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  • Writer's pictureDylan

Leg Extensions - Exercise How To, Benefits, and Safety Tips

Muscle Target: Quadricep (upper thigh muscle)

Equipment Needed: Leg Extension Machine

Experience Level: All Levels

A leg extension machine is a great way to strengthen and tone your legs. In addition to being an effective exercise, it is a great way to increase your overall fitness level and improve your posture. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use a leg extension machine:


  1. Begin by adjusting the seat. Make sure the seat is positioned so that your knees are level with the pivot point of the machine (some manufacturers will place a sticker on the machine that says "Pivot")

  2. Place the extension pad on your shins, just above the ankle.

  3. Firmly grip the handles on either side of the machine, this will help stabilize you throughout the motion, especially as the weight increases.

  4. Exhale and extend your legs until they are straight.

  5. Inhale and slowly bend your legs to the original starting position.

  6. Repeat the motion for the desired amount of reps.

BENEFITS: Using a leg extension machine has several benefits. It can help increase strength and muscle size in your quadriceps, as well as improve your balance and stability. This is an isometric exercise, meaning it will primarily target the quadricep muscles, so be sure to pair this with an isometric exercise for your hamstrings to maintain balance in your thigh muscles.


  1. Always warm up before using a leg extension machine. This is an isometric exercise, so if you're doing this after a compound movement like squats or leg press first, you should be sufficiently warm before starting.

  2. Keep your back and neck straight throughout the exercise, this will avoid any unnecessary strain on your body.

  3. Keep your knees safe by keeping them pointed upward and in line with your toes. Issues and pain start to occur in the knee when your knees start to point inward or outward, which creates tension on parts of your knee that are unnatural.

See our ever-growing library of exercises on the Mesa Fitness YouTube Channel and be sure to subscribe for notifications on new exercises.


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