Leg Extensions – The Stupidest Exercise Ever? | Tiger Fitness

ARTICLE – Leg Extensions – The Stupidest Exercise Ever Created?: https://www.tigerfitness.com/blogs/workouts/leg-extensions-the-stupidest-exercise-ever-created

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Leg extensions have been maligned by the strength and performance community. Similar to the arguments made against the hip thrust where I actually sided with the use of this controversial movement (see my article here: https://www.tigerfitness.com/blogs/workouts/the-hip-thrust-good-or-bad). Some of these arguments are (taken from the entire interwebz from many different articles (I will cite two)1,2:

1) Increased joint stress
2) Reduced hamstring activity
3) Reduced VMO (vastus medialis oblique) activity
4) Contributes to lazy adductors, abductors and hamstrings
5) Constant tension on the ACL
6) No carryover to any closed chain movement. A close chain movement is when the feet are closed off to the ground, like the squat. Open chain is limb-intensive and leaves the feet “open”, like a leg extension

The deviation I have from most strength and performance coaches is that not only am I a speed and strength specialist, but I have also competed as a professional bodybuilder where hypertrophy, not performance, was my priority. While I feel the good bros in the gym are speaking nonsense when they tell people to do leg extensions and not squats if they have bad knees, I also feel that strength coaches and science nerds, while science is on their side, are disconnected from hypertrophy. Sometimes, as much as it pains me to say it, science has to play well with anecdote. A lot of big a$$ legs have been built on programs that include a healthy dose of leg extensions and we cannot overlook that. From Dorian Yates to many others, leg extensions create overload, and overload leads to hypertrophy. Will it help you run a faster 40-yard dash? Probably not. But can it help you build big quads? Well, it cannot hurt….but we also must account for risk versus reward since leg extensions do kinda suck for safety. Let’s dissect these objections one by one to see if there is any merit and if that’s reason enough to drop them from your program.

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Leg Extensions – The Stupidest Exercise Ever?

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