Leg Extension


The leg extension focuses on your quadriceps and is one of the best ways to develop strong thighs. In addition to giving you stronger and more toned thighs, the leg extension helps strengthen your knee joints. You require the use of a leg extension machine to perform this exercise.



  1. For this exercise you will need to use a leg extension machine. First choose your weight and sit on the machine with your legs under the pad (feet pointed forward) and the hands holding the side bars. This will be your starting position.
  2. Using your quadriceps, extend your legs to the maximum as you exhale. Ensure that the rest of the body remains stationary on the seat. Pause a second on the contracted position.
  3. Slowly lower the weight back to the original position as you inhale, ensuring that you do not go past the 90-degree angle limit.
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of times.


  1. You will need to adjust the pad so that it falls on top of your lower leg (just above your feet). Also, make sure that your legs form a 90-degree angle between the lower and upper leg. If the angle is less than 90-degrees then that means the knee is over the toes which in turn creates undue stress at the knee joint. If the machine is designed that way, either look for another machine or just make sure that when you start executing the exercise you stop going down once you hit the 90-degree angle.
  2. To prevent the stronger leg from compensating for the weaker leg when you perform leg extensions using both legs, you can perform the exercise with less weight using one leg at a time. Developing equal strength in both legs is beneficial for athletes, such as runners and tennis players, who need good coordination between their legs.
  3. To focus on strengthening the inner part of your quadriceps around the knees, you can pause for about 3 to 5 seconds while your legs are fully extended and then take about 5 seconds to slowly lower the weight. Since the inner part of your quadriceps around the knees tends to be weaker than the outer part of your quadriceps, this variation works well.


  1. Do not arch your back or raise your hips off the seat to help you lift the weight. Make sure your back and hops remain against the pads.
  2. Do not jerk your legs up or quickly release the weight. Make sure you maintain a constant motion during the entire exercise.
  3. Do not turn your toes in or out. Keep your feet straight as you perform the exercise.


Target Muscles


Additional Muscles