These leg curl alternatives boast innumerable benefits and the most prominent ones include; Looking to isolate your quads without the leg extension machine? Lunges . You can also perform this leg extension alternative as a bodyweight movement too, should you not have access to weights. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. To do the cyclist squat, first, place a weight plate on the floor, and pick up your barbell, holding it over your shoulders. Much like the leg extension requires this constant tension in the quads, the side lunges will also keep the pressure on. This is one of the few movements that has no true free-weight alternative. 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. ... As you can see, there are several alternatives to a leg curl machine that does not require you to go to the gym. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window). To perform the barbell or bodyweight reverse lunge, start with your feet shoulder-width apart. The reverse lunge is a variation of the traditional lunge exercise that may put less stress on your knee. How To do. Kneel down on all fours with your shoulders over your hands and your hips over your knees. Make sure you bend your knees at the bottom of the movement and push through your heels to get back to a standing position. 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. It … 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. 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. 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. This is for the same reason you want a narrow stance with the cyclist squats we looked at earlier. The cyclist squat is named such since it is a killer quad exercise that will develop the muscles much like extended sessions of cycling would. 1. Step-ups are another great alternative but do need a chair or bench at a specific height. As well as targeting the quads, you’ll also get a great workout for your hamstrings and glutes with the side lunge. Unlike a lot of other exercises, this one will have you moving around, which at least for me keeps it entertaining. Another benefit of the leg extension exercise is how it can be used as a leg day finisher. Building a Home Gym on a Budget? However, what can you do when for whatever reason you don’t have access to the leg extension machine? Using the machine can put pressure on your knees and worsen the pain. This way the exercise will take more quad strength as the weight is on the front of your foot. 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. Why leg curl alternative workouts? The squat is universally recognized as one of the best leg exercises you can do and can help you build a solid foundation. Now, with your feet very close together, carefully step your heels up on to the plate, so that just your toes are on the floor. If your gym has one, the hack squat machine can be a great alternative to leg extensions. If you’re interested in some powerful alternatives to the glute-ham raise exercise, then we’ve got you covered with that too. There is also another way to perform this exercise with zero equipment. 01.) Finally, and perhaps the best reason for doing leg extensions, or alternatives, is the effect it can have on your quad muscles. Its important not to put your knees under risk while doing leg exercises. Try these exercises if you want to make everyday tasks easier. 6 Leg Extension Alternatives Focused on Improving and Maintaining Muscle Function. Cross one foot over the other … 5 Leg Machine Alternatives to Tone Your Legs The Path. However, the control it takes to hold the squat at the bottom then push back up will prove challenging. 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. 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. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. While this particular exercise isn’t as quad-intensive as the leg extension, it can still give them a great workout, while also targeting the glutes and hamstrings. This is a tricky lift for beginners as it requires excellent strength and balance. Alternating Reverse Lunges; 4. 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. That makes it a great movement to do at the end of your workout. One benefit of these is that you only need a set of dumbbells and does not require any special machines or other equipment. You can see what the exercise looks like in the video. Romanian Deadlifts ; 10. A difficult isolation exercise, this one shouldn’t be overlooked if you’re looking for an alternative leg extension exercise. (Topic#5715) Anonymous 10-12-05 08:16 AM - Post# 151064 . So, to help you out, here is a list of leg extension alternatives that will build you monster quads for sure. Spending too much on leg machines, such as the leg curl and leg extension station, is not an efficient or effective way to train. 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. Bulgarian Split Squats ; 11. The setup of this really isolates your quads better than almost any other exercise on this list. If you've proved the ability to dominate a static split squat and earned the right to progress, try the rear foot elevated split squat. This way, you can not only place more emphasis on the quads giving them more opportunity to grow through hypertrophy, but you can also give your core and arms a solid workout. Floor Hamstring Raises ; 12. Below are 5 of the best leg extension alternatives for your workout. 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. Step one leg onto the platform, making sure your entire foot is on top. The leg extension is a stellar exercise that primarily targets the quads and also encourages healthy knees through working both extension and flexion. It’s important though not to equate best with perfect. Garagegympower is reader-supported. Reverse Lunge. The ideal quad exercise would involve a leg extension machine that didn’t limit the range of motion at the knee, yet allows you to lean back enough so that all muscles were hit optimally around 90°. 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. Hamstring Walk Outs; 6. Hip Extensions; 2. We are a participant in the Amazon.com Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. All of them will work your quad muscles and most of them have added benefits of activating other muscle groups during the movement. 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. Best Leg Extension Machines 2021 with Reviews – Is it Really Worth it? I live overseas (China, to be exact) in a very small community that doesn't have a decent gym. You will be lying in a reclined position, with the weight on your back and your feet on a platform. This makes it ideal for home workouts and even makes it possible to use on the road if you’re staying in a hotel room. This leg extension alternative without a machine is perfect for building strong quads muscles, and a highly effective replacement as a result. 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. When you purchase through links in our articles, we may earn an affiliate commission. You might not agree after 30 seconds of this though, as it will tire you out quicker than you think. What’s more, the front squat encourages a narrower stance, which naturally turns the quads on and activates them more than a wider stance. Holding it at the level of your collar bone, squat down, maintaining your narrow stance to get the most out of your quads. Leg Extension Alternative Exercises. The video below shows what good hack squat technique looks like. 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. This is due to the fact that you have to keep your torso upright, and at the bottom of the squat, you will feel the burn in your quad muscles. Leg extension … These can also be done with dumbbells, kettlebells, or a barbell. 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. 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. 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