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Gym Shorts: Banded Leg Extension

New to the banded leg extension or looking for a quick technique tutorial? Learn correct form in one short video.

How To Banded Leg Extension

Gym Shorts videos provide short video demonstrations of correct form for various exercises.

Follow these steps

  • Set up
    • Move bench against rack to ensure steadiness
    • Wrap band around legs (will touch lower shins above ankles)
    • Grab back of bench
    • Torso angle back
  • Movement
    • Straighten legs against the band tension & hold for a 2 second count
    • Hold the finish
    • Slow, controlled movement (down & up)
    • Keep rest of body still (knees bend only)

What Is the Banded Leg Extension & Why Do It?

This exercise is typically performed with a machine, but using a relatively inexpensive rubber band allows home gym owners to perform a similar movement at home.

Lifters may want additional stress for their quadriceps as they advance. The banded leg extension only requires a power rack or weighted down squat stand (which most home gym owners have) and bands (which are cheap and easily available).

This movement provides additional stress to the quadriceps muscles (rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius). The primary functions of the hamstrings are knee extension and hip flexion. This trains the knee extension function of these muscles.

This exercise allows additional stress to the quadriceps without heavy equipment and with less stress on the bones and joints. This and similar exercises are a great way for an advanced lifter to add additional training stress.

Programming the Banded Leg Extension?

Typically advanced lifters perform this exercise. This is not because of its difficulty but rather because novices and intermediates can get enough training stress from squats and deadlifts.

We perform this exercise for hypertrophy, so it typically comes at the end of a workout following the squat and deadlift variants.

Perform these for 2-5 sets of 8-20 reps. These can be performed as part of a circuit to save time and add some conditioning.

Execute these in a slow, controlled movement. We’re aiming for time under tension, so don’t rush these.

Click HERE to read about knee pain and squatting and HERE to learn more about how to use bands.

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