Build lower body strength, improve athletic performance and reduce knee injury risk by adding these quad exercises to your fitness routine. This quick quad workout is designed to target the top of the thighs (the quads, or quadriceps). Strong and well-developed quads are essential for overall lower body strength and functional movements, such as walking, running and jumping.
When it comes to athletic performance, knee stability and overall lower body strength, the quads are one of the most important muscle groups to focus on.
Today’s workout rounds out our lower body isolation workouts by focusing entirely on the top of the thighs, also known as the quadriceps.
The quadriceps, often referred to as “quads,” are a group of four muscles located on the front of the thigh. These muscles are critical for movements such as knee extension (straightening the knee), hip flexion (lifting the leg), deceleration (slowing down during running or jumping) and knee stability.
Use it as a quick leg workout on its own, or add it on to another leg day workout as a quadricep burnout.
Squats, lunges, step-ups and wall sits are some of the best exercises to strengthen the quad muscles at home. Leg presses and leg extensions are common exercises using gym equipment to target the quads.
Squats are one of the most effective compound lower body exercises that work not only the quad muscles but also engage the glutes, hamstrings, and core. To make the squat more quad focused, elevate the heels to perform a heels up squat.
The quads are a muscle group made up of four muscles: the Rectus Femoris, Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis, and the Vastus Intermedius. These four muscles work together to support lower body movements, like walking, running and jumping.
10-Minute Quad Workout
Isolate the quadriceps with this quick and effective Quad Workout: the best quad exercises with dumbbells.
A focused quad workout designed to strengthen the tops of the thighs, increase knee stability and support, and improve athletic performance.
Add this quad burnout to your home workout plan 1-2 times per week to build and maintain strength in the lower body.
I recommend between 5-25 lbs depending on your fitness level. We used 15 and 20 lb dumbbells in today’s workout. Option to drop weights at any time and do this workout with just your body weight.
Follow along with the guided Quad Workout on YouTube, led by certified personal trainer, Lindsey Bomgren.
Your Workout Looks Like This:
Note: this quick workout doesn’t include a warm-up or cool down. If this is your first movement of the day, warm up with this glute activation series and cool down with this lower body stretching video.
Targets: Leg muscles, quads, glutes, hamstrings, inner thighs (hip abductors), chest and core.
Raising your heels allows you to get deeper range of motion in your squat. A goblet hold keeps the torso upright – shifting more of the work to the quads.
Modification: Perform this move with feet flat on the floor if heels raised isn’t comfortable for you.
Targets: Quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and core muscles.
The front lunge variation increases the load on the quad compared to other lunge variations, such as the reverse lunge.
Targets: Legs, glutes, quadriceps muscles, hip flexors, hamstrings and core.
Also called Bulgarian Lunges, or Rear Foot Elevated Lunges, this challenging split squat exercise is an excellent way to build quad strength. Lean forward to shift the emphasis to the glutes, or keep your torso upright to maintain focus on the quads.
Modification: Perform split squats from a standing position instead of elevating your back foot.
Targets: Quads and all three parts of the glutes — the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus.
Step-ups are also great for improving knee stabilization.
Modification: The lower the step, the less intense this exercise is. The bottom step of a staircase is a great place to start. If you don’t have a step available, perform a reverse lunge with a knee drive.
Targets: Quads, hamstrings, hips, glutes and core.
This is one of the best exercises to build up to a pistol squat: a tough test of leg strength, endurance and mobility.
Modification: Perform an 80/20 squat, keeping 80% of your weight in your front working foot and 20% in your back toes.
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