Leg extension exercises target the muscles in the buttocks, thighs, abdomen and hips. They can improve your physical appearance by toning hard to reach muscles and helping you burn calories. Fortunately, you don’t have to travel to a gym to do leg extension exercises -- there are a variety of ways to do them right from home.
Weight Machine or Resistance Band Leg Extensions
Sit at your weight machine or on a chair with a resistance band tucked under the heels of your feet. Keep your upper body straight and your back flat against your machine or chair’s back support. Exhale and lift both of your legs until they are completely extended. Slowly lower your legs back to the starting position. If desired, lift one leg at a time. Continue for as many repetitions as possible.
Single-Leg Hip Extender
Lie on your back with your arms to your sides. Bend your right knee up toward the ceiling. Keeping your left leg straight, lift it a couple of inches off the floor. Keep raising your left leg and pushing your hips upward until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold the exercise for a few seconds and then slowly lower yourself back to the floor. Do five repetitions on each leg.
Bridge with Leg Extension
Lie on your back with your knees bent up toward the ceiling. Place your arms at your sides with your palms facing down. Contract your abdominal muscles and flatten your back into the floor. Push with your feet and lift your hips slowly from the floor. Tighten the muscles in your buttocks and extend your right leg outward until it is straight. Slowly bend the knee and return to the starting position. Switch to the left leg. Continue alternating legs for as many repetitions as desired.
Fitness Ball Leg Extension
Lie on your fitness ball, pressing your left side comfortably into the ball. Keep your heels together and raise your hips slightly so that you create a straight line with your body. Slowly lift your right leg, extending it out and upward. Pause and then slowly return your leg back to the starting position. Continue extending your right leg for one minute and then switch to the other side.
- Women's Health Magazine: Stability Ball Leg Raise
- Arthritis Today: Bridge with Leg Extension
- Women's Health Magazine: Single-Leg Hip Extension
- Georgia State University The Exercise and Physical Fitness Page: Lower Body Strength Training Exercises
- "Running Planet"; Lower Body Strength Training Exercises; Rick Morris