Thigh Extensions

Exercise / Quadriceps

How To Perform Thigh Extensions

Let us take a look at how you perform thigh extensions (or also known as leg extensions). This exercise is an isolation one, so the focus is on maximum contraction and elongation. Here’s how to do it correctly.

The first thing to do when you get to the thigh extension machine is to set the weight. Once your weight is set, sit on the machine and adjust the seat so that it is behind your knees. Your legs will hang down (toes pointed forward). Place your feet underneath the lever pad and adjust so that the pad is on the bridge of your feet.

Grip the handles on the side of the seat. Your seated position should be with your legs hanging down 90 degrees.This is your start position.

From the start position, use your quadriceps to lift your legs upwards to their maximum. This part is important as you should contract your quads for a second before lowering them back down to the start position.

Breathing is important. Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up. Focus on your breathing as you contract your muscles. Do as many reps as your workout stipulates.

What not to do:

  • Lean forwards as you raise your legs
  • Bounce the weight at the bottom for momentum

There are different variations for this exercise as mentioned below. As this is an isolation exercise, try playing around with the different feet positions to target different muscle areas.

CAUTION: Make sure your legs form 90 degrees when seated. A less angle than this will place more strain on your knees!

Exercise Tips

  • Make sure you have your machine adjusted correctly
  • Focus on your breathing and contractions
  • Do not have your legs less than 90 degrees when seated
  • Avoid bouncing the weight down for momentum
  • Push past the burn

Exercise Variations

  1. Variation 1: Feet Outwards. The same technique applies for this variation, except you will point your toes outwards. This targets different areas on the quadriceps.
  2. Variation 2: Feet Inwards. For this variation, you will be pointing your toes inwards so that they are almost touching. Another variation to target different areas of the quadriceps.