Leg extensions are a type of resistance exercise that primarily targets the muscles in the front of the thigh, specifically the quadriceps. This exercise is typically performed using a leg extension machine, which is commonly found in gyms.

Adjust the machine:

  • Set the machine according to your body size and the range of motion you’re comfortable with. Adjust the backrest and the seat so that your knees align with the axis of the machine.

Position Yourself:

  • Sit on the machine with your back against the backrest and your feet secured under the padded bar.
  • Ensure that your knees are in line with the machine’s axis, and your feet are hanging freely.


  • Grasp the handles on the sides of the machine for support.
  • Lift the weight by extending your knees until your legs are almost straight but without locking your knees.
  • Hold the fully extended position for a brief moment, focusing on contracting your quadriceps.

Lowering the Weight:

  • Slowly lower the weight back to the starting position, controlling the movement.


  • Keep your back against the backrest throughout the exercise to maintain proper form.
  • Control the movement both when lifting and lowering the weight to avoid jerky motions.
  • Avoid fully locking your knees at the top of the movement to maintain tension on the muscles.

Muscles Targeted:

  • Primary: Quadriceps (rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius)


  • Isolation of the quadriceps muscles.
  • Strengthening the knee joint.
  • Improving muscle definition in the front of the thigh.

It’s important to note that while leg extensions can be beneficial for targeting the quadriceps, they should be performed with proper form and moderation to avoid potential stress on the knee joint. Always consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider before starting a new exercise routine, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions or concerns.

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