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Toning the hips and thighs is a concern of many women. This is seen at most gyms, where women strive to create an ideal figure. But, many neglect thigh extensions.

Thigh extension
Thigh extension

What you should know

Thigh extensions:

  • don’t develop muscle mass;
  • help improve strength;
  • are performed after basic exercises
  • are not performed by many men
  • have a relatively simple length of motion and technique;
  • tone muscles.

It is because of these qualities that women are especially fond of them. Performing extensions, whether in simulators or in a crossover, works only the target muscle groups. Are there any contraindications? If you have no problems with joints or acute necrosis of bone tissue, then you can safely perform extensions. This exercise does not burden the spine, the muscles of the press or other target groups requiring insurance.

When and who needs to perform the thigh extension in the simulator. When – after fully mastering the circular basic program (15-30 trainings). During this time, the body adapts to the load, all muscle groups are toned, and the necessary amount of glycogen is stored for training. Extensions tighten the back surface of the legs.

In the simulator

The first in the list is an exercise for the thighs using a special machine.

What muscles are worked?

  1. The muscles of the back of the thigh.
  2. Buttock muscles.
  3. Anterior group of leg muscles.
  4. Muscles of the lumbar region.

In this case, all movement occurs exclusively in the gluteal joint. Strangely enough, the greatest load is not on the hamstrings, but the muscles of the gluteal area. The simulator itself is designed in such a way that it is possible to workout only one leg at the same time. This creates the risk of an imbalance between the development of different legs. Therefore, when performing the number of repetitions, set the weight in such a way that the lagging (most often left) leg can handle it.

How to correctly perform thigh extensions

  1. Set the weight on the block.
  2. Stand in the rack.
  3. Lean the body in a special roller to avoid the inclusion of the muscles in the abdomen.
  4. With one foot lift, raise the load, lifting the leg.
  5. At the top, stay 1-2 seconds.

It is important in this case, do not bend it at the knee joint. This shifts the load onto the hamstrings, but increases the load on the joints, which in turn can result in traumatic consequences.

Retracting the leg back into the simulator
Retracting the leg back into the simulator

In the crossover

The work in the crossover is almost completely identical. But the crossover has a number of advantages:

  • the ability to make the range of motion more natural for the body. This in turn significantly reduces the load on the joints, and increases the payload on the muscles.
  • the ability to more flexibly adjust the weight;
  • the ability to bend the leg at the knee
  • no restrictions on the range of movements.

But while using the crossover to do leg extensions, you need to remember that, unlike the simulator, you need to keep your back straight and follow the movement, which can be challenging for beginners.

  1. Install the crossover on the lower blocks.
  2. Choose a loop for the legs / hands.
  3. Insert the leg into the handle.
  4. Stand with both hands in the crossover rack.
  5. Straighten the back and neck
  6. With your flat foot, pull the loop back.
  7. Additionally, at the peak, you can slightly bend the knee to increase toning.

Important points:

The mahi back in the crossover as a basic thigh extension exercise
The mahi back in the crossover as a basic thigh extension exercise
  1. Care should be taken to protect the knee, since the handle can simply fly off the foot, which can cause injury.
  2. Do not forget to wipe the crossover knobs after use, as many people touch them.

Unlike the simulator, multi-joint exercise allows you to perform it correctly. And for some crossover designs, it is possible to attach both legs to the handles, which will allow you to extend the thigh in the crossover alternately with each leg.


Loose weights

Working out at home is a separate issue. It should immediately be stipulated that the working out at home will not be as effective. However, to maintain muscle tone, or in cases when it is not possible to practice at a fitness club, this becomes the only alternative.

There are two basic exercises. This is the extension of the hip lying on the floor and a similar extension of the thigh at the bar (option for dancers). In the latter case, the extension of the thigh involves the muscles much more intensively, but requires special training and stretching. Therefore, consider the option of extending the hip.

What muscles does it use?

Absolutely the same groups as the work in the simulator or crossover.

How to perform them

Option 1. Classic

  1. Lie on the floor on your stomach.
  2. Extend legs, making a constant bend with your toes.
  3. Slowly pull your leg up.
  4. Hold at the peak for 3-4 seconds.
  5. Lower the leg.
  6. Carry out the same operation with the other leg.


Option 2. Basic basket

Many people have known this exercise since childhood. For good reason, it was included in the basic complex of exercises for junior students. The most important difference is that it:

  • Allows you to adjust the load due to the grip of the hands.
  • Allows you to carry out a static load.
  • Shifts the emphasis on the muscles of the waist.

At the same time, if you do it incorrectly, then in fact you do not get the hip flexion, but only the leg extension. Therefore, carefully follow the technique and performance features.

  1. Lie on the floor on your stomach.
  2. Extend your legs, keeping toes straight.
  3. Slowly raise your leg up.
  4. Bend the leg in the knee.
  5. Pull it to the hands.
  6. Grab the leg.
  7. Hands should be as relaxed as possible, the main load should be carried out by bending the body and keeping the hips in the correct position.
  8. To shift the emphasis to the arms, pull the legs in more tightly.
  9. Relax the muscles of the legs and hands.
  10. Return to the starting position.


Through correct use of the basket you can use:

  • thigh extensors;
  • hip flexors;
  • quadriceps;
  • calf;
  • delta;
  • biceps;
  • lumbar muscles;
  • back and abdomen.

This makes it more preferable than the classic version.

Mahi lying on the floor


Exercise for the extension of the hip and thigh, regardless of its purpose, is included in most programs for women. A lot of men often exclude it from their programs, but they shouldn’t!

Program Number of repetitions What for
Split legs 3 * 12 in the simulator. After the base. Maximizing the burden on the back of the trouble area
Circular (second cycle) 5 * 20. Performed solo (in a crossover) To tone the back of the thigh
Home 5 * max – free weights Toning the target group
CrossFit 5 * 20. Performed solo (in a crossover) Improving functional strength

The result

Regardless of the chosen exercise, remember the basic principles of leg muscle training.

  • Isolation exercises are carried out only after basic (Romanian draft, squat).
  • To obtain the ideal shape, regularly increase weights and the number of repetitions and sets.
  • If possible, try to use a crossover.
  • Observe the correct technique.

And most importantly – do not forget about the development of other muscle groups. Well-shaped legs are good for both men and women. But, on the other hand, look at bicyclists whose powerful thighs and calves do not harmonize well with the athlete’s overall thinness.

See also: Exercises on the back of the thigh