Best Leg Extension Machines Review January 2019

Best Leg Extension Machines Review 2019

updated January 1, 2019

When you’re after full, defined quads, leg extensions are your go to move. Their benefits are that they will isolate your quads, allowing you to apply 100% tension to the working muscle. Only a stand alone leg extension unit can give you the range of motion and versatility that your legs deserve. In this article we review the Top 10 leg extension machines on the 2019 market.

A Snapshot of the Top 10

The best leg extension machine on the home gym market right now is the Body Solid GCEC340, which offers a massive 400 pound max weight capacity, gives a very fluid exercise motion and is very sturdily constructed. Our second favorite is the Valor Fitness CC-4, with its sun dial adjustment, smooth operation and compact design.

Our third favorite quad extension machine is the Marcy Adjustable Bench, which provides a leg extension, leg curl option and provides thick bench padding and a solid frame.

In order for you to be able to easily compare the top leg extension machines, we’ve rated each of the top 10 on the basis of price and durability. We’ve also given each one an overall rating out of 10. In the following section, we provide an in depth review of each quadriceps machine.

The Best Leg Extension Machines Up Close

Cam Series Leg Ext Curl Machine

The Body Solid GCEC340 is a solidly constructed plate loading machine that also doubles as a seated leg curl. Heavy gauge steel tubing framing provides a solid base, while the fully adjustable seven gauge steel cam will accommodate every size of user. A jumbo pop pin makes it easy to adjust the pads, which are made from thick durafirm, along with the foot rollers.

The Body Solid GCEC340 can handle a maximum plate load of 400 pounds, with an additional 200 pounds of user weight. It will take both conventional and olympic plates. You can buy this unit with confidence, knowing that it comes with a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty. This is an extremely well priced unit that delivers the quality and robustness that you need.

PROS

  • Leg extension plus seated leg curl
  • 400 pounds weight capacity
  • Well priced

CONS

  • Difficult to assemble
Adjustable Leg Curl Machine

The Valor Fitness CC-4 is a fully adjustable leg extension unit that also doubles as a seated leg curl machine. This is a plate loaded machine with a maximum plate capacity of 150 pounds. The unit is constructed of heavy gauge square steel tubing and has a very compact footprint of just 35 x 35 inches at a height of 40 inches.

The user friendly sun dial adjuster on the Valor Fitness CC-4 allows you to adjust the range of motion to suit your individual needs. This unit also features forward and back seat adjustment. Thick foam padding ensures that you are exercising in comfort without any chafing on our lower legs. An adjustable thigh support keeps your lower body ergonomically aligned as you exercise.

PROS

  • Leg extension and seated leg curl
  • Heavy gauge frame
  • Sun dial adjuster

CONS

  • Only 150 pound plate capacity
Workout weight bench

The Marcy Adjustable Weight Bench is a powerful all purpose bench that includes a high spec leg developer. The six position adjustable bench allows you to work your upper body from a range of incline, decline and flat bench positions. The secure sawtooth back pad adjustment provides you with a very secure and easy adjustment. The total leg developer provides you with a full extension on both leg extensions and leg curls. You also get high quality comfortable padding to protect your shins and calves as you perform these moves. The foam rollers have a vinyl covering and a hard wearing, powder coated finish.

The Marcy bench features high density padding, while the powder coated steel frame provides maximum strength and rigidity. The maximum weight capacity of the bench is 300 pounds. 

The exercise movement is smooth with no jerkiness whatsoever. Assembly is easy and it comes in at a favorable price point, making this a great leg extension at home option.

PROS

  • Leg extension and lying leg curl
  • 6 position adjustable bench
  • Well priced

CONS

  • No back seat for leg extension
Rotary Leg Extension and Curl Machine

The XMark Rotary Leg Extension doubles as a seated leg curl machine. This leg exercise machine provides maximum user customization, with 12 position adjustability on the thigh pad and a 20 position press arm to allow you to get the exact lower body placement. The frame of this unit is made from 12 gauge square steel tubing, providing a very solid base. The unit is finished in a scratch resistant grey powder coating.

The XMark Rotary Leg Extension features oversized vinyl covered rollers which are well padded to provide maximum comfort. It has rubber grip handlebars with molded finger spacings.The backrest pad is fully adjustable and the oversized chrome can ensures a smooth, fluid operation. This unit will take both standard and olympic weight plates.

PROS

  • Leg extension plus seated leg curl
  • 20 position arm adjustability
  • Oversized vinyl rollers

CONS

  • A little tricky to get in and out of the machine
Leg Extension Curl Machine

The Powerline PLCE165X is a minimalistically designed machine that also provides a decline leg curl. The one inch diameter weight post is made from heavy gauge square steel to provide a robust support. As this quad exercise machine doubles as a lying leg curl, there is no back support while doing leg extensions. The arm can be adjusted to two lengths to accommodate different heights.

Powerline PLCE165X is a plate loaded leg extension curl machine that takes standard weight plates. It is a solid reliable unit that doesn’t come with any frills but will do the job you want it to reliably, time after time. It comes it at an affordable price point and doesn’t require a lot of floor space.

PROS

  • Quadriceps extension plus lying leg curl
  • Well priced
  • Solid frame

CONS

  • No back support
Weight Bench

The Gold’s Gym Workout Bench is a high end weight bench that comes with a number of extras, including a top notch leg developer. The multi purpose bench adjusts to flat, incline and decline angles so you can press from a variety of angles (flat, 30, 45 and 90 degrees). The bench features fixed uprights that allow you to safely bench up to 300 pounds of weight. The total max weight of the unit is 600 pounds (300 pounds user weight and 300 pounds of weight). The pad four roller leg developer allows you to effectively work both your quads and hamstrings by doing leg extensions and leg curls. The sewn vinyl seats are well padded to provide both comfort and durability. 

PROS

  • Leg extensions / leg curl
  • Multi position bench
  • Dour roller leg developer

CONS

  • No wheels for transport
Leg Extension/Leg Curl

The Inflight Fitness cable leg extension is a compact stylish weight stack that doubles as a lying leg extension. Unlike most combination leg extension / leg curl machines, this one has an adjustable back support that allows you to have a back seat when doing extensions. This machine features sturdy heavy gauge steel framing and is powder coated in stylish silver. The rollers pivot and will adjust automatically to provide ideal ankle support.

The Inflight machine gives you three positions on the leg extension back support to allow for proper positioning. The movement through the exercise range of motion is smooth and natural without and jerkiness of stuttering. This unit comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame and weight plates.

PROS

  • Leg extension and lying leg curl
  • Leg extension back support
  • Pivoting rollers

CONS

  • Expensive
Leg Extension and Leg Curl Machine

#8. Body Solid GCECSTK

The Body Solid GCECSTK Pro Select leg extension / leg curl machine is a plate loaded device that comes with a 210 pound weight stack. It has oversized thick, durafoam padding covered with tear resistant nylon. The seat and leg pad are adjustable to seven positions, allowing you to fully customize your positioning.

The transition from leg extension to seated leg curl is by way of a quick pull pin. You also get rotary range of motion adjustment to allow for variation as to your exercise start position. Body Solid GCECSTK machine is constructed of solid steel framing, providing a rugged support to work from. The elliptical cam provides for a very smooth, fluid motion. You can also safely perform the single leg extension on this machine.

PROS

  • Leg extension and seated leg curl
  • 210 pound weight stack
  • Smooth, fluid motion

CONS

  • Expensive
Leverage Leg Extension

The Body Solid LVLE seated leg extension machine is constructed from 2 x 3 inch, heavy duty square steel framing. It features a direct link movement arm that vastly improved the naturalness and effectiveness of the leg extension action. The arm also provides for an enhanced range of motion. This unit is fully adjustable to suit every body type. It has a gas assisted back seat adjustment and an adjustable foot roller.

This high spec machine is commercially rated for light industrial use. The sealed bearing pivot points provide a very smooth and fluid motion. All upholstery on this unit is double stitched for extra durability. The machine comes with a complete lifetime warranty.

PROS

  • 2 x 3 inch steel framing
  • Direct link movement arm
  • Gas assisted back seat adjustment

CONS

  • No leg curl function
Leg Extension

The Body Solid Leg Extension with weight stack has a 2 x 4 inch main frame that is both compact and stylish. The weight stack on this machine provides you with 310 pounds of weight plates. The seat and leg brace are fully adjustable to give customized positioning. The seat and roller padding is extra thick and is covered by tough, tear resistant durafirm.

The Body Solid Leg Extension has been biomechanically engineered to provide you with the most precise points so that you can get the most out of every rep you perform. You also get hold down grips to keep your upper body in place while you are exercising. The Body Solid warranty provides you with a lifetime warranty.

PROS

  • 310 pounds of plate resistance
  • Extra thick padding
  • Lifetime warranty

CONS

  • No leg curl

Now that you know where to go to get the best leg extension machine, check out this clip to make sure that you’ve got your exercise form on point . . .

Is the Leg Extension Bad for Your Knees?

The leg extension is popularly used as a quad isolation exercise. Often people do it after their compound mass movement, which is usually squats or leg presses. However, the leg extension is not without its detractors. There those who claim that they will ruin your knees.

So what gives?

Leg Extension

The leg extension movement can, in fact, put an inordinate amount of stress on your knees. The exercise places constant tension on the anterior ligament. If you have existing interior ligament issues, then, you should avoid this exercise. The movement will also increase the risk of lateral patellar deviation. What this means is that the knee cap may slide from left to right when you are performing this exercise.

When you are performing the leg extension, there is very little involvement of the hamstrings. As a result, there is no hamstring support of the knee, putting more force on the knee joint.

All of this creates a problem when you go extra heavy on the leg extension. Doing so will leave you prone to knee injury.

Final problem with the leg extension exercise is that it is not very functional. Unlike an exercise such as squats, which simulates a move that you do many times each day, the movement that you perform on the leg extension is not something that you will do in everyday life. After ll, when was the last time that you lifting a weight anchored t your feet from a seated position? More than likely, never!

With all of this downside, why would anyone choose to perform the deadlift? Well for one reason, this is an effective exercise to target your quadriceps. It is also a very simple exercise to perform; after all, you are pretty much locked on place. The exercise allows you to target the quads without having the glutes take over, which happens with back squats. This is also an exercise that you can safely perform of you have a hamstring injury. This exercise can also help to improve your kicking force when playing such sports as soccer.

Legs

Another great benefit of the leg extension machine is that it provides you with options as far as your leg training goes. Let’s say that you are wanting to do squats, but for some reason do not want to go too heavy. It may be that you have a limiting factor, such as a joint or lower back injury. Or it could simply be that you are getting on in age (50+) and do not want to risk potential injury.

You can overcome this problem by super-setting leg extensions with squats. Perform a set of leg extensions with a moderate rate for 12 reps and then go directly to squats for eight reps. When you do this, the weight that you have on the squat bar will feel twice as heavy. As a result, your quads will work that much harder. Remember, your muscles don’t know how heavy the weight is. All they register is the intensity of the effort required to lift it!

Conclusion

Our favorite leg extension machine is the Body Solid GCEC340, with its 400 pound user weight capacity, heavy gauge steel construction and fluid pivot motion. We were also very impressed with the Valor Fitness CC-4, which provides a sun dial adjuster, thick foam padding and compact foot print. Our bronze medal winner is the Marcy Adjustable Weight Bench, which also acts as a leg extension / leg extension, has thick bench padding and smooth exercise movement.

Top 3 Leg Extension Machines

Body Solid GCEC340


Our #1. Recommendation

Body Solid GCEC340

jim roose

My name is Jim Roose. I'm a former competitive power lifter and gym owner. I've bought millions of dollars of fitness equipment over the last 20 years. This site is my way of giving back to the fitness community that's done so much for me. Every article on here is carefully researched and written by me. Leave a comment if you have any questions.

Best Leg Extension Machines Review 2019
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