If you’re interested in some powerful alternatives to the glute-ham raise exercise, then we’ve got you covered with that too. What’s great about this exercise is how straightforward they are to execute. Main Muscles Worked: Quadriceps, Gluteus Max, Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius, Low Back. ), TOP 15 Best Power Racks & Squat Racks for Home Garage Gym Reviewed 2021, TOP 15 Best Ab Workout Machines for Your Home Gym Reviewed 2021, TOP 10 Best Plyometric Boxes (Plyo Jump Boxes) Reviewed in 2021. 6 Leg Extension Alternatives Focused on Improving and Maintaining Muscle Function. Much like the leg extension requires this constant tension in the quads, the side lunges will also keep the pressure on. The leg extension will work on the muscles within your legs only and nowhere else. Holding it at the level of your collar bone, squat down, maintaining your narrow stance to get the most out of your quads. One of the causes that leg extension is so common is how easy it is to do for everyone from most well-advanced athletes to a (1 st )first-timer. Of course, it goes without saying that this exercise isn’t entirely beginner-friendly. The weighted Bulgarian split squat is a tough leg extension alternative that will help you build quads of steel. Leg Extension Free-Weight Alternatives (Quads) The leg extension machine was designed to isolate and overload the quads. This alternative for the leg extension also happens to be one of the best out there for building huge quads and doing most of what the leg extension does for those muscles. Squats, split squats, lunges and step-ups — functional movements — can replace leg extensions. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. AlternativeTo is a free service that helps you find better alternatives to the products you love and hate. The high-impact force may hurt your joints. It can be done on really any surface – a box, bench, or even sturdy chair – and can be done with no resistance, dumbbells, kettlebells, or a barbell. I personally love this exercise, since it doesn’t require a series of static movements, but is rather a dynamic move that’ll help you develop quads that even Arnold Schwarzenegger would be proud of. You will be lying in a reclined position, with the weight on your back and your feet on a platform. Hip Extensions; 2. This exercise alternative to machine leg extensions offers a more functional workout than it’s machine version. Unlike a lot of other exercises, this one will have you moving around, which at least for me keeps it entertaining. Why leg curl alternative workouts? It can build incredibly defined quads and form a big part of your leg day routine. If you have doubts about this one, first try to complete a bodyweight squat with the plate following the same instructions, and honestly, this can be an effective exercise in itself too. Adding or removing resistance from the sissy squat is not so easy. All that’s required is a dumbbell and a spare weight plate. Spending too much on leg machines, such as the leg curl and leg extension station, is not an efficient or effective way to train. Garagegympower is reader-supported. TOP 13 Best Brooks Running Shoes Reviewed 2021 (Run in Comfort), TOP 17 Best Kettlebells Reviewed + Buying & Workout Guide for 2021, Reebok Nano X vs Nike React Metcon 5 AMP Review (Which Is Best? It can be anything from a short box all the way up to a weight bench. Hamstring Walk Outs; 6. The bodyweight leg extension is an excellent substitute for the machine leg extension and will yield similar results in terms of isolating and strengthening the quad muscles. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. While it might not be the most functional lift, as the machine does most of the balance and stabilization work for you, it does really force you to work on your quadriceps. The quads are underworked in a lot of exercises in favor of the glutes and hamstrings, so the leg extension is a fantastic way of strengthening your quads and making sure you develop your leg muscles evenly. The addition of the barbell allows for more core activation and will increase potential quad gains. Kneeling down on the floor, slowly bend backwards with arms stretched out in front of you until you feel the tension in your quads. To correctly do the side lunge exercise, you’ll want to crouch down, like you see the guy in the video, and slowly lunge to one side as if you were marking someone in slow motion during a game of soccer. Free-Weight Substitute/Alternative To: Leg Extensions, Plate-Loaded Hack Squat, Leg Press, Selectorized Horizonal Leg Press, Glute Kickbacks. Step one leg onto the platform, making sure your entire foot is on top. These are great for not just your quadriceps, but your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back as they force you to be stable and flexible in your lower body. Answered by Dr. Peter Ihle: It depends on what U: … Perform a squat as you normally would, and be prepared to feel some serious burn in your quads when you get to the bottom of the squat. If you’ve got an upper-body workout next up on the agenda though, make sure you check out these fantastic cable crossover machine alternatives. If you still want to do leg extensions but don’t want to expose your knees to so much shearing force, this exercise provides a viable alternative. Using the machine can put pressure on your knees and worsen the pain. To do the weighted Bulgarian split squat, you’re going to stand in front of a bench or other raised platform, and place your back foot on it. Kettlebells vs Dumbbells – Which is Better? Take this 4 question quiz and find out a full set of customized equipment for your home gym under 1 minute! Lunges are a great leg extension alternative because they are … Stability Ball Hamstring Curls; 7. So, it can be difficult to come up with the leg extension alternatives. The side lunge is another simple exercise like the front and reverse lunge which will work several muscles in the legs. With your rear foot stable on the platform, you squat down with the front leg and then rise up. I live overseas (China, to be exact) in a very small community that doesn't have a decent gym. Step one foot back and lower yourself into a one-legged squat, making sure to put it far enough away from your body to feel the tension in the quads. Just curious as to a favourite substitute for leg extensions (if any)? Leg Extension Alternative Exercises. Yes, the classic sissy squat is a leg extension where the hips are extended. Some of these lifts involve the hamstrings and glutes more than the leg extension, but the primary muscle group used is the quadriceps. Since it isn’t a compound exercise and focuses on the quads, you don’t have to worry about burnout preventing you from doing this exercise. Similar to the leg press, the further in front of your body that you place your feet, the more work your hamstrings and glutes will do. Even though you can perform bodyweight leg extensions while seated or standing, the most effective way to perform the exercise is by adopting a raised plank position. They will work similar muscles while forcing you to use others, such as your core, for stabilization. Leg Extension Alternatives. Whether you don’t have access to a machine or if you would just like a more functional exercise, any of the movements below can serve as a good replacement. Leg extension alternatives engage more leg muscles, like the glutes and hamstrings. Most of the bodybuilders are not aware of leg extension alternatives they can easily carry out at home. To do the cyclist squat, first, place a weight plate on the floor, and pick up your barbell, holding it over your shoulders. Post: Home alternative to leg extensions? Plus it can give you some explosive power in the legs as you will need to generate enough force to push yourself up onto the bench. In order to get the most quad engagement from this exercise, make sure you use a lower bench or support platform. Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter for all the latest home gym reviews. The front squat requires you to hold your barbell in front of you, as opposed to on the backs of your shoulders. This leg extension alternative without a machine is perfect for building strong quads muscles, and a highly effective replacement as a result. He also loves putting mayo AND ketchup on the pizza for some reason! Then, slowly lower yourself down until your back knee almost touches the ground and your front leg is bent at 90 degrees, before returning to a standing position. Your elbows should be pointed down and just slightly out. It’s important though not to equate best with perfect. This is hugely important since many of us spend a lot of time in a sedentary position with our legs bent. A hack squat machine – Photo By: brett jordan. Side lunges are good for the quad muscles since you will use them almost exclusively as you move to one side, meaning they will be in constant use. Well, leg curl is the most commonly known workout for the hamstring, and people seem to have trouble finding other exercises for their legs online. These exercises can also be used as warmups for leg extensions performed on a weight machine, and they could help you to avoid any severe knee injuries. (Topic#5715) Anonymous 10-12-05 08:16 AM - Post# 151064 . The single leg Romanian deadlift is another great alternative hamsting exercise to leg curls. Its important not to put your knees under risk while doing leg exercises. How To do. Sign up below for FREE instant access to a report from jump expert Jacob Hiller on how to improve you vertical by 2-6 inches in 45 minutes! However, what can you do when for whatever reason you don’t have access to the leg extension machine? You will be lying in a reclined position, with the weight on your back and your feet on a platform. The best thing about this exercise is that one only needs a stable chair to perform it, unlike the leg extensions that require a bulky leg extension machine. If you have joint pain, do broad jumps with care. They are available from everyone to the beginner, to the gym veteran, and have benefits whatever level you’re at. We asked fitness professionals to suggest a few of their favorite alternatives for lunges next time you hit the weight room for legs day. Get FREE lifetime access to all downloadable guides and practical articles that over 7,000 members have already used and loved. The rear foot is also slightly elevated. One benefit of these is that you only need a set of dumbbells and does not require any special machines or other equipment. "does leg extension exercise bad for knees ? This leg extension alternative is fantastic for strengthening the quad muscles, while also hitting the glutes and hamstrings at the same time. 1. The leg extension is a stellar exercise that primarily targets the quads and also encourages healthy knees through working both extension and flexion. 7 Great Tricep Pushdown Alternatives for Your Workout, 7 Best Seated or Lying Leg Curl Alternatives. Then slowly raise yourself back up for one rep. As well as targeting the quads, you’ll also get a great workout for your hamstrings and glutes with the side lunge. Leg extension … Reverse Lunge. The site is made by Ola and Markus in Sweden, with a lot of help from our friends and colleagues in Italy, Finland, USA, Colombia, Philippines, France and contributors from all over the world. What makes the front squat a valid alternative to the leg extension though, is how by regular sets of the squat you will surely develop big quads over time. Check out these alternatives instead! This is also a great exercise to do when you have a spare minute at home or in a hotel room – minus the barbell if you don’t have one lying around. The setup for this exercise is relatively straightforward. Sumo Squat to Stand; 5. You might not agree after 30 seconds of this though, as it will tire you out quicker than you think. ... My assumption is people avoid leg extensions all together, or simply don't go to full extension. Sliding Leg Curls ; 13. Many of these exercises are just as effective at working out the big muscle groups in the legs as the leg extension, so you can do the same challenging leg day workout as you would with the machine. If your gym has one, the hack squat machine can be a great alternative to leg extensions. Step ups are one of the best exercises to mimic the emphasis on the quads that a leg extension machine does. This is a simple, but powerful exercise, as you can see in the video below. His tutorials, guides, and reviews are backed up by his own experience and will definitely help you achieve your goals. Learn more. However, if you are going to use weights, you can let your back leg hover in the air so that you don’t accidentally launch the dumbbells into a wall. The squat is universally recognized as one of the best leg exercises you can do and can help you build a solid foundation. It … This move combines a squat and full extension of your lower body, making it a great leg press alternative. Push through your heel as you step your other leg up and lift the knee. I challenge you to try this exercise and tell me it isn’t as hard, if not harder than using the leg extension machine. The weighted step up is a solid, easy to perform movement which requires a pair of dumbbells and a bench. Lunges . 01.) The leg extension machine works solely on the leg muscles. These leg curl alternatives boast innumerable benefits and the most prominent ones include; They are also one of the most common lower body exercises you will see performed in a gym, because they are so simple and effective. There are several reasons you may be looking for a leg extension alternative, including: Injury recovery Injury prevention To avoid the overdevelopment of the quadriceps. These exercises are great “closers” to end your leg workout on. You can either alternate legs or perform all of your reps with one leg and then rotate. The video below shows what good hack squat technique looks like. You can also perform this leg extension alternative as a bodyweight movement too, should you not have access to weights. ... As you can see, there are several alternatives to a leg curl machine that does not require you to go to the gym. Why is it worth seeking alternatives to the leg extension in the first place? Leg extensions are isolation exercises that target your quadriceps, generally performed with the aid of a leg extension machine. What makes this exercise stand out from other leg exercises is how it manages to isolate the quad muscle in a way not many do. While fatiguing muscular fibers in the quads is guaranteed on the leg extension machine, that same recruitment can be possible through split stance loaded variations such as the lunge or split squat. Due to the isolation of the leg extension, you will be working the patellar ligament of the knee, which is great for maintaining knee strength and keeping it healthy. Building a Home Gym on a Budget? If you incorporate just a couple of these leg extension alternatives into your future leg days, I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results! TOP 9 Leg Press Alternatives & Exercises You Can Do at Home, The Best Non-GHD Glute Ham Raise Alternatives to Ensure You Crush Leg Day, Leg Press vs Leg Extension – Where to Place Them in Your Workout, Cyber Monday & Black Friday Fitness Equipment Deals 2021. Not to be confused with the lateral lunge, which is essentially like a front lunge but to the side, the side lunge is an exercise that will have you getting a real sweat on. If you haven’t tried these before, begin with a very light weight and low surface and make sure you have spotters around to help if you get into trouble. (I wouldn't trust the worn-out equipment in the one gym in town!) If you’re not quite convinced that the leg extensions benefits outweigh the risks, we get it, but that doesn’t mean your quads have to miss out. For this lift, you will need some sort of platform to place your back foot on during the movement. But for multiple reasons, the standing leg extension is the better option. This alternative for the leg extension can be done at home, providing you have a chair, … Unfortunately, this movement is not a very natural movement, and it’s also known to be quite hard on the knees. As you can see, you simply step up onto the surface with one leg and then return to the lowered position. While these come in many different shapes and sizes, the basic layout is the same. These can also be done with dumbbells, kettlebells, or a barbell. 1. Resistance bands, dumbbells or body weight can be used to strengthen these muscles. The bodyweight version can, of course, be done anywhere, whereas the weighted variation will require a barbell or a pair of dumbbells. The cyclist squat, or quad squat, is another leg extension alternative. This is also key because strength, power, endurance and joint-protection are all overlap, so a variety of … Like regular lunges, they can be done with no resistance or with dumbbells, kettlebells, or a barbell on your back. This machine requires you to lift your lower legs by extending your knees against weighted resistance from a seated position. What can you do if you’re at home or in a hotel room but still need that intense leg workout? You can use the following leg extension alternatives to create a productive leg day routine, or you can take individual exercises and incorporate them into existing workout circuits. This is one of the few movements that has no true free-weight alternative.