How to Use a Leg Extension Machine

The leg extension machine is a lever-type machine in which your legs are anchored behind a padded bar that is being lifted up and down. Focus on squeezing the quadricep muscles tightly for maximum benefit.

Select Proper Weight

Before beginning your workout with the leg extension machine, carefully select the appropriate amount of weight. Using the metal selector pin, push it through the weight stack. While you want to be challenged for optimal benefit, be careful not select a weight that is too heavy to avoid injury.

Correct Position

Once the desired weight has been selected, sit in the leg extension machine and place your ankles behind the padded bar so that the bar rests on your ankles. Your back should remain flat against the padded support.  Keep the knees horizontally aligned with the pivoting part of the machine. Keep your hands on the assist handles, usually found at your side.

Proper Method

After you are correctly positioned in the machine, slowly extend your legs upwards to straighten them and squeeze once they have reached the top. To prevent knee strain and/or injury, do not hyper-extend your knees. Slowly lower your legs back to the starting position. Keep your toes pointing upwards to the ceiling. Repeat this exercise 15-20 times.

Safety Precautions

To avoid injury it is important to fully understand how to properly use the leg extension machine. If you have questions, consult a fitness trainer who can show you how to properly use the equipment. Additional tips include:

  • If you have knee pain or are prone to knee pain, do not use this machine.
  • Keep the motions slow and controlled.
  • Do not lift more weight than you are comfortable with.
  • Stop immediately if you notice pain.
  • Do not use explosive force or thrusting while exercising using a leg extension machine.



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