Quadriceps exercises are important in keeping your legs strong to allow for the highest level of flexibility, as well as to prevent injury. Developing your quadriceps not only helps to guard against muscle injuries, but can also help to support the knee joint and protect it from injury.
The following exercises are the Top Most Effective Quadriceps Exercises for developing strong and powerful quads:
Squats are undeniably the king of all quadriceps exercises and tops the list as the Most Effective Quadriceps Exercise. Squats involve more than 256 muscles in one movement!
Squats will not only build your quadriceps, Squats will also help build the hamstrings and lower back as they are two of the major secondary muscles being use. Besides developing your quadriceps, the huge testosterone boost an intense set of squats will give you will even help you build your upper body.
Muscles targeted while performing Squats are the Quadriceps. Secondary muscles (Synergists/Stabilizers) used while performing Squats are Gluteus Maximus, Adductor Magnus, Soleus, Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius, Erector Spinae, Rectus Abdominis and Obliques.
To add variety to your workout routine, Hack Squats would be a great alternative for Squats for maximizing the development of the quadriceps. The Hack Squat really targets the quadriceps muscle similar in the way Squats target the quadriceps. Most people are familiar with the hack squat machine (see right) but not many people are familiar with the old school way of performing a hack squat with just a barbell (see 2nd picture on right).
When doing a hacksquat with free weights the placement of the barbell makes good balance and form essential on every repetition, while taking pressure off the lower back and putting all the focus on your quadriceps. If it wasn’t for Squats being best overall weight training exercise, the Hack Squat would be the number one exercise for developing the quadriceps. Tip, unless you are flat footed, consider putting two 5 or 10 pound plates under your heals to help you maintain balance.
Muscles targeted while performing Hack Squats are the Quadriceps. Secondary muscles (Synergists/Stabilizers) used while performing Hack Squats are Gluteus Maximus, Adductor Magnus, Soleus, Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius, Erector Spinae, Trapezius Middle, Trapezius Upper, Levator Scapulae, Rectus Abdominis and Obliques.
In building huge quadriceps you need to press a lot of weight. The Leg Press stabilizes the lifter and allows you to move weights in a direction that is not vertical. It is possible for strength trainers to press very heavy weights for developing their quadriceps (compared to the weight used for other quadriceps exercises).
Although the amount of weight that is use for a ‘Leg Press’ may seem to be artificially high, the Leg Press stands alone as the quadriceps exercise that allows lifting of thousands of pounds without excessive strain on the back, neck or shoulders. Many individuals can leg press 1,000 pounds and more through a full range of motion. Leg Press becomes one of the best quadriceps exercises because of a high level of intensity triggering the absolute maximum muscle growth which stimulates throughout the entire body along with developing great quadriceps.
Muscles targeted while performing Leg Press are the Quadriceps. Secondary muscles (Synergists/Stabilizers) used while performing Leg Press are Gluteus Maximus, Adductor Magnus, Soleus, Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius.
The Front Squat is another great alternative or compliment quadriceps exercise to squatting. The Front Squat is an effective exercise in strength training that involves the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, lower back and gluteus maximus muscles. Front Squats is a single exercise that hits all of those areas. Because the placement of the barbell adds more emphasis on the quadriceps muscle, Front Squats are clearly one of the Most Effective Quadriceps Exercises.
Muscles targeted while performing Front Squats are the Quadriceps. Secondary muscles (Synergists/Stabilizers) used while performing Front Squats are Gluteus Maximus, Adductor Magnus, Soleus, Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius, Erector Spinae, Trapezius Middle, Trapezius Upper, Trapezius Lower, Levator Scapulae, Serratus Anterior, Deltoid Lateral, Deltoid Anterior, Supraspinatus, Pectoralis Major Clavicular, Rectus Abdominis and Obliques.
Barbell Lunges are an intense quadriceps exercise that you can use to tone and shape your legs. Barbell Lunges focuses on the quadriceps muscles and also works the hamstrings and gluteus maximus muscles in the process. While we all strive to develop our quadriceps, some are known to overlook the less obvious muscle groups. The hip adductors and abductors are prime examples of overlooked muscle groups. Although they are relatively small and barely visible, when compared to the overall quadriceps, they add to the hip stability and over all thigh mass and are critical to athletic performance. Barbell Lunges are known to be a great quadriceps exercise while also contributing significantly to the development of hips adductors and abductors. For those reasons Barbell Lunges is rated one of the Most Effective Quadriceps Exercises.
Muscles targeted while performing Barbell Lunges are the Quadriceps. Secondary muscles (Synergists/Stabilizers) used while performing Barbell Lunges are Gluteus Maximus, Adductor Magnus, Soleus, Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius, Erector Spinae, Tibialis Anterior, Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus.
Leg Extension is an isolated resistance weight training exercise that directly targets the quadriceps. Leg Extensions should not be considered as a total leg workout, such as the squat or deadlift, but as a great quadriceps exercise you can use as a finisher to your leg workout. Leg Extensions are also a great quadriceps exercise to do drop sets with. Even though Leg Extensions is not a big mass builder, it is great isolation exercise and should be included in your quadriceps workout. Leg Extensions is a great finisher for your quadriceps workout and is included as one of the must do top quadriceps exercises.
Muscles targeted while performing Leg Extensions are the Quadriceps. Secondary muscles (Stabilizers) used while performing Leg Extensions are Trapezius Middle, Trapezius Upper, Levator Scapulae, Brachioradialis, Brachialis and Biceps Brachii.
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About the Author Lynn Glenn
Lynn Glenn Lynn Glenn is a 63 year old natural athlete from Southern California who started training at the ripe young age of 48. After catching the “
Lynn Glenn is a 63 year old natural athlete from Southern California who started training at the ripe young age of 48. After catching the “bodybuilding bug”, Lynn became interested in living a healthy lifestyle and started writing about hot topics in the areas of health, fitness, bodybuilding, nutrition, personal training and disease prevention. Lynn Glenn’s dedication and success in the gym serves as a tremendous inspiration for many “mature” weightlifters trying to look better, feel better and beat father time!