Leg Extension

Exercise / Quadriceps

Leg Extension overview

The Leg Extension is an isolation exercise that primarily targets the quadriceps, providing an effective way to strengthen and tone the muscles on the front of the thighs. This machine-based exercise is commonly found in gyms and is suitable for individuals of various fitness levels. Explore the specifications, step-by-step instructions, and variations to optimize the benefits of the Leg Extension in your lower body training routine.

The Leg Extension primarily targets the quadriceps muscles.

Leg Extension how to perform

  • Step 1: Adjust the leg extension machine to your body size and preferences.
  • Step 2: Sit on the machine with your back against the backrest and place your feet under the padded leg extension bar.
  • Step 3: Position your knees in line with the machine’s pivot point.
  • Step 4: Grasp the handles on the sides of the seat for stability.
  • Step 5: Exhale and straighten your legs, lifting the padded bar until your legs are almost fully extended.
  • Step 6: Inhale and lower the padded bar back to the starting position with control.


Perform each repetition with controlled movements, focusing on the contraction and extension of the quadriceps.

Starting position

Final position

CAUTION: Rember to consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions.

Exercise Tips

  • Adjust the machine to align with your body size to ensure proper range of motion.
  • Keep your back against the backrest throughout the exercise to maintain stability.
  • Engage your core for added stability and support.
  • Control the movement, avoiding abrupt or jerky motions.


  1. Single-Leg Leg Extension: Perform the exercise one leg at a time for increased focus on each leg.
  2. Slow Eccentric Leg Extension: Emphasize the lowering phase of the movement for increased time under tension.
  3. Pause Reps: Introduce a brief pause at the top of the movement to maximize muscle engagement.
  4. Alternating Leg Extension: Lift one leg at a time, alternating between legs throughout the set.