For me, leg days are some of the most motivating training days.
It might be purely psychological to write down very high weight amounts on my training sheet. But unless you have the right equipment, that training data may not count for much.
The problem I’ve seen with many leg extension and curl machines is that those designed for home gyms often compromise on the range of motion.
Oh, and they don’t always use heavy-duty materials.
So, we teamed up with some colleagues to find the best leg extension machines with a reasonable price tag.
Here’s what we found.
Our Top Leg Extension Machines (September 2022)
1 - Rogue Reflex Leg Curl/Leg Extension (Editor's Choice)
This reflex leg curl and leg extension machine from Rogue is fully adjustable to accommodate whatever workout level you’re in.
It’s easily our top choice for the best leg extension machine for many reasons but mainly because it has one of the best structural quality with its powder-coated steel body and high-density foam pads.
With its build, it can surely last you a long time.
- Weight capacity : 250 lbs
- Dimensions : 50”L x 43”W x 73”H
- Fully adjustable leg roller pads
- Comfortable grip handles
- Comes with chrome plated pulleys and cable retainers
- Easy to assemble
- Quite expensive
The price point is a bit steep, but with the Roque brand, the quality of this leg extension machine is guaranteed.
2 - XMark Rotary Leg Extension and Curl Machine
The reason we picked this as one of our top recommendations is because it seems to be a commercial grade leg extension curl machine.
Many users like that it may allow them to better adjust the machine to their exact height and leg length to get a comfortable and optimum range of motion.
- Weight capacity : 500 lbs
- Dimensions : 48”L x 41”W x 41”H
- 11 gauge steel with powder coat finish may make it more durable
- Works with standard and Olympic plates for more compatibility
- 20 adjustable press arm positions to suit different leg lengths
- It doesn’t include a weight plate holder for storage
The only thing it might be missing is a weight stack to store your plates.
3 - Merax Utility Weight Bench with Leg Extension
The Merax leg extension curl machine has a cool attachment that allows you to use it for dumbbell curls as well.
And adjusting the backrest pad to the seven different levels may be fast enough to not disrupt your workout routines.
The maximum weight capacity isn’t quite as high as commercial leg curl machines, but it should be high enough for most athletes.
- Weight capacity : 550 lbs
- Dimensions : 75”L x 26”W x 48”H
- Suitable for arm curls and leg extensions
- Backrest may be adjusted to 7 different positions
- Olympic plate adapters are included
- Some people have struggled with the assembly
We did see quite a few comments online where people seem to have struggled with the assembly process.
4 - Gold's Gym XRS 20 Olympic Workout Bench
This Gold’s Gym branded leg curl machine has a good maximum capacity, and there are positive comments that it has a solid build that doesn’t wobble.
We liked that the preacher pad for arm curls is easy to remove, as we did find a few products where that would require a screwdriver.
- Weight capacity : 600 lbs capacity
- Dimensions : 72”L x 26”W x 22”H
- Works well to train upper and lower body
- Easily converts to using Olympic weight plates
- The preacher pad for curls is easy to remove
- The caps on the padding tend to come loose
The only annoying thing about it is that the round ankle and thigh pad caps sometimes come loose.
5 - Marcy Impex
This leg curl machine has an adjustable back pad with a good choice of positions, including a decline one.
This may make leg curls more comfortable and less straining on the lower back.
It also may work well if you don’t have much space and need to move it out of the way using the wheels when you’re finished.
- Weight capacity : 600 lbs capacity
- Dimensions : 65”L x 23”W x 46”H
- Back pad allows for incline and decline positions
- Positive comments about the high-density foam being comfortable
- The vinyl-covered rollers may make it easier to store away
- Some heavier bodybuilders have said it’s a bit wobbly
We just noticed that there are a few online comments that it may get a bit wobbly when you get close to the weight limit.
6 - Deltech Fitness Leg Extension Machine
This leg extension machine has one of the higher maximum weight limits we found for a home gym model.
It also might be the sturdiest even when it’s fully loaded.
- Weight capacity : 650 lbs capacity
- Dimensions : 53”L x 26”W x 36”H
- Positive comments that it’s a sturdy design with no wobbles
- Seems to be higher off the ground for more flexibility in workouts
- People like that they may adjust the settings to their leg length
- The assembly instructions are not the easiest to follow
Just be aware that it might not be the easiest to assemble, so make sure you have a willing or unwilling volunteer to help out.
7 - Valor Fitness CC-4 Leg Extension Machine
The Valor Fitness leg extension machine has quite a compact design, which might be a good fit for a small home gym.
It’s highly adjustable, which may give you more control over the precise range that your legs move.
And if you like good support, then the back and thigh pad seem to mold well to your body.
- Weight capacity : 400 lbs capacity
- Dimensions : 35”L x 35”W x 40”H
- Compact design for a smaller home gym
- Allows adjustment to the range of motion
- Positive comments about the padding
- The maximum plate capacity might be a bit limited for some athletes
Just be aware that the weight capacity isn’t all that high.
8 - Body-Solid Powerline Leg Extension and Curl Weight Machine
This leg curl machine stood out for us because it has multiple hand grip positions.
You may find these helpful for different body positions during a leg curl or extension exercise.
Users also like that it may allow them to switch the incline position quickly to not interrupt the sets too much.
- Weight capacity : 500 lbs capacity
- Dimensions : 62”L x 25”W x 27”H
- The position of the hand grips is a good support for your workouts
- Adjustable backrest includes a decline position
- Easily switch between extensions and leg curls
- Not adjustable enough for long legs
The only thing we’re missing is a fully adjustable press arm to better accommodate different leg lengths.
9 - TDS Leg Curl Extension Unit
This is another leg curl machine with a high-quality backrest.
Both the padding and adjustability seem to make training comfortably that bit easier.
It also includes an adapter to use Olympic weight plates or standard ones.
- Weight capacity : 600 lbs capacity
- Dimensions : 67”L x 26”W x 30”H
- Fully adjustable backrest for curl and leg extension
- Assembly seems to be easy enough for one person
- Comes with an Olympic plate adapter for more compatibility
- There are some reports it may start to wobble with heavier loads
If you’re going to push the weight limits of this leg extensions and curl machine, then be aware that some users have reported that it might shake a bit.
10 - Inflight Fitness Leg Extension Machine
The final leg extension machine to make our featured list comes from a company called Inflight Fitness.
The first thing to point out is that it uses a cable system rather than simply attaching the weight plates directly to the front of the machine.
We found that this did give a smooth motion, especially for a lying leg exercise.
- Weight capacity : 450 lbs capacity
- Dimensions : 65”L x 42”W x 78”H
- Use a cable pulley system to allow for higher weight ranges
- May provide better back support from the padding design
- Ankle padding adjusts to your leg movement for more comfort
- It’s quite a large piece of equipment
Just make sure you measure out your exercise space as it’s one of the larger models that might not fit in every home gym.
Here are the four areas you should pay the closest attention to when making your buying choice.
1. Weight Capacity
You need to be careful here.
These machines generally display a capacity of the weights and the user.
Just because it has a limit of 500 lbs doesn’t mean you could pile on that amount in plates.
If you’re a bodybuilder looking for maximum capacity, then you’ll probably need to look at commercial types of machines.
2. Adjustment Settings
The first thing you want to check is for an adjustable leg part of the machine.
The better this can be fine-tuned, the more comfortable the machine will feel, especially under heavy loads.
But you also need to check for adjustments on the seat and the backrest. You really want to prioritize a model that you’ll be able to bring into a decline position, as this may be more suitable for leg curls .
“Leg extensions involve straightening your leg from a bent-knee position against a resistance while seated. The first motion, knee extension, is the concentric motion, also called the muscle-shortening motion. During this phase, the four quad muscles contract and pull on the lower leg to straighten it. As these same muscles also slightly rotate your leg externally, your toes will point slightly outward.” - Mike Samuels, Writer for AZCentral.com.
Some leg extension curl machines can be pretty bulky.
And when they aren’t easy to store away, then you need to make sure that it fits your gym space.
We’ve listed out all the measurements above, so make sure you look at those carefully.
It’s happened to me before that I’ve spent 5 hours with some assembly “fun,” only to realize that it won’t fit.
4. Smooth Motion
Many athletes just look for a full range of motion. And while that is important, you have to make sure that the machine doesn’t have a jittery effect.
When you don’t have a smooth motion, you could be reducing the effectiveness of building up some mass in your quadriceps and hamstrings .
Is a Leg Extension Machine Bad for Knees?
No, a leg extension machine isn’t bad for knees. However, it may become a problem if you load it up too heavy or if you have some prior injury that could make the joint weaker than average.
Should You Go Heavy on Leg Extensions?
No, you shouldn’t go heavy on leg extensions. The design of these machines may put a lot of pressure on your joints and ligaments, which may cause injuries. Squats might be a better option if you need to work out with heavier weights.
What Is The Best Leg Extension Machine?
One of the best leg extension machines we all agreed on is the Rogue Reflex Leg Extension machine.
It has a good total capacity for the user and weight stack, and you’ll find that there’s no wobbling effect.
We also found the adjustments very helpful to specify exactly how far you want your legs to move.
Order yours today and let us know how well it works for your workout routines.
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