The leg extension is an assisted machine and it is great for isolating and building your quads. Though it should be noted that more often than not, this machine is best used towards the end of your workout.
How to use the leg extension
First and foremost, the leg extension machine available to you will have instructions on it, so do still pay attention to those if you’re not sure how this piece of equipment works.
As a guide; you may need to adjust the back rest as well as the foot pad. As a result, the foot pad should be resting at the bottom of your shins, in front of your ankles and your back should be firmly up against the back rest.
Next you should select the weight you want to work with. From there, you are ready to begin the exercise.
Begin by holding onto the handles and bracing yourself to move the weight through your quads. To perform the exercise; raise your legs until they are straight out in front of you, but knees not locked.
Finally, come back down through the same controlled movement to start position and as always, go for reps.
Leg extension: Common mistakes to avoid
Avoid going too light and/or using momentum on the leg extension machine. As a rule of thumb, you should start to feel the burn in your quads towards the end of your set.
It is important to work the full range of motion, just like any other exercise. Sloppy sets seldom get results, so take your time and ensure that you are engaging and working your quads as intended.
Reps and sets
As with all exercises, your leg extensions need to be worked into your overall bigger picture. Of course, how many reps and sets you perform with each exercise depends entirely on where you are physically and your desired outcomes.
Beginners should keep it simple; 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps is an ideal starting point. For the purpose of laying a solid foundation to build upon; don’t over complicate things. The most important thing at this stage is to get started, the rest will most definitely come with experience.
On the other hand, more advanced lifters will need to consider their current strength and goals.