Leg Extensions

In the EDT Training workout leg extensions are prescribed, I don’t want to do leg extensions, too many people say to avoid them at all cost(Joe DeFranco says never do them), and I agree. What is a good movement to do in it’s place?

How about barbell hack squats, zercher squats, bodybuilding-style front squats…I know Coach Staley includes machine exercises in EDT because of the frantic pace and associated technical breakdown, but I too think leg extensions flat out suck… If it were me I’d go with the hack squats

Best of luck

I too have read the criticism of leg extensions, but have never yet read a full explanation. Could somebody please enlighten me? Thanks.


Always avoid absolutes!

Try them and see if they work for you and give you results,

I think the bias on this board is that some do them instead of squats.

I squat heavy one day per week. On the other leg day I squat much lighter and incorporate 3 sets of leg extensions. I do the third set to failure. After failure I drop the weight by 70 ibs. and try to go to failure again. Great burn.

Do what works for you and keep switching up. The legs need the most alternative excercises to develop.


I usually only do one set of leg extensions immediately following my squat routine (as a superset). I just use it for burnouts, one set to failure.

A good, no great alternative for leg extensions are sissy squats. It pretty much uses the same ROM (actually has more) as leg extensions but is far superior. Plus you don’t wreck your knees as you will with leg ext…

Piper1, I’m doing EDT currently. I don’t see anything wrong with doing leg extensions. It’s a great way to work the quads. When I’m not doing EDT, I squat, DL, do pull-ups and tricep dips; i.e., all the compound, multi-joint exercises.

However, for purposes of doing EDT, I see leg extensions as superior to squats. In fact, it’s not good to do any exercise in which proper form is critical to your safety. Each 20-minute session is challenging and takes you to the very edge of what you’re capable of if you use the correct/recommended weight. If you were to fail on your leg extensions, NBD. If you fail on your squats (even in a power rack), it could be a big deal.

Maybe Ms. J from TeamStaley will stop by with her (or Charles’) comments.

Somebody better inform the general public at the gym I go to about that. That leg machine gets more action the a VIVID girl.

If you want to perform an exercise that works minimally, is unnatural and could harm the knee long term, then by all means do leg extensions!

I feel i’ve gotten pretty good growth from leg extensions. I didn’t like them before but I incorporate them in all my quad workouts now.

Try the reverse glut-ham raises in Christian Thibedeau’s “violant variations part deaux” article.

Regarding safety of leg extensions, no one ever questions the safety of other similar single joint extension movements such as tricep kickbacks or nose-crushers.

Regarding functionality, squats will have better transfer to activities such as jumping and sprinting however.