Machine Leg Extensions Exercise Guide & Video

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Watch Machine Leg Extensions

For over 50 pre-designed workouts you can bring straight to the gym, view EMG’s Workout Routines.


Step 1. Sit with your back flat against the back pad and your glutes secured to the seat. The leg pad should be positioned on the lower shin just above the ankle. Knees should be bent at a 90 degree angle.

Step 2. Press the weight up by straightening your leg forward.

Step 3. Bend your knees to lower the weight. Do not let the weight touch the rest of the weight stack during your repetitions.


Machine leg extensions work the quads, specifically around the knee area. This exercise are more of an isolation exercise than a squat or machine leg press. While you should set up the machine at positions that work best for you, some simple guidelines for machine leg extensions should help get you there. Your knee should align with the movement point of the machine. The pad should be resting on the front of your leg just above the ankle. If the back pad is adjustable, adjust it so that when you lean back, your whole back is flat against the pad with your butt on the seat. Resist the urge to raise your back off the pad or your butt off the seat. This takes the pressure off the quads and works them less effectively. Either grip the handles on the side of the seat or lower the weight if need be.

Machine Leg Extensions 4
Machine Leg Extensions 3

Updated: March 30th, 2015