8 Alternatives to Leg Extension Exercises

Leg Extension Exercises: What are they?

The exercise consists of bending your knees and raising them up while keeping your back straight. It’s a simple yet effective way to strengthen the muscles in the legs. However, it isn’t suitable for everyone due to its high risk of injury. There are several types of leg extensions exercises available online or offline, but which one is best for you depends on your goals and fitness level.

How do I choose the right leg extension exercise?

There are many different types of leg extensions exercises, so choosing the right one for you will depend on your needs. You need to consider how much weight you want to lift, how long you plan to perform it for, and other factors such as whether you’re new to performing these exercises or have done them before.

For example, if you want to build muscle mass, then leg extensions would not be the best choice. They may even cause injuries. If you want to lose fat and tone up your body, however, they could be beneficial.

If you’re just starting out with leg extensions and don’t mind getting injured doing them, then go for a low-risk type like the plank or side bend. If you’re more of an expert, the curl and press may be better.

What are the types of leg extension exercises?

There are many different types of leg extension exercises, some more high-risk than others. The type you choose should be based on several factors such as your fitness level, your goals, and other personal preferences.

The easiest types to start with are the lower-risk exercises like the plank or side bend. The harder ones to try are the curl and press, which are very challenging.

Here is a closer look at all of the leg extension exercises you can do:

1. Plank

The plank is a type of leg extension exercise in which you lie face down on the floor with your forearms parallel to each other and your legs stretched out behind you. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your feet. Hold this position and lift your legs up at the same time. The whole process should take around five seconds, and then you can put your legs back down.

This type of extension is great for people with lower-risk injuries since it doesn’t put pressure on the knees. It’s also a low-risk exercise since it can be done by anyone who is able to perform it correctly.

2. Side bend

The side bend is a type of leg extension exercise that involves bending to the side while lying down on the floor. This exercise works out the muscles in your legs and hips and is great for increasing flexibility. It’s also beneficial for strengthening your core.

First, lie down on one side with your legs stretched out in front of you and your arms by your sides. Then, bend your upper body toward the floor without raising your hips or knees off of it.

This exercise is fairly easy and doesn’t place much pressure on the knees, but it could cause issues with your lower back.

3. Curl and press

The curl and press is a combination of both leg extension and arm curls. It involves lifting your upper body off the floor while doing curls with both arms at the same time. This is one of the more challenging types of leg extension exercises.

For this type of exercise, you will start in a position similar to the plank but with your arms by your sides instead of out in front. Then, lift your upper body up and perform curls with both of your arms at the same time. Hold this position for a few seconds before lowering your body and arms back to their original positions.

This exercise works out all of the muscles in your upper body, but it is more difficult and less stable than other types of leg extension exercises. You may want to practice with a spotter before doing this one alone.

You can also do this with one arm at a time to make it easier on your body.


Sources & references used in this article:

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The effects of spinal flexion and extension exercises and their associated postures in patients with acute low back pain. by JR Dettori, SH Bullock, TG Sutlive, RJ Franklin… – Spine, 1995 – europepmc.org

Apparatus for physical exercise by T Siwertz – US Patent 6,024,677, 2000 – Google Patents

Exercises for patients with knee osteoarthritis by RJ Petrella – The Physician and Sportsmedicine, 1999 – Taylor & Francis

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Effects on leg muscular performance from whole‐body vibration exercise: a systematic review by B Rehn, J Lidström, J Skoglund… – Scandinavian journal of …, 2007 – Wiley Online Library

Leg curl/leg extension weight training machine by GM Webb, MW Morris – US Patent 7,150,702, 2006 – Google Patents

Portable arm and leg exercise device utilizing a friction force resister by RF Stanley – US Patent 5,042,799, 1991 – Google Patents