Leg Extensions without machine – Bodyweight leg Extensions

Looking for a great leg extension alternative? Bodyweight Leg Extensions is one of the best quad and leg defining exercises you can do WITHOUT EQUIPMENT!

The quadriceps and really, legs in general can be a difficult area to work effectively at home or while traveling.  Especially if you do not have a lot of equipment.  Many women ask me how to substitute an exercise like leg extensions while they are away from the gym.  What many people think is an irreplaceable exercise can be easily replicated with a very simple move, the reverse leg extensions or bodyweight leg extension. This exercise requires only a small stool or chair for stability if needed and a yoga mat or carpeted floor if you have problems kneeling on hard surfaces. 

Ready to jump in and find out more about this awesome quad exercise? Check it out…

Muscles Worked by Leg Extension Alternative:

Like a regular leg extension, this alternative will work the following muscles or body parts: Quadriceps

  • Rectus femoris
  • Vastus lateralis
  • Vastus medialis
  • Vastus intermedius

How to do Leg Extension Alternative – BodyWeight Leg Extensions

– Kneel on floor with your torso upright and arms at your sides. The bend in your knees should form a 90 degree angle
– Slowly lean back maintaining a straight line from your knees to your head, keeping the torso and neck in line bending only at your knees.
– Lean back with your core tight until you cannot lean back any further.
– Begin to come back to an erect position by contracting your quads and bringing your upper body back to perpendicular with the floor.
– If you need assistance, you could mount a resistance band to a solid object in front of you and use it to guide you backwards and forwards or you could even position a small table or stool to your side to brace yourself with your arm for assistance.

What are the Quadriceps?

The quadriceps muscles are a group of muscles on the front of your thighs. As you may guess from the name, there are four distinct muscles that make up the quadriceps muscles.

The quadriceps are a group of muscles in the front and side of your thigh. As a group, the quads are the biggest muscle in the human body. The purpose of this muscle group is to extend your knees. Strong quads are important for walking, squatting, and good posture.

The four quad muscles have individual names and are located in different positions on the front of each of your tights. These names are: 

  • Vastus intermedius: This is the deepest of the quad muscles, located below the other three.
  • Vastus medialis: This muscle is located on the inner portion of your thigh and ends near your kneecap as the vastus medialis obliqus (VMO). A weak VMO is often associated with poor kneecap position and knee pain.
  • Vastus lateralis: This quad muscle is located on the lateral or outer portion of your thigh.
  • Rectus femoris: The rectus formis is the superficial muscle on top of your thigh between the vastus medialis and laterals.

Why alternatives are better

Leg extensions are ideal if you want to focus on your quads. But if you’d like to improve overall leg strength, it’s best to do alternatives.

Leg extension alternatives engage more leg muscles, like the glutes and hamstrings. Some exercises even work your core, which is important for good posture and balance.

This exercise alternative to machine leg extensions offers a more functional workout than it’s machine version. Additionally, alternative exercises reduce the risk of injury because they’re less stressful on the knees. Doing leg extensions on a machine will work the quads, but it won’t strengthen any other muscles. There are many exercises you can do instead of leg extensions.

This alternative involve more muscles, so you’ll get a more functional workout. These moves are also less stressful on the knees, so they minimize the risk of injury.

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