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The controversy over leg extension machines

Stretching (34)

Professionals within the health trade are used to heated debates. We’re used to listening to researchers argue between dynamic and static stretching. We have heard a variety of opinions on the most effective methods to construct muscle: low weight, excessive reps or excessive weight, low reps. And the debates proceed. One in all these controversies entails using explicit weight machines frequent to many gyms. Are these machines a very good use of your time and power? Can any of those machines truly hurt your well being and health?

Leg extension machines are a controversial weight machine. These machines have a seat and a padded bar that relaxation on the junction of the leg and foot. As you lean again within the seat, you carry the legs till they’re virtually straight, then slowly let the legs come again down. The quantity of weight your legs are lifting could be adjusted.


Should you use one of these machine, you focus your lifting efforts in your quadriceps (the big muscle mass within the entrance thigh space), particularly the vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, and rectus femoris. Curiously, this machine permits the hamstrings to completely calm down whereas the quads do all of the work. Many avid weightlifters are drawn to this explicit machine as a result of they really feel that this isolation actually helps them spotlight every of the 4 muscle mass within the quadriceps. And naturally, when you’re judged in your physique whereas posing, you need main muscle definition. They’re proper about this isolation, however are leg extension machines a very good weightlifting alternative for the typical particular person?


I don’t assume so. In fact, as you’ll anticipate with any controversy or debate, there are completely different colleges of thought concerning leg extensions. Some say these machines are robust on the knees. Others say the machine has a standard rehabilitation technique for knee accidents or knee surgical procedure is the leg extension machine. How can each be true? I might counsel that utilizing leg extensions in a rehab environment works as a result of lightness is used to right muscle imbalances. But when we’re speaking concerning the typical particular person doing leg extensions on the machine in my health club, they are not lifting 5 or 10 kilos. Quite the opposite, they carry much more weight. Such a distinction in weight makes an enormous distinction with regards to how the knee is affected.

Different frequent critiques of the leg extension machine:

A situation often known as Chondrolmalcia Patella could be introduced on by the leg extension machine. This painful situation causes the usually fluid and clean arc of movement of the kneecap to twist and misalign it.


A 1988 examine discovered that pressure on the anterior cruciate ligament happens when weightlifters totally prolong their legs throughout the leg extension train. This rigidity might in the end trigger a tear. Tears usually require surgical procedure.

Many individuals have muscle imbalances as a result of they’re out of steadiness when it comes to hamstring energy versus quadriceps energy. This muscle imbalance can result in a bunch of knee issues.

However you may be considering, “What can I do instead of the leg extension machine?” Squats, when accomplished accurately, are the best possible train for strengthening the legs. Squats are the king of leg workout routines. Do not isolate your self by ignoring different muscle mass. Squats are additionally a purposeful train. Which means that they mimic the pure actions that individuals use all through their every day lives.

Use your health club time properly. Work all of these leg muscle mass directly whereas doing squats. Go away leg extension machines to skilled bodybuilders.



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