Your lumbar spine has a naturally arched shape, and to avoid injury when lifting, you need to keep it in that position. Get Bigger Legs - http://athleanx.com/x/getbiggerlegs Let's face it...you've done this leg exercise before. Box squats activate the quadriceps. The leg extension is a popular way to train the quadriceps at the front of your knee. Never start a 400 pound leg press without warming up with lighter weights first. Avoid Leg Curls. Never squat 200 - 300 pounds without doing some warm-up sets first. Keep the weight fairly light and complete 20 to 30 slow, controlled reps. In fact, sometimes they actually contribute to the injuries you were trying to avoid in the first place. Glute bridges strengthen deep glute muscles. In a leg press, your lower back often flattens when you bend your legs, and then shifts back into its natural arch as you straighten them. Repeat two more times with the same leg. But it’s not. Those that admit the shortcomings of the leg curl may try to temper them by using more reps. Here are 6 machines you should lift without. The Seated Leg Extension "Hyperextension turns off muscles you need to stand on your leg and then the pelvis tilts forward, which encourages gripping," says Faulkner. They try to make the best out of a bad yet unnecessary situation. "While hyperextension is beautiful, you should only use it in the leg that is off the ground." Keep the straight leg slightly bent to avoid locking it. AVOID: The seated leg extension. Calf raises, side-lying leg lifts, and seated leg extensions toughen the muscles supporting your knees. Probably hundreds of times. Avoid jumping exercises, forward lunges, deep squats, and downhill sprints. "This can put your knees at high risk," warns Marrone. I recommend doing one or two warm-up sets of leg extensions before starting any other leg exercise. For people with good health, knee extension exercises can certainly help preventing injuries, while boosting your flexibility as well as overall lower body strength for better performance. But heavy weights and improper form increase your risk of knee injury. They are usually performed using a leg-extension machine, where you sit on a chair and lift a weight bar using your quadriceps muscle. Perform hip extension to strengthen the hamstrings. Likewise, avoid hyperextended knees. But they also work wonderfully for younger people in general leg development. They ignore that any load at all would carry the same risks due to the knee flexion. Hold the bent leg up for 5 seconds and then slowly lower it to the floor. A weight-training exercise, leg extensions target quadricep muscles that run along the front of your thigh from your knee to your pelvis and are responsible for hip flexion and knee extension. Standing or lying hamstring curls are apt for severe knee conditions. 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