Home Blog The Truth About Leg Extensions Part 1

The Truth About Leg Extensions Part 1

Written on September 26, 2007 at 12:29 pm, by Eric Cressey

Hello Eric, I just read “The Truth About Leg Extensions.” Because of my standing work , I can`t do any leg exercises that press under my feet (deadlift, squat, and leg press), more that once a week, without getting trouble with my knees. They get full of water and hurt. When training full-body, three times a week, I do leg extensions Monday and Wednesday and then squats on Friday. This way, I don’t have to stand up for 8 hours the day after squats. I just tried to do squats twice a week (Monday and Friday), also with bad results. So I am happy to have the Leg extension.

With Friendly Regards from Denmark,


A: You know, I can only imagine how challenging your life must be if you can only go to the bathroom once a week. I mean, honestly, not being able to squat down to the toilet more than once every seven days? You must have a pretty strong colon!

Kidding aside, I’m the last person from whom you will get sympathy. I regularly train clients and athletes anywhere from 7-13 hours per day – and those are on some pretty hard rubberized gym floors (rubber is on top of turf). I also happen to have supinated feet (very rigid feet that don’t like to cushion the body), so I regularly wear through the insoles I put in my shoes. Still, I do a wide variety of lifts – from deadlifts, to squats, to various single-leg movements – and sprint 2-3 times a week on top of that stimulus.

Now, getting to your issue…

First off, go check out my article, The Ten Rules of Corrective Lifting, at T-Nation. It will give you an idea of the direction I’m going to take with this reply. I would actually recommend opening it up in another window as I go through step-by-step what could be your problems.

Rule #1: Fit the program to the lifter, not vice versa. The best way to correct dysfunction is to prevent it. If you’re blindly following cookie-cutter programs, stop.

Your Take-Home: Stop reading your favorite muscle magazine; it takes more than leg extensions and squats to build solid legs that are pain-free.

Rule #2: Learn to program for yourself. Establish a small group of people who will give you honest feedback on your programming ideas, and then use your intuition when it comes to modifying things on the fly.

Your Take-Home: Seek out the help of others who understand the dynamics of your knees better than you do.

Rule #3: Some exercises just aren’t worth it. Don’t bother with them; there are better options available to you.

Your Take-Home: Cough…leg extensions….cough.

See the rest of this article in tomorrow’s update!

  • Avoid the most common deadlifting mistakes
  • 9 - minute instructional video
  • 3 part follow up series