I was 14 when I started working out. I started out with my dad at a gym in Nottingham. It was one he had gone to since the ’80s, and I remember being amazed that his locker key still worked, even when he took breaks for several years. Anyway, back then, I could do any exercise. I might not have been able to lift much, but the motions were fine.
Leg day was hilarious, because the place was up three flights of concrete stairs. When I worked my legs properly, it meant I risked death on the way down. It was fun though, and the leg press was a personal favourite.
Move on a few years – nearly 10 – and I’ve not been to an actual gym in ages. My spare room has been my gym and it serves me well, but it was missing a certain something. That something was to be able to do leg extensions. I soon sorted it and swapped a Freecycle-sourced bench for a Domyos alternative, complete with leg extension functionality.
Over the course of that next month, leg extensions became my favourite exercise. Second to none. That squeeze is the wickedest. Why on earth do people avoid legs. Mine were inflating noticeably each week through those, standard and Bulgarian squats alone.
Around that time I was taking things a lot more seriously, watching plenty of YouTube content on optimising workouts and whatnot. Jeff Cavalier, Mr Athlean-X, was my guy. But then he let me down. I came across a video where he said leg extensions are dangerous and to avoid them completely. Whatever, mate. It’s my favourite exercise. I’m not changing. In fact, I reckon I can manage five more pounds on the load.
Two twos, a week later, my knees are mash up. The weight and pressure leg extensions put on my knee ligaments had ruined them, and my legs were out of action for just over a month. He was right and it was wild that I got taught the lesson so soon after he warned about the problems they can cause.
I don’t ignore Jeff Caviere’s advice about these kinds of things now. I’m an ex-leg extender and I won’t be going back there. They are bad news. I even got rid of that weight bench to avoid the temptation.
If leg extensions are part of your routine, be careful. Don’t overload or dip your legs too low. If possible, get rid.