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Leg Extension Tips for Optimal Quad Development

Steve May 20, 2018


You know I’m the largest advocate for just getting active to achieve greater health & fitness results, but there eventually comes a time where just “exercising” isn’t enough. Such as when you’ve been working out for months, or even years and havn’t learned proper form or techinque to optimize the intended result. Too often I see people “miserable” with the effort they’re putting into their fitness routine, and not at all happy with the return on their investment. THIS IS ONLY FORM FOCUS, Not even touching base with intensity improvements.   I want to help people and prevent them from falling off or losing steam in their progress. The Leg Extension will be a great place to start as I’ve literally seen three gym goers before me today have lack luster form, it’s sometimes excruciating to watch. When I have the opportunity I WILL go out of my way to recommend and correct the technique in a conversation as I see it, but I can’t talk to everybody and I don’t have the time to disconnect from my own workout. So with the good fortune of my lovely wife, I was able to give a quick run down of where I see the biggest corrections in this BASIC move.

1. Assure the Pivot Point for the Knee Flexion is ON POINT: There’s a reason why the back pad is adjustable. Simply take 10 seconds and manipulate the seat so your knee lines up with the Joint Pivot Point. So many don’t even know what this is or why it’s there. This allows the appropriate torque on the knee in safe and effective way.

2. Position your Spine in a Nuetral Position: During the range of motion, keep your chest up proud and your shoulds back. This allows for a nuetral spine and optimal flexion of the entire quadriceps. Collapsing the chest, rolling the shoulders forward, or even leaning forward, prevents the mobility in the hip flexors. Just think, how can you create the longest elongation of the muscle and how can you provide the hardest contraction in the ROM.

3. Dorsi Flexion: Just a techincal term for flexing your ankles “up” and positoining your toes toward your shin. This again allows for optimal or shortest range of contraction. Is this harder then “toes down” (which I often see)? YES! Is it more effective? ABSOLUTELY

4. Optimize your Breathing: Ok, I know it’s obvious that we need to breathe during exercise, but so many people DON’T breathe consistently during their set. The Leg Extension is no exception. First and foremost, I am happy that a client or exciser is just simply Breathing in general during a movement :) But if you could breathe better to optimize oxygen flow within the body and muscle, should you? Yes. So, Exhale on the Concentric (shortening of the muscle) and Inhale on the Eccentric (lengthening of the muscle). Practice this breathing pattern on all intended muscle contractions.

These recommendations will help with much of your progress and if you know anyone falling victim to these common mishaps during their leg training, feel free to SHARE and save their misery. In good health…

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