Just doing a few leg extensions is generally not enough to see results. You also want to figure out how many repetitions you should do for your training goals.
First of all, you want to decide whether you want to focus more on quad muscle growth, strength increases, or endurance. Once you have done that, you can choose the best set and rep ranges for your goals.
To grow the quadricep muscles you generally want to do 3 to 6 sets of 6 to 15 leg extensions with a weight where the amounts are almost too challenging.
Next, to improve muscle strength, you want to do 3 to 8 sets of 5 repetitions. Again, with a weight where you can barely complete these ranges.
Lastly, to improve muscle endurance you want to do around 3 to 6 sets with 25+ leg extensions where you don’t completely push yourself to muscle failure. Similar weight guidelines apply again.
Leg extensions reps and sets for muscle growth
Muscle mass, strength, and endurance are often related but the way you approach resistance training exercises like leg extensions influences what fitness component you focus on.
To do leg extensions to grow your quadricep muscles you want to do around 3 to 6 sets of 6 to 15 repetitions with a weight where you can barely complete these ranges.
If you have a weight bench with leg extension at home but not enough weight plates to make the movement challenging enough to hit these ranges not all hope is lost.
You can generally also grow muscles like your quadriceps with sets of higher repetition ranges (even up to 50 leg extensions per set) if you really push yourself to failure.
That being said, the medium to lower-repetition ranges will generally be more convenient to do anyway.
Leg extensions reps and sets for muscle strength
Muscle strength comes down to how much force certain muscles can generate. To work on this area of your fitness, you generally want to use more weight, lower amounts of repetitions, and potentially more sets.
More specifically, to improve quadricep muscle strength you generally want to do 3 to 8 sets of 5 leg extensions with a weight where you can just reach these numbers.
Additionally, you can generally do leg extensions more often with strength workouts than hypertrophy (muscle growth) workouts and still recover fast enough.
That being said, most people will not need/want this many repetitions of a quad isolation exercise for their training goals.
Leg extensions reps and sets for muscle endurance
By now, it is clear that how you use a leg extension on a bench or machine and with what weights, repetitions, and rest time influence your training results.
Muscle endurance comes down to how long certain muscles can exert effort.
To train this in your quadriceps with leg extensions you want to do around 3 to 6 sets with 25+ repetitions where you don’t completely push yourself to failure but still challenge yourself enough.
Better quad muscle endurance could be helpful for activities like climbing stairs or long runs.
However, you likely also want to improve muscle endurance in other leg muscles with other exercises if you want to perform well in the activities above.