Never start a 400 pound leg press without warming up with lighter weights first. Stick to quad exercises where you also move through your hips. They then justify the leg curl, defending it as the best way to work the hamstrings, as if it possessed none of the issues associated with the leg extension. Without a doubt, the leg extension debate is one of the most heated in the fitness industry today. Leg Extensions: Good or Bad? For clarity of communication, it is important to first define exactly what “functional training” is—and what it is not—when discussing the functional benefits of given exercises, such as the lying leg … 2 warm-up sets of 40 reps, 4 sets of 30 reps. Always keep a slight bend in your knees. Instead, the problem is usually in application. They don't build as much mass as squats, but squats can be extremely painful if you have bad knees. Leg extensions are often slammed as being “bad for your knees” or “useless for building muscle.” While they certainly have the potential to be bad for your knees if they’re not done properly, they’re also a very useful way to develop your quads. I may knock out two or three sets of leg extensions for 15-20 repetitions and then immediately go to either the leg press or the smith machine to knock out leg presses or light squats. If you've spent any decent amount of time in the fitness industry, you've probably heard both amazing and terrible things about the leg extension exercise. The leg extension is like that kid in High School who sits in … I imagine they don’t know. So I recently read an online article on Men's Health about machines that are more harmful than helpful. Bodybuilders love them for quad building. You sit on the machine with a weighted pad on top of your lower legs. Many people think that squatting is bad for your knees. But are leg extensions really bad? “Leg extensions are bad because they place too much stress on your knees.” This statement, or some iteration of it, is a common argument against the use of leg extensions, but how are the purveyors of this sentiment defining “stress” in this scenario? Like almost all exercises that get labelled as ‘bad,’ they aren’t really bad. A weight-training exercise, leg extensions target quadricep muscles that run along the front of your thigh from your knee to your pelvis and are responsible for hip flexion and knee extension. Like a really high bridge that’ll cripple them out of the industry so they can’t regurgitate bad advice anymore. If that were the case, how would we be able to poop? I recently did an interview with my friend and colleague, Nick Tumminello about the pros and cons of the leg extension. For example, no studies have documented people tearing ligaments while doing leg extensions, and while knee pain is a risk with all lower body activities, it can be avoided on leg extensions by limiting the motion to the very last 20 degrees of knee extension. Leg extensions as noted above are great if you go light and high rep and use them to simply bring out the quads and tighten the knee from the front. Functional Benefits of the Lying Leg Curl and Seated Hip Adduction Exercise. I was surprised to see that the Leg Extension machine was one of the ones listed, especially since it's one of the go-to leg exercises for most people. Whether this is a good or bad exercise for you depends on how you do the exercise and the status of your back. Not to mention squats, lunges, split squats, leg press, and other compound lifts work your quads better. But if you're experiencing leg press knee pain while lifting, it might be time to check your technique. They are by no means a mass builder. I think squats can be worst for your knees if done with bad form - locking out & bouncing the weight at the top & bottom, relying on momentum and not having a stable base. Leg extensions aren't necessarily bad. The knee was not designed to have horizontal force applied to it. Doctors usually advise against machine leg extensions when someone has knee problems, but seated leg extensions are totally safe. Are Leg Extensions a Viable Exercise? On the contrary leg extensions are actually one of the safer exercises you can do if you have bad knees. Are Lower Back Extension Machines Good or Bad?. This exercise alone saved me from having diminutive legs on stage for my first show. The only time I completely agree that Leg Extensions are bad, is when ego lifting takes over rational, and people start loading up more weight than what can be handled. The rectus femoris is a muscle in the quadriceps that also flexes the hip – making it a bit more complicated than just moving your knee. With that said, Leg Extensions … This causes shearing forces on the knees, which means the force is … They are usually performed using a leg-extension machine, where you sit on a chair and lift a weight bar using your quadriceps muscle. 5. It's true that there is more sheer force in the patellofemoral joint, and that it can aggravate issues with patella tracking, but it has clinical use. That led to the use of leg extension machines for rehabilitating knee injuries, and trainees in popular gyms knocked out set after set of heavy leg extensions. I do not recommend that exercise. The bottom part of the Leg Extension is where the Shear Force is the greatest. I recommend doing one or two warm-up sets of leg extensions before starting any other leg exercise. Then you use your … So, what are the worst exercise for your knees? The key muscles you’ll use in a leg extension are, of course, the quadriceps.They extend the knee, but they’re also essential for movement in the hips. However, driving your knees forward with Front Squats, High Bar Back Squats, Forward Lunges, Hack Squats do the same thing to some degree, as well. One-leg leg press. Leg extensions are done on a leg extension machine. The leg extension has been given a bad rap by doctors who say it destroys the knees. Warm-up Exercise Leg Extensions. I’m obviously kidding, well partially, but the point I’m getting at is the leg extension has always been innocent. That's typically my leg day. Answered by Dr. Peter Ihle: It depends on what U: … Leg Extensions: Good or Bad? Even outside of rehab, many people will be able to … Squats, leg extensions, hamstring curls & calf raises. You can wear an elastic band on the thighs to make the exercise more challenging. Strength coaches say they will cause your knees to explode and cripple you. - BUILD MUSCLE & STRENGTH! and what machines to avoid in gym as not to increase knee pain ?" This results into ripped muscles and tendons. Some rightfully disdain leg extensions since they can harm the knees. These are done by using a leg extension machine and sitting in the seat with your feet hooked under the padded lever. Not going light will chop up the meniscus at lock out and cause tracking issues etc.. They also work the muscles less well than a compound exercise. Leg presses don’t allow for many variations, but there are a few ways to mix things up. Most gyms have some type of back extension equipment, be it a Roman chair or a larger machine with attached weight stack. Seated Leg Extensions. Meaning, how they tend to be done is problematic. One word of caution though. There is rarely such a thing as a bad exercise. The Sissy Squat; Very Heavy Leg Extensions; You may have never heard of Sissy squats, and I’m glad you haven’t. During Leg Extensions, the resistance is located at the shins, just above the feet. Leg extensions are arguably one of the most popular leg exercises for strengthening the quadriceps (thigh) muscle. Air squats are one of my favorites now as I get a good leg workout along with continued cardiovascular conditioning. Strong legs and glutes are key to athletic performance. Never squat 200 - 300 pounds without doing some warm-up sets first. Time and place, as with most exercises. Yes, leg extensions can cause knee pain. I’m very excited to bring you today’s interview revealing the TRUTH About Leg Extensions with Fitness Pro, National Presenter and Author of 7 fitness books: Brad Schoenfeld. Actually, no. Please read and follow the rules of every single exercise you do, and if you are still not certain, ask a Professional for help. "does leg extension exercise bad for knees ? Watch out not to extend your legs fully straight. Squatting is a very natural movement pattern that we must all be able to do. Yes, leg extensions are bad for your knee and ACL. Raise the weight with your legs until they are pointing straight out in … Stress can be calculated by dividing force by area. In natural motions, such as squats and lunges, there is very shearing force on the knee. Leg extensions were supposed to be good for the knees. Squats were supposed to be bad for the knees. Update: The leg extension, along with hack and sissy squats, are the best exercises to develop the rectus femoris, the V-shaped two-headed muscle on the upper middle portion of the front thigh.The single-joint action at the knee allows this muscle to actively lengthen and shorten, leading to more intense contractions impossible through compound exercises like the squat or leg press. There's probably some truth to both, and obviously it depends on your body, and your goals. Keep the weight fairly light and complete 20 to 30 slow, controlled reps. FULL 12 WEEK PUSH, PULL, LEGS PROGRAM! Repeat this movement several times and do the same number of reps for each leg. 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