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  1. #1
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    Leg extensions. Worth it or worthless

    I personally think they’re worthless. About 3 years ago a good trainer buddy of mine and another trainer were talking leg workouts. They both know I pretty much train specifically geared towards skiing. One trainer competes in strong man competitions and trains for strength training. The other is more of a sports specific trainer and trains for a wide variety of sports. They both feel that unless coming off an injury and need to encourage mobility etc that overall the leg extension is worthless to a degree. Since I have stopped doing them I have noticed better gains in strength and mass in my legs and hips. That is probably due to the fact that I now do more squat reps as well as hack squat reps and other complex movements.
    So what’s your take?

  2. #2
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    Useless unless specific rehab/recovery requires them. There is no stabilizing component ala skiing related motion, and while you can train an eccentric and to a degree, isometric contraction with leg extensions, the plane is very different from that of skiing specific motion.

  3. #3
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    Not a fan. Not a natural movement.
    PE, Mechanical Engineering
    University of Bridger Bowl Alumnus
    Alpental Creeper

  4. #4
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    There are so many complex movements you can do, I don't really see why people do isolation exercises for large muscles, except for body building I guess. There are SO* many better exercises than leg extensions if your goal is to be fit for sports. Most people are already quad dominant from sitting so much at a desk, so yeah, focus on hips, glutes, and hammies instead of quads using compound movements.

    I agree with them that I could see using leg extensions with light weight just to get the quads firing after an injury or surgery before one moves toward more complex exercises. Seems like straight leg raises would work just as well as leg extensions for that purpose, but I guess I could envision a situation where one would want to do both.

    Edit: looks like we all posted at the same time

    *Edit 2: Figured if I was gonna say there were a bunch of better stuff I might as well mention what they were. Here are some movements for those interested or stuck in a rut with the same old stuff:

    Two Legged Stuff
    back squat (low bar or high bar)
    front squat
    banded squat (or chain squat) -- band anchored to the floor pulls the bar down, really like these for skiing
    pause squat -- pause at bottom of front or back squat, as mentioned by LVS
    box squats -- sit down on box and stand up, kinda similar to pause squat
    overhead squat
    snatch balance or drop snatch (really gets the quads)
    deadlift
    romanian deadlift
    stiff-legged deadlift (get those hamstring like crazy)
    all variations of snatch (if you have the mobility)
    all variations of clean and jerk (if you have the mobility)

    single-leg stuff
    pistol
    high-box step up -- box should be high and try to roll up onto your toes of the lower foot but not push off with it, feels kinda similar to a pistol
    bulgarian split squat, also known as the rear-foot elevated split squat, RFESS,
    lunges
    jumping/scissor lunges
    single-leg romanian DL
    Last edited by auvgeek; 09-11-2018 at 12:11 PM.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

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  5. #5
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    Pause at the bottom of your squat and count to 3 if you want to give the old quads a real work out.

  6. #6
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    Squats, ftw.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leavenworth Skier View Post
    Pause at the bottom of your squat and count to 3 if you want to give the old quads a real work out.
    That as well as pulsing for a count of 5 about mid way up in a squat will torch the quads.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2FUNKY View Post
    I personally think they’re worthless. About 3 years ago a good trainer buddy of mine and another trainer were talking leg workouts. They both know I pretty much train specifically geared towards skiing. One trainer competes in strong man competitions and trains for strength training. The other is more of a sports specific trainer and trains for a wide variety of sports. They both feel that unless coming off an injury and need to encourage mobility etc that overall the leg extension is worthless to a degree. Since I have stopped doing them I have noticed better gains in strength and mass in my legs and hips. That is probably due to the fact that I now do more squat reps as well as hack squat reps and other complex movements.
    So what’s your take?
    leg extensions have been verboten for Knee-hab from every doc I've ever had. Haven't done them in damn near 30yrs.

    Work the glutes and hammy's, ride a bike if you want big quads.
    Move upside and let the man go through...

  9. #9
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    Are air squats helpful/impactful? Say you do 100+
    I get leery loading big weight over weak knee. Viewed leg extension track movement safe to some extent. Timely topic as we gear up

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CascadeLuke View Post
    Are air squats helpful/impactful? Say you do 100+
    I get leery loading big weight over weak knee. Viewed leg extension track movement safe to some extent. Timely topic as we gear up
    I have junk knees too.

    Start light, work up very slowly. Keep the rep range low. More sets are better than more reps. Focus on quality over quantity. Don't chase depth beyond slightly below parallel. Wear shoes with good footbeds and a hard sole.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mofro261 View Post
    leg extensions have been verboten for Knee-hab from every doc I've ever had. Haven't done them in damn near 30yrs.

    Work the glutes and hammy's, ride a bike if you want big quads.
    But I’ve gots the big quads.
    Quote Originally Posted by Leavenworth Skier View Post
    I have junk knees too.

    Start light, work up very slowly. Keep the rep range low. More sets are better than more reps. Focus on quality over quantity. Don't chase depth beyond slightly below parallel. Wear shoes with good footbeds and a hard sole.
    This. Quality knee sleeves are a god send for squats. Look at Rehband. Absolutely love mine. I also do squats with no shoes on but I am looking into squat specific shoes.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2FUNKY View Post
    I also do squats with no shoes on but I am looking into squat specific shoes.
    Personally, I think they're a godsend if you have limited ankle or hip mobility like me. Knees and low back (SI joint) feel so much better since I switched to squatting with elevated heel shoes. YMMV.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    photos

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by auvgeek View Post
    Personally, I think they're a godsend if you have limited ankle or hip mobility like me. Knees and low back (SI joint) feel so much better since I switched to squatting with elevated heel shoes. YMMV.
    I have excellent mobility in all areas but am still very intrigued by them.

  14. #14
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    If you have bad knees, you definitely need to do strength training. Working up to your 1 - 1.5 x bodyweight on the bar for 3-5 sets of 5 quality reps is a worthy goal. Then if you have that goofy move where you hit a mogul weird and get bucked you have the strength to stay in a safe position vs. completely overwhelming your muscles and putting tension on the joint and the surrounding fragile tendons/ligaments.

  15. #15
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    Ooo. Today is Leg Day for me. Front and Back Squats, regular and romanian deadlifts. Banded crab walks, and reverse hammy curls. Then hammer my core on my MECA wedge.

    I think leg extensions are decent for warming up and strengthening the tendons around the knee. For skiing though, I dont think they do much besides some minor injury protection. Same with those hip abduct/adductor machines. Compound movements help so much more with athleticism.


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leavenworth Skier View Post
    If you have bad knees, you definitely need to do strength training. Working up to your 1 - 1.5 x bodyweight on the bar for 3-5 sets of 5 quality reps is a worthy goal. Then if you have that goofy move where you hit a mogul weird and get bucked you have the strength to stay in a safe position vs. completely overwhelming your muscles and putting tension on the joint and the surrounding fragile tendons/ligaments.
    My lowest rep is 8. I used to go down to 5 but have better results with 8 and it puts less stress on my knees and back since my weight is just a little less than when I was 5 repping.

  17. #17
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    This sounds like a more weight-lifting crowd, but leg blasters. That is all.

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    a witty saying proves nothing
    voltaire

  18. #18
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    ^^^^Leg Blasters

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by auvgeek View Post
    Most people are already quad dominant from sitting so much at a desk, so yeah, focus on hips, glutes, and hammies instead of quads using compound movements.

    This is the key.



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  20. #20
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    Leg blasters are done on days that I don’t lift.

  21. #21
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    A good reminder that somebody’s warming up with your max and your hard day is somebody’s recovery workout.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

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  22. #22
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    Leg extensions. Worth it or worthless

    What do you guys think about small plyometric hops or even jumping rope, to get muscles ready for skiing difficult snow. Like when skiing breakable crusts, and you have to lift up and over the crust every.single.turn, to not get hung up underneath it.


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  23. #23
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    Short people are better at skiing so I vote worthless. Unless your legs are different lengths but then it's a leg extension not leg extensions. Short dentists probably are better served by talking therapy IMO.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Betelgeuse View Post
    What do you guys think about small plyometric hops or even jumping rope, to get muscles ready for skiing difficult snow. Like when skiing breakable crusts, and you have to lift up and over the crust every.single.turn, to not get hung up underneath it.
    A proper training regime should include all aspects of the force-velocity curve. I doubt jumping rope helps with breakable crust, but YMMV.

    Also: IME technique plays a larger part than fitness in difficult snow -- you gots to ski lots (on the same pair of skis) to learn how your skis will react to different snow and be able to counter it.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    photos

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Betelgeuse View Post
    What do you guys think about small plyometric hops or even jumping rope, to get muscles ready for skiing difficult snow. Like when skiing breakable crusts, and you have to lift up and over the crust every.single.turn, to not get hung up underneath it.


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    I just ski protest, problem solved. Oh, what auvgeek said too.

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