You may wonder whether resistance bands are versatile enough to benefit your leg extensions. Find out ways to use these in this quad exercise.
There are standing and anchor variations too but most people want to do resistance band leg extensions while seated on something like a chair and the band anchored somewhere behind them.
Since this is relatively easy to set up, you can say that resistance bands are a great way to do leg extensions at home and grow and strengthen your quadriceps.
This article will also go over some of the other ways to do this variation, what the benefits of resistance bands are, and what other exercise options you have.
How to do a resistance band leg extension
Ideally, you have a chair that can also serve as an anchor to do this exercise. Something else to sit on and a specific resistance band anchor close to the ground can work too.
Additionally, most people will prefer good loop resistance bands for leg extensions although you could make something work with resistance tubes and ankle straps.
Once you have the required gear, take the following steps to do a resistance band leg extension:
- Anchor the resistance band somewhere close to the ground. If you are using a chair you can likely anchor the band at the back chair legs.
- Sit on the object you chose with your back to the anchor. Anchor the other end of the resistance band around your ankle(s). Make sure your folded leg already feels a pull from the resistance band.
- Slowly raise your foot/feet with the resistance band until your legs are slightly less than stretched.
- Lower your foot/feet again in a controlled motion.
You can also benefit from something like a towel, a piece of clothing, or simply your hands under the front of your upper leg.
This can help you avoid bumping against the ground with your heels.
Resistance band leg extension variations
There are different ways to anchor your resistance bands for leg extensions and do the movement.
Seated is typically preferred because it becomes harder to move the rest of your body and because your leg can be under tension throughout the entire extension movement.
Additionally, anchoring the band is typically better than using one leg as an anchor. This would lead to a smaller range of motion under pressure and less consistent tension.
In some resistance band leg extension variations, you also have the choice between working one or two legs at the same time.
Working one leg at a time makes it easier to work your quadriceps on each side to about the same extent. On the other hand, this can require more time if you don’t have multiple bands.
Resistance band leg extensions muscles worked
The main muscles worked in resistance band leg extensions are your quadriceps aka front thigh muscles.
If you do the standing-up variation, your hip flexor muscles may have to work to keep your upper leg straight.
As more experienced lifters know, you want to keep in mind that you still have to work these muscles with enough tension and repetitions.
How many leg extensions you should do depends on what you are trying to achieve.
For muscle growth, something like 3 to 6 sets of 6 to 15 resistance band leg extensions tends to be a good choice.
Thanks to using the resistance bands, it becomes easier to do these reps and sets at a tension that is challenging enough to see results.
Resistance band leg extensions benefits
Resistance band leg extensions offer both the unique benefits of using the bands and the more fundamental benefits of the exercise itself. Some of the most important examples are:
- Stronger muscles: Resistance band leg extensions make it easier to grow and strengthen the strong quadricep muscles a lot.
- Can help improve athletic performance: Bigger and stronger quadriceps can benefit your running speed and endurance. This is useful in a variety of sports.
- Budget-friendly: Resistance bands are inexpensive compared to other thigh workout equipment like dumbbells, a cable machine, or a barbell setup.
- Compact way to work out: Resistance bands can be a great way to do leg extensions for people with less workout space since they are so easy to store away.
When it comes to effective leg extension workout equipment options, resistance bands are definitely one of the more at-home-friendly options.
Resistance band leg extension alternatives
Resistance band leg extensions can be a great resistance band quad exercise but there are other movements and equipment options too.
A few of these alternatives include:
- Resistance band squats
- Ankle weights
- Resistance band leg presses
- Cable machines
- Bulgarian split squats
What muscles you want to work and whether you have the budget (or time to go to the gym) for other weighted leg extensions will influence what alternatives you prefer.
Are resistance band leg extensions good?
Resistance band leg extensions are a good exercise to isolate your quadricep muscles at home.
Two of the benefits of resistance bands that stand out are how budget-friendly they are and how much resistance they offer anyway.
Additionally, choosing the resistance band leg extension variation can make it easier to store your fitness equipment when your workout is done.
One thing to note is that resistance band leg extensions are also not completely unique in these benefits. You could like different exercises and equipment options too.
Lastly, if you start with quadricep isolation exercises, it can also be worth paying more attention to the opposite muscles (your hamstrings) with something like a resistance band leg curl.
Can you do leg extensions with resistance bands?
Yes, you can do leg extensions with resistance bands. With a good anchor and something to sit on, this variation can be a budget-friendly and effective way to grow and strengthen your quads.