The quadriceps muscles work opposite the hamstrings in the leg muscle group, and should be trained accordingly. The legs are the main source of your driving power. A large portion of all strength training exercises rely heavily on the legs for both power and support, even when developing the upper body or performing cardio workouts.
Quality bodybuilding form comes from consistently targeting all the muscle groups, alternating workouts and pushing to failure.
Lleg exercises should capture a large amount of body building attention. When the body is evenly balanced in form, it allows for greater force to lift more weight, develop more lean muscle mass and ultimately increase fat-burning metabolism.
This article will focus on quad development and the top 5 quad exercises that will produce optimal strength, form and tone.
Top 5 Quad Exercises
The following 5 exercises are the best for producing maximum results in quad development and they should all be used in various segments of your strength training program.
Quad Exercise #1 – Barbell Squats –
This is the main go-to exercise for building killer quads because it involves every muscle group in the lower body. Barbell squats are physically grueling due to the excessive weight that can be pressed, but they also stimulate new growth for larger and stronger muscle formation. You need to maintain complete stabilization when performing the barbell squat, so avoid lifting in sneakers with cushioned soles or on padded flooring. As you perform the squat, keep your back straight and lower yourself to a point where your thigh is either parallel with the floor or a bit lower and then press the weight back to a standing position.
Quad Exercise #2 – Leg Press –
Using a leg press machine allows you to press a much larger amount of weight and from a position that is supports the rest of your body. This is a favorite addition to a weightlifter’s exercise program due to its comfortable yet effective working, developing and toning of the quads as well as all of the muscle groups contained in the legs.
Quad Exercise #3 – Lunges –
Lunges are very effective at developing the quadriceps. You can perform lunges using your body weight only, dumbbells held in each hand or with a barbell across your shoulders (either with or without weights). Lunge forward with one leg and drop down with bended knees until your back knee almost touches the floor. Move to a standing position and lunge forward with the other leg.
Quad Exercise #4 – Step-Ups –
Step-ups work the quads in a similar way as lunges only adding an extra dimension of quad development by pressing the weight upwards. Both exercises help to strengthen stabilizer muscles used to balance you through the exercise. Again, as with lunges, you can use body weight, dumbbells, or a barbell for this quad exercise depending on your level of quad development. Position a sturdy bench or box in front of you and step up and onto it either with or without weights. The set leg is used to propel you upward while the knee of the stepping leg should be raised as high as possible. Plant your front foot on the platform and bring your back leg up, coming to a standing position on the platform. Step backwards off the box with the last foot raised while keeping tension on the front leg. Once back on the floor in a standing position, repeat with the opposite leg leading first.
Quad Exercise #5 – Sprints –
Sprints are an excellent way to build quad muscles and, as an added bonus, you benefit from the aerobic and anaerobic qualities as well. Therefore, running sprints will not only supply stronger quads, but they will increase your overall cardiovascular performance and endurance, making you a stronger performer all around. When you run sprints on a flat surface, kick your legs up high in order to give your quads the greatest workout. Or, to really work the quads, run stair sprints which are also good workouts when you live in cramped city spaces.