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  1. #1
    Registered User beastly115's Avatar
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    Leg extension bad for legs?

    I've read through some posts saying leg extensions are bad but none of them say why. Can anyone fill me in? Thanks.
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  2. #2
    Registered User spider28's Avatar
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    leg extensions are not bad, they are very benificial when combined with squats and leg presses etc.
    if i was a spartan they would of fuked me off the cliff as a newborn!
    i blame my parents for my ****ty genetics!!!!!!!
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  3. #3
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    I've heard people before complain of knee problems with them, similar to the way people complain about skullcrushers hurting their elbows.
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  4. #4
    Registered User Big Arm Big Pay's Avatar
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    I dont think leg extensions will hurt your knees, my knees hurt alot during training and i cant even feel think when i do leg extensions. I do them everyweek haven't had a problem yet
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  5. #5
    Registered User Ironized's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Hallock View Post
    I've heard people before complain of knee problems with them, similar to the way people complain about skullcrushers hurting their elbows.
    I agree, some do have problems with them many do not.Throw in a couple sets of 12-15 reps and if there's joint pain, or grinding, ditch them.
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  6. #6
    can has cheezburger? Pound4pound's Avatar
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    After knee surgery the physical therapist told me to never do leg extensions as they're very bad on the knee. He said the only time he would recommend them is if you're training for a comp and really had to isolate the quads.

    It's been a year and I'm starting to do them very sparingly, but slow and light. I only do about 100 lbs. but I hold each rep in the extended position for a few seconds. They feel real nice.
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  7. #7
    Registered User J_Bo's Avatar
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    I do them as a warm up for my knees. I wouldn't be able to squat without them. If anything, they are a hell of a lot safer than squats. Then I do heavy working sets with them at the end of my workout. I don't believe for a minute they are one of the more dangerous movements on your knees.
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  8. #8
    Juggernaut Avila's Avatar
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    When my left knee used to act up... leg extensions used to make it worse.
    Right now my knees are better and leg extensions do not bother me.

    IF u have previous knee issues, do not lock your knees during leg extensions... stop a few inches before locking out and then lower the weight.

    I wouldnt max on a leg extension machine...

    make sure you work out your hamstrings, muscle inbalances can put your knees at risk.

    just my 2 cents
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  9. #9
    Overtraining... heidt410's Avatar
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    they arent bad...but they can put a lot of stress on your ACL/PCL at the top of the rep. When your leg is fully extended, the tibia will slide downward from the femur. As long as you dont fully extend, the bones wont be pulled away from each other. If you limit the ROM to about 85-90%, they are very safe and still effective.
    Last edited by heidt410; 02-02-2008 at 11:40 AM.
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  10. #10
    Registered User MaynardtheBeast's Avatar
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    I think it's a personal preference thing. I tore my ACL 2 times in the same knee playing football in High School, but leg extensions don't bother me too much. You have to listen to your body. If it hurts, then don't do it. I think that's what it really comes down to, listening to your body and how it responds to certain excercises. But if it does bother you that much, just don't do it. There are other excercises you can do in substitute for leg extensions, i.e Deadlifts, Step ups, lunges, etc.
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  11. #11
    Registered User labradarep's Avatar
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    Cool

    Leg ext are useful in certain circumstances.

    They can however be quite harmful. They are an open kinetic chain movement( meaning your foot moves through space and is not planted/fixed on the ground/surface). This does cause a lot of torque at the knee joint with no stability below the knee. IMO you should only use them at the end of a Quad dominant day when your quads are fatigued & you have to decrease the intensity(load) OR very light sets for warm up.

    Their are a lot of better exercises that give you the same results with less stress on your knee joint.
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  12. #12
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    Cool Lower the Weight

    After going through ACL reconstruction my doctor as well told me not to do leg extensions when I questioned him about it I was allowed to do them again well a few months after.

    Leg extensions cause an unnatural torque on your knee. the extension of your leg is not designed to lift weights but to simply kick out to run. doing these put stress on the your tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and even your meniscus. They are completely fine to do for warming up or doing as a stand alone exercise, but the problems come when people add too much weight to the machine.

    These should be done with a lighter weight which makes you work but doesn't make you grunt, snarl, or any other hard lifting crazy faces or noises we have all heard time and time again.
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  13. #13
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    What Labradarep said. The other thing to consider is that some machines (most of them, from what I know) start the movement in the pre-stretched position. With light(er) weight, that may not be a problem, but with a heavier weight, there's a lot of torque (for lack of a better word) at the very beginning, and over time, it can cause damage for some people. (Anecdotal, I know!). Krotos said the same thing.

    Many guys, when the weight gets heavy (that being relative) tend to "heave up" the weight at the outset--that's a lot of pressure on the tendons and cartilage right there. If you're going to do them, use a weight you can control, and either do light weights as a warmup, or go medium-heavy at the end of your workout and control the weight on the way down, and never let your knees travel too far back behind a 90-degree angle at the bottom. Form and control are the two keywords here.
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    Just out of interest, does all of this apply to the seated hamstring curl machine as well?
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  15. #15
    chasn w8t's like its pu$y Jamps's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    leg ext are as bad as you make them. As what was already said it's ok to do it for warmup since u won't be using much weight but if u wanna use it to actual develop ur quads then consider the following:

    1. Do it with a slow tempo (i.e. not explosive on the concentric, and don't emphasize the eccentric, so it would be 3-0-3, so take 2-3 secs to go up, the same going down, and don't pause at the bottom nor at the top so you can get that constant tension effect since u won't be squeezing at the top).

    2. Make it a Unilateral (single leg) exercise. So you're gonna wanna do it one leg at a time....DO IT

    3. Don't lock out or get too close to it. That is where the majority of the problem lies.

    4. Don't go below 8 reps. I've seen some people trying to damn near max out on these...lol silly kids. I usually try to keep mines around 12-15 and sometimes go a bit higher.


    Follow those 4 steps and u'll be able to reap the benefits of leg exts w/out putting urself at too much risk for injury
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  16. #16
    chasn w8t's like its pu$y Jamps's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jimbob27 View Post
    Just out of interest, does all of this apply to the seated hamstring curl machine as well?
    i've never really noticed anything written about it, yet at the same time i've never sought out info regarding it. But im almost positive that the same would not apply. If u don't want to take my word for it or think there is a slight risk then just simply follow the tips that i provided above since it would also apply.
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  17. #17
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    Originally Posted by Ironized View Post
    I agree, some do have problems with them many do not.Throw in a couple sets of 12-15 reps and if there's joint pain, or grinding, ditch them.
    I'm one of the ones who did suffer from knees problems while using leg extensions. I researched it and found that it is quite common. Even some pro bodybuilders won't do them, or if they do they'll just do light weights as a warm up or warm down.

    Since taking them out of my routine my knees are way better, and I am someone who puts a lot of focus on my legs. If anything they are slightly more developed than my upper body.

    If someone says "Leg extensions are fine" or "leg extensions are bad" they are basically just saying "...for me in my experience." Its down to the individual at the end of the day, but its true, leg extensions can cause problems for some people, and the reason is usually damage to knee joints as you're isolating muscles that aren't used to being isolated.
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  18. #18
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    NO it does not apply to leg curls

    Originally Posted by jimbob27 View Post
    Just out of interest, does all of this apply to the seated hamstring curl machine as well?
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  19. #19
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    Key is to warm them knees up alot before going heavy.
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  20. #20
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    If you have knee problems I'd say don't lock them out. Other than that, doubtful if there's no pre-existing condition.
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  21. #21
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    It seems most people are saying "leg extensions arnt bad for your knees" but does anyone have a study or something? I am really curious, I have never done them because of a torn cartilage and didnt want to risk it, its not a natural movement either. Just very curious.

    I know leg extensions are good for isolating the tear drop muscle (vastus medialis)
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    Lifting with Power allergic2rice's Avatar
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    I forgot where I read this (as usual)
    but basically leg extensions prevent the natural movement of the patella/knee and damages the joint. so basically ur knees aren't allowed to move naturally as in a squat.
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    Registered User MoonWalker0's Avatar
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    this is a good topic to discuss

    i usually use them in a pre-exhaust with the leg press/squats:

    going to failure on leg press for 8-12 reps and then moving straight away to the leg press/squats
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    Originally Posted by LL SquatButt J View Post
    leg ext are as bad as you make them. As what was already said it's ok to do it for warmup since u won't be using much weight but if u wanna use it to actual develop ur quads then consider the following:

    1. Do it with a slow tempo (i.e. not explosive on the concentric, and don't emphasize the eccentric, so it would be 3-0-3, so take 2-3 secs to go up, the same going down, and don't pause at the bottom nor at the top so you can get that constant tension effect since u won't be squeezing at the top).

    2. Make it a Unilateral (single leg) exercise. So you're gonna wanna do it one leg at a time....DO IT

    3. Don't lock out or get too close to it. That is where the majority of the problem lies.

    4. Don't go below 8 reps. I've seen some people trying to damn near max out on these...lol silly kids. I usually try to keep mines around 12-15 and sometimes go a bit higher.


    Follow those 4 steps and u'll be able to reap the benefits of leg exts w/out putting urself at too much risk for injury
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    Registered User kickaaa's Avatar
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    well, yes only if you have a serious knee joint problem. you injured your knee before?

    i think a machine leg extension is even much softer than a deadlift or squat, coz you're not directly applying weights and increase pressure to your knee joint, in leg extension, your knee joint is only acting as a pivot point + handling little bit of pressure from pivoting.

    u get pain from leg extension? it's ok to continue if you're not suffering say from each reps, just make sure your knees are at the same level of the machine pivot and you'll be fine.

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