Leg extensions aren't necessarily bad. The crazy thing about the above answer is that Brad says that leg extensions are clearly dangerous, as the research shows, that they caused increased shear forces at the knee, an increased ACL strain and, are not as safe as closed chain exercises but, if you have a healthy joint and do them properly he sees no “increased risk”. On the contrary leg extensions are actually one of the safer exercises you can do if you have bad knees. Please read and follow the rules of every single exercise you do, and if you are still not certain, ask a Professional for help. The leg extension has been given a bad rap by doctors who say it destroys the knees. Whether this is a good or bad exercise for you depends on how you do the exercise and the status of your back. Air squats are one of my favorites now as I get a good leg workout along with continued cardiovascular conditioning. I imagine they don’t know. Stress can be calculated by dividing force by area. But are leg extensions really bad? This results into ripped muscles and tendons. One-leg leg press. Answered by Dr. Peter Ihle: It depends on what U: … 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. Strength coaches say they will cause your knees to explode and cripple you. 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. Meaning, how they tend to be done is problematic. 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. Squats, leg extensions, hamstring curls & calf raises. Always keep a slight bend in your knees. Are Lower Back Extension Machines Good or Bad?. You sit on the machine with a weighted pad on top of your lower legs. In natural motions, such as squats and lunges, there is very shearing force on the knee. Bodybuilders love them for quad building. Some rightfully disdain leg extensions since they can harm the knees. There's probably some truth to both, and obviously it depends on your body, and your goals. 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. - BUILD MUSCLE & STRENGTH! They are usually performed using a leg-extension machine, where you sit on a chair and lift a weight bar using your quadriceps muscle. 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. They also work the muscles less well than a compound exercise. I recently did an interview with my friend and colleague, Nick Tumminello about the pros and cons of the leg extension. Strong legs and glutes are key to athletic performance. Leg presses don’t allow for many variations, but there are a few ways to mix things up. Leg extensions are done on a leg extension machine. These are done by using a leg extension machine and sitting in the seat with your feet hooked under the padded lever. Even outside of rehab, many people will be able to … They don't build as much mass as squats, but squats can be extremely painful if you have bad knees. Like a really high bridge that’ll cripple them out of the industry so they can’t regurgitate bad advice anymore. Doctors usually advise against machine leg extensions when someone has knee problems, but seated leg extensions are totally safe. They are by no means a mass builder. Yes, leg extensions are bad for your knee and ACL. Watch out not to extend your legs fully straight. Raise the weight with your legs until they are pointing straight out in … Then you use your … Not to mention squats, lunges, split squats, leg press, and other compound lifts work your quads better. 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. So I recently read an online article on Men's Health about machines that are more harmful than helpful. Seated Leg Extensions. Never start a 400 pound leg press without warming up with lighter weights first. Without a doubt, the leg extension debate is one of the most heated in the fitness industry today. "does leg extension exercise bad for knees ? FULL 12 WEEK PUSH, PULL, LEGS PROGRAM! But if you're experiencing leg press knee pain while lifting, it might be time to check your technique. and what machines to avoid in gym as not to increase knee pain ?" Leg Extensions: Good or Bad? 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. Not going light will chop up the meniscus at lock out and cause tracking issues etc.. I recommend doing one or two warm-up sets of leg extensions before starting any other leg exercise. Keep the weight fairly light and complete 20 to 30 slow, controlled reps. Actually, no. One word of caution though. Instead, the problem is usually in application. “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? Functional Benefits of the Lying Leg Curl and Seated Hip Adduction Exercise. 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 … 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. If that were the case, how would we be able to poop? I’m obviously kidding, well partially, but the point I’m getting at is the leg extension has always been innocent. Never squat 200 - 300 pounds without doing some warm-up sets first. Yes, leg extensions can cause knee pain. The bottom part of the Leg Extension is where the Shear Force is the greatest. So, what are the worst exercise for your knees? 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. Repeat this movement several times and do the same number of reps for each leg. With that said, Leg Extensions … This exercise alone saved me from having diminutive legs on stage for my first show. 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. 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. I do not recommend that exercise. This causes shearing forces on the knees, which means the force is … Squats were supposed to be bad for the knees. Leg Extensions: Good or Bad? Are Leg Extensions a Viable Exercise? 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. Leg extensions are arguably one of the most popular leg exercises for strengthening the quadriceps (thigh) muscle. Squatting is a very natural movement pattern that we must all be able to do. Most gyms have some type of back extension equipment, be it a Roman chair or a larger machine with attached weight stack. Like almost all exercises that get labelled as ‘bad,’ they aren’t really bad. 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. The Sissy Squat; Very Heavy Leg Extensions; You may have never heard of Sissy squats, and I’m glad you haven’t. 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. 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. Stick to quad exercises where you also move through your hips. 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. Leg extensions were supposed to be good for the knees. The knee was not designed to have horizontal force applied to it. Time and place, as with most exercises. The leg extension is like that kid in High School who sits in … There is rarely such a thing as a bad exercise. 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