If you’re looking to build your quad muscles, leg extensions might be the best exercise for you.
What if it’s not, though, or worse, what if you’re injured and can’t do any leg extensions at all? Don’t worry. We’ve got some great exercises similar to leg extensions that can help you get those bulging quads without putting undue stress on the joints or tendons.
Best Exercises Similar to Leg Extension
Here’s a look at five such poses:
1) Goblet Squat
This is one of the best exercises similar to leg extensions. It’s designed for beginners who want to strengthen their quads but don’t have access to equipment like leg extension machines or leg press machines.
As such, it’s an excellent option if you’re looking for new exercises similar to leg extensions that can help you sculpt muscular quads without needing any equipment.
Perform this exercise 2-3 times per week after completing other lower body workouts such as squats or deadlifts so as not to overwork yourself on any one day. If the exercise causes pain or discomfort, reduce its frequency.
Do it as follows:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and hold a dumbbell vertically in front of you, with your palms facing in.
- Bend your knees, and lower your hips till the thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Press into the ground, and return to the starting position.
2) Barbell Lunge
This is one of the best exercises similar to leg extensions for quadriceps. It targets the quadriceps more than the leg extension without putting as much stress on the knees. In addition to building muscle mass, it also works the glutes, hamstrings, and calves.
When doing this exercise, make sure you keep proper form. Do the workout as follows:
- Keeping your back straight (i.e., don’t arch it). Having good posture throughout the exercise.
- Raise your butt up slightly when going down into the lunge so that you work out all areas of your legs equally.
3) Bulgarian Split Squat
The Bulgarian split squat is a great way to build up the quads and glutes and do one of the most popular exercises similar to leg extensions.
Do it as follows:
- Start with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Hold a kettlebell or dumbbell in each hand by your sides.
- Step back into a lunge so that the front foot lands on its toes, and the back foot lands flat on the floor, with the knee bent at 90 degrees.
- Lower down till both knees are bent at 90 degrees.
- Return to standing by pushing off through your front leg till you reach full extension of the hips and knees. Repeat on the other side.
4) Walking Lunge
The walking lunge is one the best exercises similar to leg extensions to strengthen the quadriceps. It also works with the hamstrings and glutes, so you can do it before your leg extension workout.
To perform a walking lunge:
- Start with your feet shoulder-width or wider apart.
- Step forward with one foot, bending both knees till the front thigh is parallel to the floor, and the back knee almost touches the ground (but don’t let it touch).
- Make sure that both feet are pointing straight ahead throughout the movement so that you don’t twist or turn at all during the exercise.
- Pause for a moment at this position before raising yourself back up using both legs to return to standing upright again in one fluid motion.
- Don’t raise one leg first and wait till it has reached its highest point before starting back down with the other leg. Keep moving constantly throughout the exercise.
- Repeat on the opposite side by stepping backward with the left foot followed by the right (or vice versa if preferred). Make sure not to lean forward too much towards either direction.
5) Single-Leg Deadlift
The single-leg deadlift is an excellent exercise for the quads and hamstrings, similar to leg extensions. It also boosts core stability, balance, and coordination.
The exercise works the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. The goal of the move is to keep the back straight at all times — don’t let it round forward or arch backward as you pick up and lower the weight over your feet.
Focus on keeping your core tight so that you don’t lose control of the weight during the movement. Keeping the chest up can also help keep good posture when you’re doing the exercise. Think about keeping the shoulders back and down while keeping the knees soft but not locked out (you should still be able to bend them slightly).
Don’t let gravity pull you forward. Stand tall with good posture throughout each repetition.
In conclusion, leg extensions are a great exercise to help build muscle in the quads. However, it can be difficult for some if they have knee pain or other issues with their legs.
For them, there’re other exercises similar to leg extensions that can be done to get the same results while putting less stress on the knees and lower back area.
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