Unanswered Looking for alternatives to leg extensions

u_e_s_i

u_e_s_i

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Could you guys recommend any isolated alternatives to leg extensions?

My knees have been bothering me and I’d like to switch things up a bit
 
Ptlhains

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Leg extensions are the worst thing you can do to your knees. Squat and lung / split squat. Never leg extension again and if you have to do leg press (sigh)- put your feet up high.
 
Smont

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Leg extensions are the worst thing you can do to your knees. Squat and lung / split squat. Never leg extension again and if you have to do leg press (sigh)- put your feet up high.
Leg exts cause zero pain or stress on my knees at any weight I can do at least 10 reps on. There's no exercise that's bad for everyone.

To op. I like close foot leg press low on the platform. You can also do leg ext for high reps and never go to full stretch or lockout. Just constant tension and pump them full of blood then go do squats
 
EMPIREMIND

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Mostly all presses are more quad dominant. But these guys have given you some solid suggestions. Low and narrow foot placement on leg presses are nasty. Also look in extreme stretching for your quads.
 
jtmass

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If your gym has a front squat machine, try slow reps on them with heavy weights.
 
rob112

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I’ve been questioning lately how much leg extensions really help tbh. I do like the feel of how they can pump up the quads but I don’t know how valuable they actually are Vs a lot of what is mentioned in here.
 
EMPIREMIND

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I’ve been questioning lately how much leg extensions really help tbh. I do like the feel of how they can pump up the quads but I don’t know how valuable they actually are Vs a lot of what is mentioned in here.
They can do a whole lot for hypertrophy, but they aren’t for everyone.
 
Ptlhains

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Leg exts cause zero pain or stress on my knees at any weight I can do at least 10 reps on. There's no exercise that's bad for everyone.

To op. I like close foot leg press low on the platform. You can also do leg ext for high reps and never go to full stretch or lockout. Just constant tension and pump them full of blood then go do squats
Talk to me when your 50 lol and any professional and they will agree with me. Just cause u dont feel it does not mean it is not chomping at your meniscus. To each their own.
 
EMPIREMIND

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Talk to me when your 50 lol and any professional and they will agree with me. Just cause u dont feel it does not mean it is not chomping at your meniscus. To each their own.
Half of the things I could do ten years ago with the weights I used and without any pain, I just cringe at nowadays... you have a very solid point my man
 
Smont

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Talk to me when your 50 lol and any professional and they will agree with me. Just cause u dont feel it does not mean it is not chomping at your meniscus. To each their own.
I know plenty of guys older then that still do them with no problems. Ive been doing them for 20 years myself
 
Resolve10

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Talk to me when your 50 lol and any professional and they will agree with me. Just cause u dont feel it does not mean it is not chomping at your meniscus. To each their own.
I know plenty of professionals who would take things in a case by case basis...

I know plenty of guys older then that still do them with no problems. Ive been doing them for 20 years myself
I’m not an old guy myself but in my anecdotal experience I know plenty “older” trainees with no issues.

Bothers some people, but not all.

I’d add I don’t do them personally, but I prefer torture via lunges, step ups, etc.
 
Smont

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I know plenty of professionals who would take things in a case by case basis...



I’m not an old guy myself but in my anecdotal experience I know plenty “older” trainees with no issues.

Bothers some people, but not all.

I’d add I don’t do them personally, but I prefer torture via lunges, step ups, etc.
Spot on. Some ppl it kills. Some ppl no problems. No shoe fit everyone.
 
EMPIREMIND

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Well I respect your opinion as you seem to have a lot knowledge in training. I’ll keep them in
If you do them try to do them last. For hypertrophy training I learned from mountaindog and after implementing I am a big believer in doing isolation hamstring work before my compound leg lifts, then once I have gone through maybe two compounds for legs maybe throw in some leg Extensions with maybe a drop set and some partials. The hamstring work takes the stress off the knees, and by the time you are 3-4 exercises into your workout, the leg extensions don’t bother my knees as much and I can really hammer them without pain at my joints. I think a lot of people go wrong doing leg extensions as a warmup, or before effectively training the hamstrings. Since moving things around I have wayyy less knee pain that I ever used to.
 
AntM1564

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For the past month, leg extensions have been hurting my knees. I played with the back pad and moved it back one notch and it helped so much. I think the way the machine was set up when I had the pain caused the issue. I think my knees were going to far back and now, they don't extend behind me. Try to play around with the positioning of the machine.
 
Matthersby

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Leg exts cause zero pain or stress on my knees at any weight I can do at least 10 reps on. There's no exercise that's bad for everyone.

To op. I like close foot leg press low on the platform. You can also do leg ext for high reps and never go to full stretch or lockout. Just constant tension and pump them full of blood then go do squats
All true here.
Extensions are done wrong, that’s the main issue with them. If you have meniscus tears like I do, heavy ones aren’t advised.
But the biggest issue is ROM. Hyperextending and then on the other end going to almost parallel are trash for your knees.
I don’t come close to locking out and if my rep range is 15 or more, I have zero problems with them. They are a pumping movement
 
rob112

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If you do them try to do them last. For hypertrophy training I learned from mountaindog and after implementing I am a big believer in doing isolation hamstring work before my compound leg lifts, then once I have gone through maybe two compounds for legs maybe throw in some leg Extensions with maybe a drop set and some partials. The hamstring work takes the stress off the knees, and by the time you are 3-4 exercises into your workout, the leg extensions don’t bother my knees as much and I can really hammer them without pain at my joints. I think a lot of people go wrong doing leg extensions as a warmup, or before effectively training the hamstrings. Since moving things around I have wayyy less knee pain that I ever used to.
That actually makes a ton of sense ma man. Thanks for dropping some knowledge on me
 
jswain34

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All true here.
Extensions are done wrong, that’s the main issue with them. If you have meniscus tears like I do, heavy ones aren’t advised.
But the biggest issue is ROM. Hyperextending and then on the other end going to almost parallel are trash for your knees.
I don’t come close to locking out and if my rep range is 15 or more, I have zero problems with them. They are a pumping movement
This is the ticket. I forget why scientifically but a max ROM of like 150 degrees (just never to full extension) is recommended. And also like someone else noted its best to keep them light for reps of 12-20+. Studies have show they activate the rectus femoris far more than squats or any other quad movement for that matter, so they definitely do help with isolating that bad boy.
 
EMPIREMIND

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This is the ticket. I forget why scientifically but a max ROM of like 150 degrees (just never to full extension) is recommended. And also like someone else noted its best to keep them light for reps of 12-20+. Studies have show they activate the rectus femoris far more than squats or any other quad movement for that matter, so they definitely do help with isolating that bad boy.
Yep
 

btothefman

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Leg exts cause zero pain or stress on my knees at any weight I can do at least 10 reps on. There's no exercise that's bad for everyone.

To op. I like close foot leg press low on the platform. You can also do leg ext for high reps and never go to full stretch or lockout. Just constant tension and pump them full of blood then go do squats
Was thinking similar, whatever legs exercise is out there for quads (Google) but the key being never lockout.

See young blokes at the gym always doing massive weights on the leg press machine and locking out, I can watch for a rep or two but then need to look away.

Just need to see some YouTube videos on what can happen when you put your knees and tendons under a weight that they were never designed to handle to never lockout again.
 
EMPIREMIND

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For the past month, leg extensions have been hurting my knees. I played with the back pad and moved it back one notch and it helped so much. I think the way the machine was set up when I had the pain caused the issue. I think my knees were going to far back and now, they don't extend behind me. Try to play around with the positioning of the machine.
This is great point. Something basic like this can make a world of difference. Also you will find that based on how you set up in the machine you can target the quad muscles differently.
 

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