Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Leg Extensions Good or Bad?

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Leg Extensions Good or Bad?

Old 08-06-10, 03:31 AM
  #1  
noobpone
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 83
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Leg Extensions Good or Bad?

I personally am against them!
noobpone is offline  
Old 08-06-10, 03:39 AM
  #2  
Ziltoid
Senior Member
 
Ziltoid's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Edmundston, New-Brunswick
Posts: 631

Bikes: Giant defy 3 '09 ~~ Specialized Hardrock Pro Disc '10

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Any weight lifting can be bad if you don't know what you're doing.
Ziltoid is offline  
Old 08-06-10, 03:57 AM
  #3  
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,529

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 134 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2934 Post(s)
Liked 124 Times in 83 Posts
They can be good if you don't overdo it and if you don't fully extend your leg so that your knee locks.

They were recommended to me by a Sports Dr to recover from and prevent patello femoral syndrome, and seemed to work for me.
Machka is offline  
Old 08-06-10, 04:42 AM
  #4  
JonnyV
Senior Member
 
JonnyV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Bellwood, Pa
Posts: 1,665

Bikes: 2012 Fuji Altamira 1.0. 2017 Lynskey R250

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Good and bad. With alot of weight and full range of motion this a bad movement. It puts a lot of shearing force on your knee, that is usually forced to stay in the same track. The movement is good for the muscle, especially developing the "tear drop" head just above the knee.
"but my physical therapist has me doing them, how bad can they be?" was a question I was asked many times when talking to customers about knee extensions. Most of the time a PT has a machine that can limit the range of motion, to hit any degree. The last 10 degrees (approx) is where you get the most benefit because you can still squeeze at the top of the movement.
If you're looking to add size and shape to your legs, I recommend lunges. They aren't fun but they work and fast. And if you're starting a lifting routine, do not neglect your hamstrings!
JonnyV is offline  
Old 08-06-10, 06:00 AM
  #5  
8ounce
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 77
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
In my experience, I would usually see the bobybuilders at the gym doing leg extensions and the athletes doing more lunges.
8ounce is offline  
Old 08-06-10, 07:40 AM
  #6  
Smallguy
Senior Member
 
Smallguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,331
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I like to use them to isolate the tear drop ... I was able to use them successfully for my IT band woes

I didn't use much weight though and certainly wasn't straining

I find if I'm using enough weight to really force my legs to work I do get some minor knee pain so i prefer lunges and bulgarian squats
Smallguy is offline  
Old 08-06-10, 07:45 AM
  #7  
umd
Banned
 
umd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 28,387

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac SL2, Specialized Tarmac SL, Giant TCR Composite, Specialized StumpJumper Expert HT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Huh, I thought this was going to be about evaluating your fit...
umd is offline  
Old 08-06-10, 07:52 AM
  #8  
bigdaddy10028
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 154
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Ziltoid View Post
Any weight lifting can be bad if you don't know what you're doing.
EXACTLY, I'm so tired of hearing clueless people say they are so bad for you. i'm not restricting this to cycling, I'm saying in terms of general fitness. Me and every other person I know that has recovered from major knee surgery has had to do them as part of physical therapy. They can't be that bad right?

Here is what gets you into trouble with leg extensions.

1. Imbalance, always doing leg extensions, but not working the hamstrings to match and keep balance through the joint.

2. Too much too soon. Trying to go way to heavy, way too soon. Tendons need time to get conditioned just like the muscles do. you need to have a couple weeks under your belt of doing strength training in your legs to have the conditioning required to lift heavy.

3. Piss poor form. Jerking the weight up and stopping it way to hard at the bottom of the movement, also starting the movment up from an acute angle as opposed to taking it down to 90* and then starting back up.


Any exercise done with poor form or not coordinated properly as a total conditioning regimen is going to cause problems.
bigdaddy10028 is offline  
Old 08-06-10, 07:53 AM
  #9  
NickDavid
Senior Member
 
NickDavid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 994
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Another 5-Star thread. Man, they are getting wild today!
NickDavid is offline  
Old 08-06-10, 11:46 AM
  #10  
StephenH
Uber Goober
 
StephenH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas area, Texas
Posts: 11,670
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 161 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 8 Posts
I was thinking of these things:
http://www.amazon.com/Dimension-Peda...1116737&sr=8-2
__________________
"be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."
StephenH is offline  
Old 08-06-10, 12:14 PM
  #11  
learnmedia
Go, Dog. Go!
 
learnmedia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: SoCal
Posts: 709

Bikes: '09 Fuji Team; '11 PedalForce QS3

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
OP, check out this recent thread: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...lifting+weight
It included some debate about the efficacy of leg extensions.
learnmedia is offline  
Old 08-06-10, 01:38 PM
  #12  
Keep SA Lame
Retro Dork
 
Keep SA Lame's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: TX
Posts: 283

Bikes: Cherry '81 Schwinn Le Tour, '07 Gary Fisher MTB and a bianchi road something or other

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Leg extensions???

Only for people in rehab and teh chunkers at your local Curves fat lady club.
Keep SA Lame is offline  
Old 08-06-10, 02:01 PM
  #13  
W Cole
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 226
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My knee doc says they're bad and not to do them.
W Cole is offline  
Old 08-06-10, 07:35 PM
  #14  
sakonnetclip
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 337
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'd go with the hip sled and low weight / high reps.
sakonnetclip is offline  
Old 08-06-10, 09:24 PM
  #15  
Keep SA Lame
Retro Dork
 
Keep SA Lame's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: TX
Posts: 283

Bikes: Cherry '81 Schwinn Le Tour, '07 Gary Fisher MTB and a bianchi road something or other

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I will submit that tire dragging or weight sleds would be far superior to 'leg extensions' on those shiny machines at Globogym.


Last edited by Keep SA Lame; 08-06-10 at 09:51 PM. Reason: added video
Keep SA Lame is offline  
Old 08-06-10, 11:22 PM
  #16  
B. Carfree
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Posts: 7,048
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 502 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Like many have said, they can be good or bad. Here is my $0.02:
1. Keep the weights light and do LOTS of reps. I usually do one leg at a time, 15 reps, repeat this while alternating legs without rest for 5-10 sets. I also increase the weight after each cycle (extensions then curls).
2. Don't forget to balance by doing hamstrings. These muscles seem more prone to being strained, so I do about half the reps.
3. Do full range of motion, even lifting the legs off the bench to include the hips. Always keep the weight under control.
4. Don't forget to warm up. Riding 30 miles or running some stairs for an hour really adds to the benefits.
5. Be careful to not escalate your reps/weights as quickly as your strength and endurance seem to warrant. Your muscles will get stronger much faster than your tendons. Be patient or you will likely pay a painful price.
6. Did I mention to keep the weights light? You don't want to be Arnold, you want to have useful muscles.
B. Carfree is offline  
Old 08-06-10, 11:50 PM
  #17  
colombo357
Senior Member
 
colombo357's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Murica
Posts: 2,220
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
4. Don't forget to warm up. Riding 30 miles or running some stairs for an hour really adds to the benefits.
Your time must be worth next to nothing. Minimum wage job?
colombo357 is offline  
Old 08-07-10, 12:26 AM
  #18  
Blackdays
Boom.
 
Blackdays's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Pittsburgh -> Cleveland -> San Francisco
Posts: 2,523
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Keep SA Lame View Post
Leg extensions???

Only for people in rehab and teh chunkers at your local Curves fat lady club.
You're not very smart, are you?
Blackdays is offline  
Old 08-07-10, 12:39 AM
  #19  
Keep SA Lame
Retro Dork
 
Keep SA Lame's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: TX
Posts: 283

Bikes: Cherry '81 Schwinn Le Tour, '07 Gary Fisher MTB and a bianchi road something or other

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Blackdays View Post
You're not very smart, are you?
I'm fear your point was lost amongst the pettiness.
Keep SA Lame is offline  
Old 08-07-10, 01:01 AM
  #20  
tadawdy
Faster than yesterday
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Evanston, IL
Posts: 1,510
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Useful for rehab and bodybuilders. Not all that useful for the rest of us, and can load the knee improperly.
tadawdy is offline  
Old 08-07-10, 04:22 AM
  #21  
wheelgrabber
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: South Australia
Posts: 212

Bikes: Aegis Aro Svelte

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Non stop calistenics are an excellent way to improve a cyclist fitness. Using a 3 kilo weight ball will kick your butt. Most cyclist tend to have stiff backs and tight hamstrings from riding in flexion(hunched over). Spending time working on core strength and flexibilty will be more beneficial for your overall fitness and should make you more comfortable on the bike as well.

My physical therapist wife recommends incorporating rotational movement with any strength building exercise. It maintains flexibilty in your spine. Functional strength building does not include things like leg extensions. Where in the real world would you do a leg extension?
wheelgrabber is offline  
Old 08-07-10, 07:48 AM
  #22  
f4rrest 
Farmer tan
 
f4rrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Burbank, CA
Posts: 7,986

Bikes: Allez, SuperSix Evo

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2870 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 17 Posts
Originally Posted by noobpone View Post
I personally am against them!
Top 3 Gym Noob exercises:
1. Curls
2. Bench press
3. Leg extensions (if they do legs at all).

I don't do any of these now. No need whatsoever, and there are much better ways to accomplish strength and balanced muscular symmetry in the gym.
f4rrest is offline  
Old 08-07-10, 10:14 AM
  #23  
ricohman
Senior Member
 
ricohman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 2,465
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by f4rrest View Post
Top 3 Gym Noob exercises:
1. Curls
2. Bench press
3. Leg extensions (if they do legs at all).

I don't do any of these now. No need whatsoever, and there are much better ways to accomplish strength and balanced muscular symmetry in the gym.

Considering the bench works such a large group of muscles, if done correctly. You have eliminated a very good excersize.
Let us know how this works out for you in 20 years.............
ricohman is offline  
Old 08-07-10, 10:47 AM
  #24  
tadawdy
Faster than yesterday
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Evanston, IL
Posts: 1,510
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by ricohman View Post
Considering the bench works such a large group of muscles, if done correctly. You have eliminated a very good excersize.
Let us know how this works out for you in 20 years.............
It is a good exercise, and there are really only so many pushing movements you can perform, but I think the main point is that noobs tend to stick to the basic lifts and think that's all there is to it. That's fine to start with, but it's good to integrate more functional movements.

As for how he'll be 20 years after not doing bench press, I suspect he will be fine. I'd guess he's doing pushups and cable exercises, which remove some of the challenge from the pushing motion and place it in truck stabilization.
tadawdy is offline  
Old 08-07-10, 11:07 AM
  #25  
GoLoaf
Senior Member
 
GoLoaf's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Denver
Posts: 211

Bikes: Bianchi Via Nirone 7 / 105 / Double

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Anecdotal contribution:

Had my ACL replaced, and my physio told me to never, ever do leg extensions (like for the rest of my life). And I'm pretty sure it didn't haven't to do with the fact that I had knee surgery. The exercise puts a ton of torque onto your knees that just isn't necessary.

Do squats instead. Much more dynamic and complete exercise. Also deadlifts and lunges. There are gazillion other leg exercises you should be doing that doesn't involve the dumb leg extension machine.
GoLoaf is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.