Barbell squatting in any variation (front squats, back squats, box squats, Zercher squats) is probably the single move to build leg size and strength. Because it is the leg exercise you’ll be able to lift the most weight with, you’ll also get the most strength gains. Plus it’s a closed chain movement, involving all parts of the leg working simultaneously. That beats a leg extension machine any day of the week as far as joint stress is concerned.
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