I have some favorite exercises, I have some non-favorite exercises, and I have some that I just won’t do or recommend.
The leg extension is one of them….and it is soooooooo popular, especially with women.
I used to LOVE this exercise, along with the hamstring curl and adductor machine.
Who can relate?
Every time you extend your knees, you are translating your tibia (one of the shin bones) forward of your femur (your thigh bone)….and this is exactly what your ACL ligament is designed to prevent!
So, that one reason alone — the “placing undue stress” on the ACL — is enough for me.
It’s better to do squats, sit to stand, split squats, rear-foot elevated squats….almost anything else than the leg extension on a machine like the picture above.
I haven’t even mentioned the potential for back injury (and back injury is why I don’t recommend the leg press)!
The benefit-to-risk ratio just isn’t there.
Every exercise has a benefit and risk. I choose exercises that provide more benefit than risk.
Even if this piece of equipment is available to me, and even if I used to do this exercise before I knew any better…it’s just not worth it or necessary.
Some things are better left in the past, and the leg extension is one of them.