Leg extension and curl machines are staples in almost every gym you’ll go to, and for good reason. Both of these exercises hit the quads and the hamstrings very well in their own right.
Each machine would make an excellent addition to your own gym, but what’s even better is one machine that can do both.
Now I assume you’re here because you already know the benefits of using these types of machines to isolate the hamstrings and quads, but if you don’t, I wrote an article here explaining some of the benefits and use cases for them.
Now let’s jump straight into comparing five choices you can consider when trying to decide what to bring home.
You do not have to use my links below if you choose not to, but I will receive a commission if you purchase through them. It is much appreciated.
What are the best leg extension/hamstring curl machines?
1. Titan Leg Extension Leg Curl Machine V2.
$699.99 at the time of publishing
This machine by Titan is great for the home gym as it has a pretty small footprint.
With assembled dimensions of 39 inches (99.06 cm) in height, 42 inches (106.68 cm) in width and 36 inches (91.44 cm) in length, many people should be able to fit this into their space.
The assembled weight of this piece is 108 lbs (48.98 kg) which makes it fairly easy to move around compared to a machine with a built-in weight stack.
It is built using an 11 gauge steel frame with a powder-coated black finish giving it a very sleek design along with HeftyGrip vinyl upholstery which is easy to clean.
The seat on this machine is large enough to accommodate people of a large range of sizes. The dimensions of the back pad are 15 inches (38.1 cm) x 10 inches (25.4 cm) x 2 inches (5.08 cm). The seat pad comes in at 22 inches (55.88 cm) x 17 inches (43.18 cm) x 2 inches (5.08 cm). And the roller pad dimensions are 17 (43.18 cm) inches x 5 inches (12.7 cm)
Both the seat pad and kneepad have 7 different positions it can be adjusted, while the seat angle can be adjusted 3 different ways.
This machine can handle up to 300 lbs (136.08 kg) of load (that’s pure load, not including the user). However, fitting that much weight may be difficult considering the length of the arm that holds the plates is 10 inches (25.4 cm) so bear that in mind. The thickness of your plates will play a factor here.
This machine is for use with Olympic plates only which do not come included with purchase.
There is a weight post on the rear of the machine which allows for counter balance and stability without the use of permanent mounting. However, the option is there for you if you like with each foot having a hole to accommodate a concrete anchor.
Holes all around the rotary allow for many different options in choosing where you would like to start your extensions or curls.
Overall, from my research and the information gathered, this machine seems like a great pick if you were to decide to choose it.
The Titan Leg Curl Extension is made with above-average quality and materials and includes a 1-year warranty covering any defects found in material or workmanship. It can accommodate a large span of body types and can hold a significant amount of weight considering the average one rep max on leg extensions for males is 212 lbs (96.16 kg) and 174 lbs (78.9 kg) for leg curls. (174 lbs (78.9 kg) for extensions and 105 lbs (47.6 kg) for curls for females)
Some of the drawbacks of this machine are, as mentioned earlier, possibly not being able to load the full 300 lbs (136.08 kg) depending on the thickness of plates you are using as well as only being able to fit an Olympic-size plate and not standard plates as well.
Also, as seems to be the case with all plate-loaded machines of this type based on many of the reviews and commentary, there is very little resistance in the beginning part of each rep, and begins to feel weighted after you are a bit into each rep.
All things considered, this is definitely a piece of equipment I would consider for my home gym as a great supplement to squats, deadlift variations and lunges.
2. Valor Fitness CC-4 Adjustable Leg Curl Extension Machine.
$423.68 at the time of publishing
Next on the list is the Valor Fitness CC-4.
Off the bat you can see that this is an affordable machine and great for those looking to expand their gym on a budget.
Let’s look a little deeper and see if this is a piece that you would like to take home.
The assembled dimensions are 55 inches (139.7 cm) in length, 39.5 inches (100.33 cm) in width and 38 inches (96.5 cm) in height making this another ideal choice for a home gym or smaller space.
The assembled weight is 90 lbs (40.8 kg) making it fairly mobile which is great if you choose to keep it out of the way when not in use.
The Valor CC-4 is constructed out of 12 gauge stainless steel tubing and dual layered vinyl padding. As mentioned earlier, vinyl is pretty easy to clean which aids in keeping your equipment looking like new.
This machine has a center attachment for thigh support which locks in between your legs when seated and has up to 8 adjustable positions, and a back support with up to 6 adjustable positions which makes it suitable for people of various sizes.
The thigh support, unlike the Titan which has a permanently attached horizontal arm, is a vertical piece that can detach completely. This is necessary for getting in and out of the machine, which some users found quick to do but inconvenient.
This machine, like the Titan, has a rotary mechanism with holes all around which allows you to set up for many different starting positions for each movement and a simple peg system for switching between exercises with ease.
A noticeable perk of this machine is that it is capable of using both standard 1-inch (2.54 cm) plates as well as Olympic plates. The only catch is that the adapter for the Olympic plates is sold separately.
A couple of potential drawbacks of this machine are the weight capacity and the lack of a weight post in the rear to act as a counterbalance.
This may not be a problem considering the max weight to be used on this machine is listed at 150 lbs (68.03 kg), especially if you are a larger individual (Max user weight is listed at 350 lbs (158.7kg) ) l, but still worth keeping in mind as you would not want instability or tipping.
Speaking of the max usable weight of 150 lbs (68.03 kg), this falls below our previously mentioned averages of lifting capabilities of men on both exercises, and women on the leg extension. This may or may not be a concern based on your own personal goals and lifting capabilities.
Worth mentioning again as well, with this being a plate loaded machine, you can expect for the resistance at the beginning of each movement to be much lighter than what is loaded until you get a bit into each rep.
One more thing to consider is the assembly. The reviews were mixed when it came to assembly with many saying that it was simple, and others saying that it was a bit confusing and vague with poor labeling and direction.
All in all, the Valor CC-4 stacks up to be a great consideration for your gym. Good materials, functionality, small footprint and price make it something I would consider myself for my home gym as well.
3. XMark Rotary Leg Extension/Curl Machine.
$769 at time of publishing
Third up on this list is the Rotary Leg Extension/Curl Machine by XMark Fitness. This is yet another ideal choice for someone looking to add to their home gym due to its ideal size and structure.
This machine, like the CC-4 above, is built using 12 gauge steel. It has a gray powder coat finish and padding that Duraguard vinyl cushion.
The XMark’s assembled size is approximately 55.75 inches (141.6 cm) in length, 45.5 inches (115.6 cm) in width and 41 inches (104.14 cm) in height, making it another solid choice for most home gym spaces if that’s what you are trying to assemble.
The assembled weight is about 140 lbs (63.5 kg), making it a bit heavier than our previous two models.
In the same fashion as our previous models, the rotary arm has holes all around to allow for many different starting positions for each exercise.
The back rest is adjustable with 8 different positions to choose from, with a completely detachable thigh pad able to be adjusted to 6 different heights.
Like the Titan, the XMark has a rear weight post for stability and counterbalance. That, combined with the skid-resistant feet, should keep you locked in as you pump out reps.
XMark doesn’t seem to state just how much weight this machine can handle, but based on the quality in which it was built as well as a handful of reviewers’ inputs, it has been stated that it could handle 300+ lbs (136.07+) just as long as you properly load the rear counterweight post.
Another great feature of this machine is, like the Valor above, it accommodates both standard and Olympic plates. However, this machine comes with the Olympic plate adapter and does not have to be bought separately.
The only real cons of this machine that I could come across were, like we have mentioned about plate loaded machines, is the resistance profile in which the beginning of each rep will be very light and feeling heavier as you get into each one.
The other being the fact that most people will have to completely remove the inner thigh pad to get in and out of the machine, which can be inconvenient to some.
XMark really seems to have really come through with a great product that checks all the boxes in terms of quality, performance and style.
4 – Body Solid GLCE365
$986 at the time of publishing.
Let’s take a look at the GLCE 365 by Body Solid.
I decided to look into this one to give a bit of a different option for those of you who might prefer a lying leg curl over a seated version.
The assembled dimensions come in at 55 inches in length (139.7 cm), 27 inches (68.6 cm) in width and 48 inches (121.9 cm) in height, which is comparable to the previous pieces of equipment we checked out.
The assembled weight is 92 lbs (41.7 kg) making it one of the lightest pieces of equipment on this list, comparable with the Valor.
The Body Solid is constructed out of heavy gauge steel, though it is not directly specified which gauge of steel is used. The maximum amount of weight that can be used was not to be found either.
Extra thick, Durafirm pads cover seat, back and foot pads with reviewers commenting on how comfy it is.
The back rest can be adjusted to 3 different positions when set up for leg extension and 2 different positions when in leg curl position.
As with the Valor and XMark above, this machine gives you options allowing you to use either standard 1-inch (2.54 cm) plates as well as Olympic plates. However, as with the Valor, the adapter for Olympic plates is sold separately.
A potential drawback of this machine, as stated by a handful of reviewers is the potential for shorter users to have difficulty setting up in this machine when set up for leg curls.
Some have stated that shorter individuals may have trouble being able to reach the handles to hold onto for stability once they are set up in the machine
This machine by Body Solid just might be a good fit for you if you prefer a lying leg curl over a seated, aren’t very much below average height and aren’t looking to load it up significantly. (It just might be able to handle very heavy loads, it just does not state whether it can or can not)
5. Body-Solid GCEC-STK Leg Extension and Leg Curl Machine.
$1595 at the time of publishing
Last but not least on our list is another Body Solid beast.
The GCEC-STK is completely different from the previous pieces of equipment that we have looked at, as well as the most expensive. Rather than being plate-loaded, this machine operates using a built-in weight stack.
This is a great option for anyone who is looking for more of a commercial gym feel and aesthetic. It is also perfect for anyone that enjoys selecting their desired resistance quickly and doesn’t want to have to load and unload plates. Simply select your desired resistance with the insertion of a pin and you’re on your way.
This machine is the largest on the list at 54 inches (137.2 cm) in length, 71 inches (180.3 cm) in height and 54 inches (137.2 cm) in width, so it’s something to consider for those looking to put it in their own personal space. It is also significantly heavier than all of the others weighing in at 429 lbs (194.6 kg).
Durafirm padding covers the backrest and seat for comfort.
Both the back pad and thigh pad have 7 different positions which should be able to accommodate people of many various sizes.
Similar to the Valor and XMark, the thigh pad is completely removable, which may or may not be an inconvenience to you as the user. There is even a convenient holder for the thigh pad attachment right on the machine.
As with all of the other machines on the list, this one has a rotary with holes all around to allow for many different starting points for each exercise.
The base model comes with a stack that maxes out at 210 lbs (95.3 kg). This may or may not be enough for some people, based on the average strength standards that we have referenced earlier in the article, though I would imagine it would suffice for a majority. However, there is an upgrade available with a stack that maxes out at 310 lbs (140.6 kg) if purchased through Fitness Emporium. (Currently on backorder at the time of this writing).
Admittedly, it was a bit tougher to find a lot of feedback on this machine. One noticeable point that stood out amongst reviewers feedback was that for people much shorter than average height, being able to comfortably reach the handles without slouching could pose an issue.
So that about wraps it up here. And while this is by no means an exhaustive list, I hope that I was able to bring you some clear and valuable information to help guide you in the right direction on which piece of equipment is right for you. Whichever decision you make, I hope that it gets you bigger, stronger, healthier legs, and closer to whatever else your goals might be.
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Disclaimer: None of the information in this article is intended to be medical or health advice. Always consult with a qualified physician before taking part in any exercise or fitness regimen.