Primary muscles: Quadricep
Secondary muscles: Gluteus maximus (buttocks), hamstring (tendon behind the knee)
Equipment needed: Leg-extension machine, chair with ankle weights
Starting position: Choose your weight and sit on the machine, adjust the pad so that it falls on top of your leg (just above your feet). Make sure your legs form a 90-degree angle between the lower and upper leg. This keeps the knee over the toes, which in turn prevents undue stress at the knee joint.
Upward phase: Using your quadriceps, extend your legs to the maximum as you exhale. Keep the rest of your body stationary on the seat. Pause a second on the contracted position.
Downward phase: Slowly lower the weight back to the original position as you inhale, do not go past the 90-degree angle limit.
Repeat: 3 sets, 12-15 repetitions
Next week: Holiday Express Workout (multiple muscle groups)
Amy Carroll is an instructor at the YMCA of Dyer County. She is a certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist.