I love squatting, so having knee problems eats me. Joe Weider had them included in his system, so did Bill Pearl and Vince Gironda. 6 Best Leg Exercises for Mass 1. Don’t be. 1. It’s just one of MANY tools that can be used for certain purposes. Having said that, you still need to remember that we’re only talking about a quad isolation exercise here. Had not the slightest problem with it, I think its a useful exercise provided one uses the right amount of weight. For your main quad exercise, there are many quality alternatives. Acquiring strong legs takes arduous training, consistent effort, and an understanding of the various muscle groups and movements that should be prioritized within a mass training program. They are squats, leg presses, and leg extensions. I have heard with the bar on the front there is less stress on the back, while putting more emphasis on the hamstrings. But those three didn’t know any better, right? There is no other exercise that would add defintion to my quad. Or if skull crushers are bad for your elbows. The problem is I always feel my hams in that rep range and not my quads. It’s pretty cool to see how much work I put into my body. How could that be, you ask? You see, the leg extension machine is a basic isolation exercise just like every other isolation exercise. Below are six (6) of the best mass-building lower body exercises you can do to add quality muscle mass, size, and strength to the lower body. High Rep Leg Workout Most of my leg workouts start with leg extensions, and these should be super light. It’s simple. Leg extensions are a potentially useful isolation exercise just like any other. That you won’t be able to build awesome legs without it. Even though squats are my primary exercise, I have been doing leg extensions for months now so that I can built mass on my quads. As for the second question, it can go both ways. You are a scholar. And don’t worry about those evil forces, they are no match for my bullshit slaying powers. Is any of this true? Speaking of squats, where do you prefer the barbell? Here’s why…. 10-27-2006, 07:10 PM #15 I could feel my triceps popping out. But, hear me out. Although an effective upper thigh exercise, the leg extension only targets a small area of the leg musculature through one joint movement, knee extension. I try to avoid extremes and fanaticism and I’m pretty sure you, Jay, try to do the same. Which exercise combo do you think will be better for this… back squats and barbell lunges, or maybe front squats and leg extensions? So if it suits your goals, needs, preferences and fits right in your routine, feel free to use it. I also did them afterward. Side Lying Banded Leg Raise – 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions per leg Sample 4-Day Glute Workout Mass Program Below is four-day glute workout program to build mass and strength. Those are just a few examples that come to mind. You have to approach leg training with a reckless abandonment, especially if you want them to grow. This isn’t at all meant to be a “pro-leg extension” article. Just like how dips are bad for my shoulders, but perfectly fine for others. This would be true for every other exercise, too. I disagree with all of the above just like any sane person would (or at least should). Pretty much whichever one you feel most comfortable with. Ha, thanks man. Please note that we’re talking strictly about muscle growth here. Now, is the leg extension the one and only useful option in all of these cases? Here now are a few simple tips that may make leg extensions more knee-friendly…. I always feel like such a badass after them. That it’ll even play a major role in making that happen. This is important. The quadriceps are one of the strongest muscles of the body, and run along the anterior aspect of the thigh.The quadriceps are actually a group of muscles (4), each producing knee extension; vastus lateralis (outer quad), vastus medialis (inner quad), vastus intermedius (middle quad), and the rectus femoris. In a case where a doctor has specifically told you to avoid a certain exercise, I’d listen to your doctor. It’s bad for some people’s knees, but just fine for others. First and foremost, we want to get stronger over time. Would leg extensions be a suitable replacement for split squats in your routine??? The glute muscles are responsible for hip extension, abduction, external rotation, and internal rotation of the hip. For other people however, those adjustments might make a world of difference. A Tension + Fatigue exercise? Squats, whether your goal is strength, mass gaining, or endurance training, are a foundational movement for... 2. I’ve had a hip problem that has gotten worse so I can only do extensions and curls for thighs. Your job, or rather the job of your abdominal muscles, is to not let that movement happen; this is how core muscle strength is built. BarBend is the Official Media Partner of USA Weightlifting. Many lifters will look to the leg press as a way to lift heavy, however, this often then leads to knee and hip pain in those who lack foundational movement patterns and strength often developed by squatting. Thanks i just need clarification man. Typically, this exercise is trained in higher volumes (10+ reps) for a few sets (2-4 sets). The hamstrings run along the posterior aspect of the thigh and are responsible for hip and knee extension. Stretch your legs a little and massage your thighs. A routine comprimising of leg presses, hack squats and leg extensions can get you phenomenal quads, provided proper training and nutrition are dialed in. Are you working out at home with nothing but some resistance bands, or a few dumbbells, or just your own body weight? I already told you this but again, we need more objective, common sense and less fanatic and extreme opinions about everything. It contains beginner, intermediate, and advanced home workouts. 1. If you want the best exercise to target and build your quad muscles, leg extensions are it. How To Build Muscle And Lose Fat At The Same Time. 8 year chronic problem never felt better, thanks mainly to leg extension work! Strength coaches say they will cause your knees to explode and cripple you. This exercise can also be used to help lifters add more muscle mass to their quadriceps, as the angles mimic that of a front squat. Well, unless of course it happens to hurt your knees…. Get my best diet and workout content, and never miss an update. What Is The Best Way To Lose Weight Fast And Keep It Off? I used leg extensions as part of rehab instruction from a physio of Quad tendonopathy. You give out the best information dude, especially that article on how bro splits suck, thanks for that. Front Squat Machine is decent, but I doing 500lb. That would be like swapping bench press for barbell rows. No negative effects whatsoever. Leg extensions can be harmful to your knees. None of my buddies know about that, we always just figured the more the merrier when it comes to lifting. Honestly , one of the best things I learned from this site and your book (right after progressive overload and calories in vs calories out ;)) is to stop doing an exercise once it starts hurting one of your joints no matter how much it is recommended and praised. Here’s a better idea, though. To add in leg extensions there WITHOUT removing other quad exercises would require changing the layout of the routine. And just like how bicep curls, tricep extensions, lateral raises and dumbbell flyes can all play a beneficial role depending on your goals, training needs/preferences and the overall design of your program, so too can leg extensions. I wouldn’t recommend it as a primary quad exercise, but it certainly has its uses. I looked at your excerise list and you have Machine Hack Squat on there but not Barbell Hack Squat. I opted for the leg press, which I hate and the hack squat machine which I loathed. This is like asking if flat barbell benching is bad for your shoulders. The leg extension is an exercise designed to focus almost exclusively on your quads. Thank you! Split squats and lunges, while both great exercises, would not be the ideal tool for that job. I had the anterior cruciate ligament reconstructed from my right knee and my orthopedist surgeon told me to avoid leg-extension for the rest of my life. I meant in the context of cutting down volume from hamstrings as they get enough from squats/lunges/leg press plus they’re quite smaller than quads. Now let’s say you want to get some additional higher rep (8-15 rep range) quad volume done in a way that DOESN’T add additional unwanted volume for the hamstrings/glutes. If a one-armed leg extension is your only option, and you notice that the pad is bent forward, he suggests padding your outside leg with a knee wrap or sweat towel to even out your positioning. What’s wrong with them? The rectus femoris is one of four muscle heads that make up the quadriceps muscle group. Hi Jay!. We want to do a certain optimal amount of volume within a certain optimal range of reps within a format that allows for a certain optimal amount of frequency and recovery to be met. Squats have 0 moment arm at full extension. I know this goes against most of what you’ve seen or heard before. World records, results, training, nutrition, breaking news, and more. I’m basically using exercises from 3 different workouts (high school weight training, a former professional powerlifter’s routine for me and his sons, and p90x), but constructing the order, volume, and frequency based off your articles. Are dumbbell kickbacks good enough to use instead? The answer is never universally yes or no. After reading this article, I might give the leg-extension a try and see if I feel any pain…. Many people in this situation may find it helpful to limit the amount of posterior chain usage (hams, glutes, lower back) during that “push” workout. And rarely do I do a leg workout without them. Like the quadriceps, the hamstrings are comprised of individual muscles; biceps femoris, semimembranosus, and semitendinosus. Leg extensions are just one exercise out of literally hundreds that fit this description. That it alone will build you awesome looking quads. Extend both legs out until your knees are straight, then lower the pad back down. It’s more of an “anti-being-totally-anti-leg-extensions-100%-of-the-time” article. Bad for your elbows? No universal answer. 3. For some reason split squats/lunges always hurt my knees. Pointing your toes inward places more emphasis on the vastus lateralis, which builds more outer-quad sweep. Pointing your toes outward places more emphasis on the vastus medialis (the teardrop muscle). 2. Let’s say that your lower body day began with heavy deadlifts, and by the time you finished those your lower back was super fatigued. BarBend is an independent website. If you feel hamstrings are getting too much indirect volume from quad training, I’d reduce hamstring volume without increasing quad volume. Growing some tree trunk thighs and powerful hamstrings take hard work and an unwavering commitment to put up with the challenging workouts and sometimes inevitable soreness. The only way to do that would be to look over your entire diet and workout along with the full breakdown of the progress you’ve made both in the gym and in terms of body composition. Unlike the rest of the quads which only have one function – extending the knees – the RF has two more responsibilities: hip flexion (anytime the hips move the … For example, doing leg extensions too often, too heavy, and/or with horrible form (or all of the above) may be bad for your knees and cause pain, but doing it less often, lighter and/or with something close to good form may solve all of your knee problems. These are parts of the Weider pre-exhausting principles. Because the truth is that if a given exercise can successfully place some form of tension on a target muscle group, and that tension can be increased over time (aka progressive overload), then guess what? Do three sets of 15 reps. Leg Curls. #8 Kettlebell Pistol Squat. Once you have mastered this, you can add more loading to the leg press if needed. I started working out at the beginning of July weighing 155 pounds, and i know weigh 167 lbs. But still bullshit nonetheless. I did skullcrushers for awhile, and now the long head of my triceps is more developed than the lateral head. Alright, tricep kickbacks probably take first prize there, but the poor leg extension machine isn’t too far behind. All it takes is some common sense to understand that if an exercise causes pain for you, you should avoid that exercise. He had me do high reps ofleg extensions instead. And yup, that “squats are great, leg press is useless” arguments are really as dumb as it gets. I thought they were one of the best triceps exercises. Leg extensions would. Before we go any further, let me stop right here and make a quick attempt at preventing the inevitable misunderstanding of what I’m saying. 170+ home exercises to choose from, with video examples for each. Leg Extension (Seated) T he seated leg extension is a great exercise for your quads (rectus femoris), which are the muscles located in the front part of the upper legs.. Yeah it sucks, I love squats, and I know I’ll never build monstrous legs isolation exercises, but it’s better than not working legs at all. Fat-free mass explained 58% of the variability in rowing performance and the inclusion of bilateral leg extension power improved the power of prediction by 5%. And for many “jobs,” it just so happens that the leg extension machine can be the right tool. Likewise, they also have their limitations and … No pain. It’s really helping me pick and choose from routines I’ve done in the past so I can make my own routine with all the elements that I think are necessary for my goals. No discomfort. My question is: in the beginner full body routine you listed the only muscle group that gets 3x a week frequency is the back. Not even a little. Of course you can progressively add resistance to leg extensions, so you can build muscle. The barbell hack squat is an exercise that I typically find too awkward to recommend under any circumstance, really. Our leg extension standards are based on 156,000 lifts by Strength Level users. Yup, I agree… and the surgeon’s recommendations are surprisingly good (doctors + diet/exercise = usually horrible advice). Another option is to replace one of those hamstring-heavy quad exercises with leg extensions (e.g. Thanks coach! The lying hamstring curl, which can be done with a machine, resistance bands, cables, or sliders is a great way to isolate the hamstrings. Brown Rice vs White Rice: Which Is Better? The fact that I just said the leg extension machine can serve a beneficial role in your muscle building routine is the kind of thing a lot of stupid people will see and immediately interpret the wrong way. Also I got a roommate who is full of “you shouldn’t jog after you lift, you’re not supposed to lift like this, this workout sucks, etc.” I always tell him there’s no one answer, it all depends on you and your goals. Depending on the foot positioning, foot width, and placement of the loads, certain movements will target different muscle groups of the quadriceps. He told me that starting with the legs at a 90 degree angle (lower leg perpendicular to the floor) put incredible stress on the joint, especially at higher weights. The sport doctor who repaired my tedon told me that I should warm up my knees with leg extension. The results suggest that rowing involves almost every muscle in the body and that bilateral leg extension power is … Truly isolating the hamstring can be tricky, as most deadlift variations are still dependent on the lower back and glutes to an extent. Glad I know better and I’m now doing what works for MY body. You think hating on leg extensions is bad? It focuses the entire weight of the lift directly on your quads, which means you don’t have as much assistance with the lift from surrounding muscles. In your routine, why do you have Romanians but not regular Deadlifts and why not Squat for both A and B workouts instead of using a leg press? Exactly right. Get up out of the leg press apparatus and walk around. The RF is the big muscle that can be seen in the middle of the quads. Everything you say on every subject /article/file makes perfect sense. No… I followed it and did 5 sets of progressive sets before heavy squating and leg press. I don’t love it, I don’t think there’s anything too great about it, and I certainly don’t think it’s something everyone needs to be doing (which is why it isn’t included by default in the majority of the routines I design). There are plenty of exercises to choose from that all have their own set of pros and cons under different circumstances. 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