Everybody knows you shouldn’t skip leg day!
And while there are various exercise machines and workouts you can do at the gym to help build and develop leg muscles, you can get the same benefits with an at-home leg extension machine.
Having a home leg extension machine means never missing leg day again.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the benefits of leg extension and curl machines, as well as the best home leg machines available today.
Leg Extension Workouts
Leg extension exercises target the quadriceps muscle, found on the front part of the thigh.
If you are a beginner, we recommend slowly adding reps and weights as you build muscle. You will also want to be comfortable using the machine and not hurt yourself by over-exerting your body.
Here’s how to use a home leg extension machine, as well as the advantages and disadvantages that you may experience while exercising.
How To Use Leg Extension Home Machines
Leg extension machines are lever machines. As you exercise, you sit on a padded bench or seat, fit your shins (or legs) underneath a padded bar, and with a slow and controlled movement, raise your legs to lift the bar.
There are places to add weights to the bar to build muscle in the quadriceps muscles, known as the rectus femoris and vastus muscles. The added weight should be enough to give you a moderate load for three sets of at least eight repetitions. Adding too much could result in a pulled muscle.
Some leg extension machines have hand bars added to the bench or seat to help with leverage. If this is something you’re accustomed to, make sure you purchase a home machine with the same feature.
It’s important to remember not to arch your back or lock your knees during this exercise.
We recommend you do three sets of 8-12 repetitions during your workout.
Benefits of Leg Extension Curl Machine
Most people think of squats when you mention leg exercises. And while squats are popular and effective for building leg muscles, they don’t work out the entire quadriceps muscles.
Leg machines are perfect for isolating all the muscles in the thigh as you move the padded bar up and down. Having strong quads can help with balance, joint strength, jumping and kicking ability, and overall athletic capabilities.
You may also want to consider adding leg curls for a complete leg workout. The leg curl focuses on the hamstring muscles located at the back of the thigh.
To perform a leg curl, lay on the bench on your stomach and position your legs (calf area) under the padded bar. Lift your heels to curl your leg and stretch those back leg muscles.
Using a leg extension curl machine, you can build and tone the muscles throughout your thigh, both hamstrings and quadriceps.
Risks of Leg Extension Exercises
If you have any type of knee, leg, ankle, or specific-thigh injury, you should first consult with a doctor before performing any weight-lifting or exercise activities on a leg extension machine.
Beginners should consider working with an expert physical therapist, coach, or trainer if they are unfamiliar with the machine. And those working with weights should certainly have strength and conditioning training before beginning.
Other risks include making thoughtless mistakes when working out on a leg extension curl machine. These common mistakes include adding too much weight, doing too many sets or repetitions, or using incorrect posture and body placement (such as locking your knees or arching your back).
Weight-lifters and exercise enthusiasts can avoid injury by working out with someone or having a spotter for accountability. You will also want to make sure you stretch your muscles before any workout and drink lots of water to stay hydrated while lifting weights.
Working at Home vs. Working at Gym
There are certain benefits of having a gym membership. Or you could build a home gym and never leave the comfort of your home.
No matter where you choose to get your reps in, a leg curl extension machine should be in the rotation. But there are pros and cons for each workout location; let’s take a look at each.
Home Leg Extension Machine
You can do your exercises and workouts without ever having to leave your home. Whether you convert an extra bedroom into a gym or have a set-up out in the garage or basement, having a home gym definitely has its benefits.
And there are several at-home leg extension machines to consider when building your home gym. We’ll take a look at a few in this article.
Benefits of Working Out at Home Include:
- No monthly gym fees
- Work out whenever you want
- No waiting in line for equipment
- Saves travel time
Disadvantages of Lifting Weights at Home:
- No coach or spotter
- Initial cost of equipment
- Maintaining and upkeep of equipment
Once you get past the initial cost, having a home gym is great for convenience. And you can always hire an at-home trainer to come to your gym home for coaching and strength conditioning help.
If you are committed to working out at home, there are more advantages than disadvantages.
Gym Leg Curl and Extension Machine
It’s hard to explain the gym culture.
If you already have a gym membership and know the culture, then you get it. The same people run on the treadmill, grunting near the weights or flexing in the mirror.
Professional gyms are a great place to try new equipment and workouts, but there are disadvantages to gym workouts as well:
Benefits of Lifting Weights at the Gym Include:
- Professional trainers available to spot and train with
- Try out new equipment
- Group classes and community
Disadvantages of Working Out at the Gym:
- Monthly fees
- Other members
- Coordinating your life to get there with water, change of clothes, etc.
If you are willing to shell out a monthly fee for the use of equipment and gym amenities, then community gyms are the place for you.
You can certainly use leg extension machines at the gym, as long as no one else is using them instead.
Best Home Leg Extension Curl Machine
Our suggestion is to build a home gym with the best workout equipment available. You can invite friends over to spot you and turn up whatever music you want that motivates you best.
When choosing the best leg extension curl machine for your home gym, consider these options:
Top Choice: Titan Fitness Seated Leg Curl / Extension Machine
Our top choice leg curl extension machine is built by Titan Fitness: the Seated Leg Curl / Extension Machine.
This machine has a rotary leg bar that allows users to get on easily, set their legs in place, adjust the roller starting point, and start their workout. Simply switch from leg extensions to curls by flipping the weight post to the opposite starting point.
For a reasonable price, you get a comfortable and durable machine that you can do leg extensions and leg curls for a full leg workout.
The cables, counterbalances, and pads are quality-made and finely tuned for steady weight lifting. It’s also a compact machine and, without weights, easy to move around in your home gym.
Here are more pros/cons of the Titan Fitness Seated Leg Curl / Extension Machine:
- Affordable price
- Can do both leg extensions and curls
- Sturdy and durable
- High-quality padding
Best Value: Marcy Pro Adjustable Utility Bench
You probably won’t find a better priced all-around machine than the Marcy Pro Adjustable Utility Bench. It offers six different positions for a custom experience each workout.
The back pad can change from a flat position to incline, decline, upright, and military positions. There are also thigh and ankle roller pads to help stabilize users and provide isolated-muscle exercises.
It’s a strong and durable machine that allows for up to 600lbs weight capacity. It’s also easy to move (weighing just about 50lbs) and doesn’t take up too much space in your home gym.
The only negative about the Marcy Pro Adjustable Utility Bench is the lack of hand bars for leg extensions. Some users prefer this feature for extra leverage as they are lifting their legs.
But the best features of this machine are the price point and various adjustable settings. If you like variety in your workouts, this is an excellent machine for you to consider adding to your personal gym.
- Great price
- Various positions for leg extensions, curls, and other leg workouts
- Adjustable bench
- Can also use for upper body workouts
Most Durable: Body-Solid GCEC340 Cam Series Leg Extension and Curl Machine
Body-Solid is a well-known name in home gym machines. They make quality workout machines that are durable and long-lasting.
The GCEC340 Cam Series Leg Extension and Curl Machine is no exception.
This quality-made machine is constructed with 7-gauge steel and designed to withstand the heaviest and toughest of workouts.
The leg extension equipment is adjustable with an easy-to-use pin, and the padding is made to ensure comfort. The entire machine is crafted with quality for stability and comfort.
Body-Solid also provides a lifetime warranty guaranteed for every user.
Although it is a bit more expensive than other leg extension machines on the market, you can bet it will last for a long time. No matter your size or weight, the GCEC340 Cam Series is a long-lasting leg extension machine that’s perfect for any home gym.
- Quality-made machine
- Can do both leg extensions and curls
- Equals commercial use machines
- Designed for stability and safety
- Recommended for all heights and weights
- Lifetime warranty
That’s A Wrap!
You no longer have an excuse to skip leg day when you have an at-home leg extension workout machine.
There are definite benefits to working out at home rather than a gym, including saving time and money. You also don’t have to worry about waiting in line to use a piece of equipment or deal with annoying gym members when you work out at home.
And in your home gym, you can set the music for a great leg workout. Once you find the best leg extension curl machine for your home, you’ll be doing reps and sets in no time at all.