Simple Leg Extension Hack for Explosive Quad Growth

I’m sure you all know that the king of leg building exercises is the squat and that big, heavy, compound exercises are the best way to stimulate the most amount of muscle mass in your quads. And this is true; compound exercises like squats and lunges should make up the bulk of your leg training to maximize quad size.

That doesn’t mean that isolation exercises don’t have a place though. In this article you’ll learn a simple leg extension hack for bigger quads and faster growth to maximize your quad size…

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Isolate and Stimulate

Certain isolation exercises like leg extensions can be a great  accessory movement to add to your workout to provide you with that extra spark of stimulation to really finish off those muscle fibers.

Leg extensions can even be a great alternative if nursing a lower back injury or aiming to avoid overly taxing the rest of your body.

Additionally, since the leg extension is an isolation exercise for the quads, many find they can concentrate more directly to really fire up those muscle fibers and feel that deep burn. This in turn improves stimulation and activation of the quads and leads to greater growth.

There’s More to the Form

Most people think of a leg extension as simply an action of extending at the knee to straighten your leg. There’s a bit more to the form of a proper leg extension if you’re looking to maximize quad activation and stimulate that explosive quad growth though.

The quadriceps are made up of 4 individual heads: the vastus medialis (inner head), the vastus lateralis (outer head), the rectus femoris (middle head) and vastus intermedius (also middle head but sits under rectus femoris).

Although the function of the 4 heads is to extend the knee joint and they all insert into the lower leg; all except the rectus femoris originates on the femur. The rectus femoris originates on the pelvis and thus also performs hip flexion.

So what does this mini anatomy lesson have to do with improving the effectiveness of your leg extensions and building bigger quads?

Leg Extension Hack

Well, we can use the information we just learned in the mini anatomy lesson for a leg extension hack for explosive quad growth!

How, you ask?

Because the rectus femoris is involved in both knee extension and hip flexion, if we perform a leg extension incorporating both of these actions, we can achieve the greatest possible stimulation of the quads during the exercise.

To perform this leg extension hack, simply perform a standard leg extension and when the knee is fully extended–instead of stopping and lowering the weight right back down–raise your legs up slightly off the seat as if you were trying to touch your thighs to your chest.

Although your legs will likely only travel an inch or so upward, you should instantly notice a deeper more intense contraction in the middle portion of your quads where your rectus femoris is.

The Recap

Although there are four heads in your quadriceps that all serve the function of extending your knee, the rectus femoris has an additional function of hip flexion.

By fully extending your knee then slightly raising your knees off the seat during a leg extension, you we achieve greater overall muscle stimulation in the quadriceps. Greater muscle stimulation means greater gains. That’s the simple hack for explosive quad growth.

Employ this technique on your next leg day and I’m sure you’ll feel the difference in the wobble in your walk the next day!

– Tyler Johnston “The APE Coach”

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