Extension and bending of the legs in the simulator sitting, lying, in the machine. Exercise, technique, which muscles work

Leg extension in the gym on a specialized simulator is an isolated exercise. That is, in the process of its implementation, a strictly defined muscle group is involved – quadriceps. A block simulator for leg extension sitting allows you to add symmetry and proportionality to the figure of an athlete in the area of the front surface of the thigh.

The essence and basic principles

The basic principles of any athletic exercise aimed at developing a group of muscle fibers come from the basic functions of the muscle, attachment points and its size.

The quadriceps is one of the largest muscles in the human body. It is located on the front surface of the femur. Each of the 4 heads of the group has its own beginning. But at the bottom, they are all attached to the common large tendon. It covers the patella and joins the tibia.

The rectus femoris is the longest in this group. It originates from the anterior inferior spine of the supra-acetabular groove. The medial muscle is in the middle position in the lower part. Attaches to the medial lip of the rough line of the thigh. In trained athletes, it has the appearance of a drop hanging over the knee.

Extension and bending of the legs in the simulator sitting, lying, in the machine. Exercise, technique, which muscles work

The wide lateral muscle occupies almost the entire outer surface of the upper limb. It originates from the large trochanter of the intertrochanteric line and from the point of attachment of the medial muscle. The intermediate broad muscle of the thigh is located on the front surface of the leg between the medial and lateral heads.

It is the weakest muscle bundle in the group and at the top point is attached to the front surface of the femur. From this it becomes clear that the main function of the quadriceps is the extension of the lower leg in the knee joint. Since the rectus muscle enters the back plane of the limb at the attachment point, it helps to reduce the hip to the ilium during contraction (hip flexion).

Thus, the essence of leg extensions in the simulator is reduced to straightening the limb in the knee joint. However, the human body has a number of features that limit the amplitude of motion in this exercise. And also impose a number of limitations on the technique of execution. The leg extension trainer is a chair with a pivotally attached roller at the base.

It is designed to transfer the load from the block mechanism to the target muscle group. More expensive models of equipment are equipped with additional adjustments in the area of the rear back and lower cushion of the inventory. The support roller can be height-adjustable. This allows the athlete to take the correct position before starting a workout.

Extension and bending of the legs in the simulator sitting, lying, in the machine. Exercise, technique, which muscles work

Leg extension in a sitting simulator should be carried out taking into account the characteristics of the equipment and the rules of the technique for performing movement:

  • When landing in a simulator chair, you need to monitor the position of the pelvis. The buttocks of the athlete should be pressed firmly against the seat cushion. Excessive hanging of the thigh during exercise is not allowed. To avoid this, push the back of the chair so that the upper part of the limb lies completely on the surface of the pillow. At the same time, the lower leg should not touch the seat. Otherwise, in the process of extension, the athlete will experience discomfort.
  • The support roller should be adjusted so that at the top point of the amplitude it fits as close as possible to the ankle joint and even rests a little on the foot. This will achieve maximum load at the time of the peak contraction of the quadriceps.
  • Before starting the movement, you need to pull the toes of your feet towards you and maintain this position for each repetition.

Performing extension in the simulator should avoid sudden movements. Jerking and dropping cargo can cause injury to the athlete. This may be an injury to the back, inner or front of the thigh. Despite the fact that straightening the leg to the quadriceps is classified as an isolated exercise, but it is aimed at developing a strong muscle group.

Therefore, the weights used can reach 88 -132 pounds, even for beginner athletes. Given the high level of potential load, the athlete must understand the dangers that arise in this regard. The most acute is the likelihood of damage due to excessive bending of the leg at the knee.

Extension and bending of the legs in the simulator sitting, lying, in the machine. Exercise, technique, which muscles work

This error is peculiar to beginners and experienced visitors to gyms. To reduce the risk when performing the negative phase of movement, it is recommended not to lower the load below 90 g. from the plane of the seat cushion or prevent an angle between the thigh and lower leg of less than 90 g.

Indications for use

Leg straightening in a sports simulator from a sitting position is rarely used as an independent exercise. Professional athletes use it for additional study of quadriceps or warm-up before starting squats with large weights.

Also, preliminary heating of the muscles of the anterior thigh is used before starting work on the lagging muscles of this part of the body. Extensions on the simulator are used for “drying”. Due to the characteristics of metabolism in men and women, the process of getting rid of excess fat occurs from top to bottom.

That is, the effect in the legs and hips is achieved last. To accelerate the obtaining of results in these parts of the body is possible by increasing the load during training. To do this, straighten the legs on the quadriceps.


Leg extension in a sitting simulator is an unnatural movement. In the life of an ordinary person, there are no situations in which he would have to lift a weight with the help of one quadriceps femoris muscle, comparable to his own.

For 40000 years of history, the human body could not develop sufficient protective mechanisms for this exercise. This means that the joint is not ready for such loads. He needs additional training.

Therefore, this set of exercises is not suitable:

  • With arthritis. This digestive-destructive disease is associated with the destruction of cartilage in the joints. Therefore, in this case, the additional load on the affected part of the body can have a catalytic effect.
    Extension and bending of the legs in the simulator sitting, lying, in the machine. Exercise, technique, which muscles work
  • Persons with spinal injuries. Seated exercises are prescribed for people with physical disabilities due to spinal injuries. An exception is leg extension while sitting in the simulator. This exercise causes the back muscles to be intensively involved in work when lowering the load.
  • Persons experiencing pain in the knee. During the movement, a slight malaise can develop into a serious injury.

Useful Tips

Leg extension in a sitting simulator can be more useful if you know some features:

  • Changing the position of the toes of the feet will help shift the load. Turn inward allows you to transfer the main load to the lateral head of the quadriceps. Turning the foot outward more heavily loads the inner thigh.
  • It makes sense to practice alternating extensions with each leg. This allows you to identify weaknesses and concentrate muscle training.
  • At the upper point of the amplitude, maximum straightening of the lower extremities should be achieved.
  • Fixing weights at the top of the trajectory will increase the load on the muscles and reduce the weight of the projectile. The lower the weight, the lower the risk of damage.
  • When working with medium and large weights, lateral handles of the simulator are required to fix on the seat cushion and prevent the pelvis from tearing off the chair.
Extension and bending of the legs in the simulator sitting, lying, in the machine. Exercise, technique, which muscles work
Extension / bending of the legs in the simulator: when working with heavy weight, you need to use side handles.

A simulator for performing leg leg extensions can be either a modern model with a large number of additional adjustments and functions (for example, counting the number of repetitions performed), or the most ordinary without a backrest. The recommendations and technique of the exercise in both cases remains unchanged.

Main complex

Leg extension in the simulator sitting – an exercise aimed at developing the front surface of the thigh.

It should be included in the training program in conjunction with other similar types of movements:

  • Lunges
  • Squats are classic.
  • Squats on one leg.
  • Traction of various variations.
  • Bending on the simulator.

Power Development Complex

The complex involves the use of extensions as an additional exercise after classic squats. Straightening the legs to the quadriceps muscle serves to pump blood into the upper thigh and is performed by the second or third when training the legs.

Part of the total split for training the lower extremities during the power phase of training an athlete can look like this:

Extension and bending of the legs in the simulator sitting, lying, in the machine. Exercise, technique, which muscles work

No. Exercise name Description
1 Squats

12-10-8-6-4 repetitions.

They are performed in full amplitude in compliance with all the technical rules: the back is straight, the legs are shoulder-width apart, the heel does not move and does not come off the surface when lowering.
2 Sitting extension

3-4 * 12-15 repetitions.

The shoulder blades are reduced, the back is straight and firmly pressed to the back, the pelvis is pressed to the seat. The movements are smooth.
3 Leg curls

3-4 * 10-12 repetitions.

The exercise is performed on a special block simulator. It is a bench located horizontally. The movement must be carried out without a jerk. The rise of the legs occurs before the support roller touches the gluteal muscles.

During the execution of the last movement, one should remember the correct location of the roller relative to the calf. It should be located in the ankle joint. A higher position will interfere with the peak reduction in hip biceps.

Before starting leg extensions, one should take the starting position described in the second part of the article. The position of the support, designed to transfer force from the block structure to the quadriceps muscle of the thigh, must strictly comply with the stated requirement. Do not forget about pulling the toes of the feet “on yourself”. In this complex, this plays an important role.

When training lagging and stabilizer muscles

The complex provides for the principle of preliminary fatigue of the strong quadriceps muscles, followed by basic movements. This approach allows you to tire the quadriceps. As a result, lagging and anatomically weaker thigh muscles are intensively involved in the work.

The preload method is suitable for people who are contraindicated in a large load on the spine. If you do not want to give up squats, such an athlete can use this method. But it is not recommended to use it without the permission of the surgeon or physiotherapist.

Extension and bending of the legs in the simulator sitting, lying, in the machine. Exercise, technique, which muscles work

No. Name Description
1 Sitting leg extension

4-5 * 10-12 repetitions.

The technique and requirements for the placement of the student on the projectile remain unchanged. When working in the simulator, it is worth remembering that this exercise is designed to easily fatigue the quadriceps before a heavy basic movement. A load of 60-70% of the maximum is used.
2 Leg press or squats.

5 * 8-10 repetitions.

The load is 70-80%.

Perform the exercises in a special frame or on the simulator for leg press. In this case, it is important to achieve a failure state in the target muscle group.

To reduce subcutaneous fat

In the complex of straightening the legs perform the role of an additional load, which can be used with high intensity and short rest periods. The split is built so that its exercises include the muscles of the whole body. In this case, the rest between them should not exceed the time required to move between the inventory.

At the initial levels of preparation, it is impossible to compose such a complex entirely from basic multi-articular movements. The athlete’s body will not be able to adequately respond to such a training. This will lead to overwork. The risk of injury will increase. In thi
s case, sitting leg extension is an alternative for bench presses or lunges.

The training program may look like this:

Extension and bending of the legs in the simulator sitting, lying, in the machine. Exercise, technique, which muscles work

No. Exercise Guide
1 Squats

1 * 12-15 repetitions.

The load is selected so that the athlete can easily perform 15-20 repetitions. Breathing should not be lost. Achieving muscle failure is prohibited.
2 Chest pull

1 * 12-15.

The exercise is performed on the appropriate simulator. Work on the equipment must be performed smoothly and without jerking. When pulling the block, keep a slight deflection in the lower back, do not stoop, take your elbows at the lower point out of the back line, pull the bar to the top of the chest.
3 Bench or Dumbbell Bench Press

1 * 10-12 repetitions.

Performed on a horizontal bench. The technique of the exercise must be followed. The shoulder blades are reduced. The head is pressed. The pelvis does not come off the supporting surface. The bar moves in one plane. The movement is uniform.
4 Leg extension in the simulator sitting

1 * 12-15 times.

It is carried out in accordance with the above recommendations.
5 Belt pull

1 * 8-12 rep.

The simulator for the implementation of movement can be found in most sports clubs. Exercise refers to multi-joint. The technique involves maintaining a straight position of the back, bringing the shoulder blades together while pulling the block and moving the elbows of both hands to the plane of the back.
6 Reduction of arms on the simulator sitting

1 * 12-15.

The exercise is aimed at working out the pectoral muscles and deltas. During movement, it is important to monitor the position of the back. Rounding of the thoracic spine is not allowed.

The complex is a series of sequentially performed tasks. All 6 approaches form 1 circle. The number of circles is determined depending on the physical form and condition of the student. There is no rest break between exercises of the same circle.

Result fixing

In order for the straightening legs in the sports simulator to be beneficial, they must be performed in accordance with the described recommendations. The combination of this isolated exercise with basic movements can serve the achievement of goals related to improving overall physical fitness, losing weight or developing strength indicators.

To reduce the risk of injury, prepare the muscles for exercise and improve future results before each workout, you must:

  • To warm up. The best option is articular gymnastics. She is known to everyone since elementary school. Warm-up includes swing and rotational movements of all joints in the body. It is important to follow the correct sequence. You need to start with the neck, then the shoulders, elbows and hands. The lumbar, knees and ankle complete the complex.
    Extension and bending of the legs in the simulator sitting, lying, in the machine. Exercise, technique, which muscles work
  • Perform a pre-training block of exercises. It includes squats with a body bar or barbell, lifts over your head and an easy run for 5-10 minutes.

After training, it is important to stretch. Particular attention is paid to the front of the thigh. To do this, find a stable support and fix the case with one hand.

Another, press the ankle bent at the knee joint to the back surface of the leg and slowly bring it back. This should be done until light muscle tension is achieved. Stretching is performed alternately for each of the limbs.

When to expect an effect

Leg extension in the simulator sitting, included in the training process and performed in accordance with the recommendations, can bring results in 2-3 weeks, that is, after 2-3 full workouts. The effect of the exercises is manifested in the form of clearer outlines of the medial femoral head and a clear separation between the other 3 groups of muscle fibers.

Straightening the legs in the knee joint on a sports simulator is a universal tool to achieve your goals. Despite performing the exercise from a sitting position, it does not provide rigid fixation for the back muscles. But the observance of the training technique and the correct selection of the load make it an indispensable tool in the athlete’s arsenal.

Leg Exercise Video

Extension / bending of the legs in the simulator, important notes:

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