Exercise Plan – Leg Extension Machine Quadricep Workout

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 22,121
    Fitness expert Margie Weiss demonstrates quadricep exercises using a leg extension machine.

    Margie Weiss

    Margie Weiss has been in the fitness industry all of her life, having been a national gymnast as a child, and mother/trainer to three international athletes. Owner-coach of MG Gymnastics, her team produced international stars for 15 years. Former owner of 2 Gold's Gym franchises, Margie is also a certified personal trainer, specializing in youth sports conditioning. She has trained international athletes, including her children. Her son, Michael, is a 2-time US Olympic figure skater and 3-time US National Champion. Currently, she is GGX (Group exercise director & instructor) for 3 Gold's Gyms, where one of her programs boasts 500 classes per month; she supervises 175 instructors. Having published many articles in the fitness field, she enjoys seeing progress in each of her participants. But the things that makes her most proud of the lives she has affected are her 5 grandchildren, all of whom live very close. Seeing their smiles makes every day worth smiling about!

    Margie Weiss: My name is Margie Weiss, and this is a quad video. Following up on what we are doing with squats on the floor, this machine is called the leg extension. Now some of you won t have access to a gym, but if you do, every gym has a leg extension machine, whether it s a free weight, whether weights can come off and on or whether it s a stack.

    Most gyms have the leg extension, very basic exercise. What we are going to do on this exercise ,generally the machines angle back which is not necessarily a good thing, because if you do lean back, you are going to put a lot of pressure on your lower back .

    Your legs which are really strong, you may have a lot of weight here and by lifting up and down with your back in this position, it s a lower back muscles are very small and so they can get injured because of a heavy weights that your quad cant take. So, instead of arching back, just lift up and lean forward. You are going to tuck your belly to your backbone, that way you can grab either the edge of the machine or some of them will have, little handles here which you can grab. That way your back is rounded, we have disengaged the back, so that only the quad muscles are working.

    And what Janice is going to do here; her feet are pointed straight up and she just lifting and lowering. It s a smooth slow action, it s not jerky, cabalistic, it s very smooth up and it s very smooth at down. Lot of the work is also done on the return. So you want to make sure that you can control it, as the legs come up you are breathing out because that s the hard part as the legs come down you breathing in. So you want to keep this exercise nice and smooth, her legs are not completely locked at any point, she s just moving smoothly up and down. Most people, you want to get between ten and twenty of these, so that depending on how much weight you have will determine how far you can go.

    You may start to feel the lactic acid build up, the burn in your like that s not a bad thing that something that you need in order to get that muscle to work.

    Different positions, Janice can turn her toes outwards or inwards, if she is got them out; she is now working a little bit more of the inner thigh, just like we did on the ground. Same exercise just accents a different part of the quad muscle, if she turns her toes inwards, she is going to get the edge on the outside, and if you put your hand on it, you can actually feel that muscle, it s the one that we liked to look good when wearing pants, so that pigeon toed one is a good one.

    Somethings that people have problems with when they are doing leg extensions or squats, they complain that their knees are sour. So this is a good exercise to keep your knees in shape. The tendons that attach the quad muscle to the knees are not as strong as the quad muscle. So lot of times, they will get inflamed. So the way we can help that to build up the tendons is to rather than doing a full leg extension, we can do what s called the pulse. So, what we are going to do is we are going to bring that bar to the top and we just going to go down a little bit so it s like half way and lift, half way and lift. You are going to do 20 of those then you are going to go half way down, not all the way, so half way down still tight, then come up again, pulsing another 20. Very light weights because, you want to do five sets of 20 with a pause halfway and coming back up. Once you can do a 100, then you can add a little bit of weight. You are still getting some quad but you are going to feel it more in the knees, but because it s a very light weight, we are going to build up that muscle, we are not going to injure it. She can do on the pulses, just like she did on the main squats on the leg extensions, she can turn her toes inwards, she can turn her toes outwards that ascends the tendons on the inner and the outer part of knee and then as she comes down she wants to slowly bring it back down. So, for two small exercises, one with a leg extension and one with pulse, you can really get a full range of motion, a lot of squat work a lot of quad work on one machine.