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Gym Equipment Explained: Leg Extension Machine

I'm sure you've seen the Leg Extension Machine at the gym but what does it do, and how do you even begin to use it? Here's the rundown on the Leg Extension Machine.

What: The Leg Extension Machine is an exercise machine that you can use to build muscle in your legs and stronger knee joints.
Area of body it works: Quads, primarily.
Why: The leg extension machine has gotten a bad rep in recent years as being dangerous for the knee, but if done properly, it can be a very effective way of strengthening the quads.
How: To see how to use the machine, just


  • When seated, adjust the footpad so it rests on the lowest part of the shins (or higher up the leg to reduce stress on knees). Adjust the back of the pad so that your back is flat against it. Keep your abdominal muscles tight, knees bent and chest up. Select a weight that suits you.
  • Hold on to the handles on the sides of the machine and start the upward motion by extending your legs until your knees are straight, but not locked.
  • Then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position to complete one.
  • Do three sets of 10.


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