HomeExercise LibraryHow To: Leg Extensions

How To: Leg Extensions

Leg Extensions

The leg extension is an easy to perform exercise to isolate the quads.
Looking to develop that elusive 'tear drop' looking muscle on the front of your legs? If so you cannot afford to overlook the leg extension and the barbell front squat!

Movement: Isolation

Targets: Quads

Required: Leg Extension Machine

Optional: N/A

Leg Extensions Form:

Assume position on a leg extension machine with your legs placed under the pad, feet forward and hands on the side bars.

Using only your quads proceed to extend your legs in front of your as you push against the pad, your torso should not move at all (hold yourself in place with the side bars).

Hold the extended position for 1 second (legs extended forward in front of you).

Slowly allow your legs to lower back down to the starting position.

Continue for the desired number of repetitions.

Leg Extension Variations

Unilateral Leg Extensions

Perform all of your repetitions with one leg before switching over and hooking your opposite leg under the pad and performing the desired number of repetitions.

Unilateral training is particularly popular for ensuring and resolving muscular inbalances.
When performing the traditional double leg leg extension may guys tend to lean and push further with one side in order to compensate for the weaker quad.

See also
How To: Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Common Leg Extension Mistakes


Failing To Hold The Contraction

Ensure at the top of each repetition you're pausing for the count of one while you squeeze your quads.
Performing the leg extension with excessive speed and no contraction is a waste of time as you're barely placing any tension on the muscle.

Similar & Substitute Exercises 

  • Dumbbell Walking Lunges
  • Goblet Squats

Any Questions Regarding Leg Extensions? Ask Below!

Scott J.
Scott J.
I’m SJ. I’m a fitness enthusiast and published author. I transformed my body from a skinny fat 135lbs with 18% body fat to a solid 192lbs at 8% body fat. I became qualified in a field I was passionate about. I founded several online businesses that allow me to pursue ideas and projects in my life that I am passionate about without having to constantly worry about money. I published several eBooks explaining the training and dieting techniques I used to achieve the body I have today. I learnt a plethora of new information on dieting and fitness by reading and applying what I read, to find out what does work and what doesn’t work, because as I’m sure you’ve noticed the health and fitness industry is full of non-sense claims and BS. I found out what was true and what worked for me and applied that knowledge. And you bet I had fun during the whole process.
Previous article
Next article

Stay in Touch

To follow the best weight loss journeys, success stories and inspirational interviews with the industry's top coaches and specialists. Start changing your life today!

Related Articles