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The quads are the second largest muscle group in the body, just behind the glutes, and allow you to flex the knee joint. The quads aren’t as popular a workout focus as, say, the shoulders or arms, but if you want a balanced and symmetrical physique, hitting the quads hard is essential.
Give this quad workout a try
Building great quads can take months, if not years. But at the end of the process, when you’ve pushed your body as far as it will let you, you’ll be able to sprint faster, squat more and be more explosive in team sports.
You’ll also “build strong bones and help prevent osteoporosis,” according to Dr. Lucas Bader.
Want toned, powerful quads? Check out this killer quad workout.
Split Squat – 3 Sets
When you think about it, most leg workout exercises involve using both quads together in a single motion – think squats or leg press. But there’s growing evidence that it’s just as effective, if not more so, to isolate the legs and perform individual exercises on each.
Split squats are a great exercise in many ways, not only because they demand that you strengthen the supporting balancing muscles when performing the motion, but also because they allow you to go light and still get a great workout, reducing your chance of injury.
To perform a split squat, grab two dumbells from the rack and get a bench. Face away from the side of the bench and then take a step forward with the leg you want to exercise. Put the other foot on the bench behind you to raise it off the floor. Then lunge down, focusing on extending the leg through the quad.
If you’re new to the exercise, stick to a couple of sets to start – more than that, and you’ll end up extremely sore on the following days.
Back Squat – 2 Sets
The back squat is, arguably, the king of quad workouts.
Start on the squat rack with about 80 percent of your body weight on the bar. Walk underneath the bar and then extend your legs with it balanced behind your shoulders. When going down in a squatting motion, try to go to the point where your quads are parallel to the ground and then push back up.
Back squats are an excellent exercise because they appear to induce hormonal changes in the body that promotes the building of muscle. The more you squat, the stronger your quads will get.
Front Squat – 2 Sets
You rarely see people doing front squats because they’re so tricky, but if you can nail the movement, you not only ensure that you hit your quads, but also strengthen your back too.
You won’t be able to do as much weight on a front squat as you can a back squat, but that’s okay: the exercise will still help to develop powerful quads.
If you’ve never done a front squat before, choose a weight that’s 50 percent of your body weight. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, then you’ll want to go for a 75-pound barbell. Tuck the barbell across your clavicle with your hands upturned underneath the bar and your elbows facing out and then squat as you would normally.
You’ll notice that there is a tendency for the weight to pull forward as you go down into the motion. If you experience this, focus on keeping your back straight and hips flexed so that the load remains above your center of mass.
Front squats increase the tension on the quads compared to back squats, and reduce recruitment from supporting muscles, like the glutes, helping you target your quads better.
Superset Lunges And Leg Press – 1 Set
Supersets, or doing a set of one particular exercise straight after another, can be a great way to build strength and muscle, but it’s not for the faint of heart.
If you want to superset lunges and leg press, try the following. First, set up the leg press with a suitable weight, usually about 125 percent of your body weight if you’re a relatively new lifter. Then, place two dumbells on the floor next to you.
Whack out as many reps as you can on the leg press and then immediately move into lunges. One superset per workout is usually sufficient.
Leg Press Drop Set – 1 Set
If supersets aren’t enough for you, then you might want to try doing a drop set on the leg press. Use your normal weight until failure, then remove a couple of plates and immediately continue banging out reps.
Keep removing plates until you get into the 100 rep range. At the end of it, your quads should feel pumped.
Let us know in the comments below if you give this quad workout a try. It takes continual progress every day to get the amazing workouts you deserve!