require proper posture and following specifics in-between contraction and relaxations.
What are some main benefits of these leg extension machines?
- The leg extensions target the quadriceps which are the large muscles on the front of the thigh.
- Building your quads can improve your kicking movements, which can be beneficial for sports activities.
- It is an open-chain kinetic exercise which means that your legs are not stationary as they work and thus the chain of movement is open in the leg extension.
- Strengthens the ligaments and muscles.
- A significant amount of calories burnt.
- Improved athletic performance.
Make sure you also check out the benefits of deadlifting.
Some Common Mistakes to avoid:
Avoid these common mistakes to get more benefits and to prevent injuries.
Do not try to go for a maximum lift. Due to the risk of knee ligament strain, do not use this exercise for low-reps and high-load strength conditioning.
This may seriously damage your muscles or in a worst-case scenario even lead to dislocation of joints. If lifting heavy is your goal then you must always start with the beginner level and work your way through to the heaviest weights.
For example, if you have never used a leg extension before you should start with 5-10 kg at first if it’s too easy for you then increase your reps instead of increasing the weights.
Then move on to 15-25 kg and so on. It is important that you work your way up on the weight scale, so your muscles are strong enough to lift the weight.
Do not do more than three sets of eight to 12 reps on a moderate load. You do not need to do any endurance sets with high repetition on the leg extension machine.
Focus on doing more sets instead of reps, however, you must always remember that activating your muscles is the goal and not over-working them.
For best results follow the workout routine consistently o a regular basis, there is no easier way to achieve long-lasting and best results.
Going too fast
Doing this exercise requires momentum rather than muscle engagement.
With weight training, your main goal is to focus on the posture and on muscle activation, to allow for maximum muscle activation it is necessary that you do your reps as slowly as possible. So do not breeze through your workout instead take your time in the contraction phase and let your muscles work.
However, you must remember not to strain them to the point they get damaged.
Locking the Knees
Do not lock your knees at full extension. This can strain the knee joint.
When you lock your knee you are putting the maximum load towards your knee joint, this can lead to serious joint injuries
The leg extension exercise is solely for quads but the positioning of feet can affect the targeting of the quads. Positioning your feet inwards during the extension will target the outward thigh. While turning the toes out will target the inner thigh also.
When the strain sets in, that is the time for the end of the leg day. If you feel like the pain is too much and you cannot do any more repetitions on the leg extensions then listen to your body and retrieve immediately, do not put any more pressure o your knees.
Safety Precautions to note:
If you are suffering from a knee, thigh, or ankle injury then it is best for you to consider your doctor or a qualified physical therapist or someone who specializes in weight training rehabilitation before opting for this particular exercise.
Stop this exercise if you experience any pain in your knee or ankle. Follow the proper form when doing leg extensions. Do not move your glutes too much as to generate more force. Do not thrust your hips up and down
The lower and upper leg must be perpendicular to each other that is bent t 90 degrees because if the angle is less than 90 then undue stress will be created on the knee joint. Also, buy machines from original gym equipment manufacturers.