Have you ever noticed why those handsome, muscular legs are not as common in the gym as the giant, well-toned upper body? There are two primary reasons associated with it.
Firstly, most bodybuilders neglect the part played by well-shaped legs in their overall muscular look.
Secondly, getting those monstrous legs is one of the most demanding and challenging tasks in bodybuilding. If adding muscles to your upper body is a tough job, adding them to your legs is the toughest one.
The best quad exercises demand intensity. According to WebMD, the lack of intensity is among the top nine mistakes most people at the gym make no matter what exercise they perform. It’s particularly the case for quad exercises.
However, if you have got the motivation, we’ve got the right technique you need to follow. This article will guide you to the five most effective quad exercises which can help you get the confidence to roam around in short knickers. If you do them right, you would no more avoid looking downwards at your image in the mirror.
The Anatomy And Functions Of Quadriceps
According to Pouted, quad muscles are among the ten strongest muscles in human body. However, they are also among the most difficult ones to shape. Before discussing which workouts can help you get muscular thighs, let us first understand the anatomy of quadriceps muscles. How they work and why they are important in your overall build.
Quadriceps muscles are a group of four distinct muscles overlapping each other in your front thigh. These muscles are named as:
- Vastus Lateralis
- Vastus Medialis
- Rectus Femoris
- Vastus Intermedius
Without the proper functioning of these muscles, you cannot move your knees. They help by extending your knees and flexing your hips. Well, developed, muscular quadriceps are important for the strength you need in your legs. Not only do they contribute to your overall look, but are also essential for your overall health.
Daily Mail acknowledges the fact that osteoarthritis affects mostly the joints of your legs and knees. So it’s vital to keep them moving
However, for bodybuilders, it takes a lot more than just moving to develop strong quadriceps. They need those muscular, bulging quads to make their leg muscles look in proportion with the upper body. The problem in getting there is that it takes a lot of consistency and hard work. Moreover, you cannot develop your quads enough without incorporating quad specific workouts in your routine.
Quality Quad Exercises
First of all, you must understand that especially with quads, without the intense quad specific workout, you are never going to get even the presentable legs. Even The New York Times stresses the fact that exercise is critical for not only strong muscles but also strong bones.
Quad exercises rely as much on the number of reps as on the amount of weight you put on your quadriceps muscles. The exercises I am going to enlist here are those who have absolute efficacy when it comes to developing the monstrous quads.
But here’s the question, if the majority know these exercises are the best for quads, why aren’t the results that much common among the most bodybuilders? It’s because the quad exercises demand absolute precision of technique.
If they aren’t performed the right way, they not only consume more time but will also not give desired results. So make sure you follow the techniques given here in letter spirit.
When it comes to the most efficient quad exercises, every expert would agree that squats are second to none. This workout is effective for developing quads, though it also includes a majority of other body muscles as well.
Moreover, talking further about the squats, the back squats performed with a barbell are the best among all squat variations. When carried out with correct angles and precise technique, no other type of squats can beat them.
Although barbell back squats have an excellent reputation when it comes to quad specific exercises, their benefits are even greater than solely developing quad muscles. They involve the maximum number of body muscles and hence you can do it as a complete exercise.Let me guide you on how to reap maximum benefits from barbell back squats by following the right technique.
The real success of the barbell back squats lies 80% in how well you achieve the most suitable depth in your squatting position. Here you need to take care of what angle each of your body part makes with the ground and other body parts:
- Keep in mind that your thighs must not be completely parallel to the ground as you squat. Rather, the hip should be a bit lower than the level of knees, thus keeping thighs not completely straight
- You should keep your head in line with your back and there’s no need to put much stress on your neck by trying to look exactly straight
- You must not arch your back at all. Try to keep it neutral
- Keep your chest forward as much as possible. It will push back the shoulders a bit
- Moreover, your knees need to be a bit ahead than the position of your feet on the floor
Once you’ve mastered the right position for barbell back squat, no one can keep you from getting those rare muscular legs.
Here comes the second successful variation of squats – the barbell front squat. It’s an old age squatting technique and has proven efficacy for developing bigger quadriceps muscles. However, most beginners find it easier to get into perfect position with front squats rather than back squats. It’s because these squats are less demanding when it comes to flexing every body part.
- While front squatting with the barbell placed in front of the shoulders, make sure you are looking forward with your head up
- Keep your back completely straight and don’t arch it
- As you squat, your thighs should again be a little below parallel to ground as in back squats
- Make sure that the direction of your knees is in line with your feet. They should be pointing in the same direction in every rep you perform
Most experts recognize lunges as the second most reliable exercise after squats. It’s also a quad specific workout aimed at working the front of your thighs. It combines the benefits of continual reps with the benefits of heavyweights to give maximum results.
Moreover, why I personally like lunges is because they focus on each leg separately. It also means that anyone who is suffering from muscle mass imbalance in both quads can benefit from lunges. Let us see what’s the proper technique to work a perfect lunge with best adjustable dumbbells.
While performing dumbbell lunges, some of the key points you should take care of include the way you land your front foot in every rep and the way you pull it back.
- While holding dumbbells in both hands, stand straight, with your head upright and your eyes looking forward
- Your feet should be comfortable but firmly holding the ground just below your shoulders
- Now lunge forward with one of your feet in a way that when your foot lands on the ground, the heel touches the ground first. Then comes the forefoot
- The lunge should be deep enough to make the knee of rear leg almost touch the ground
- Now go back to the original standing position by bringing back the front foot with a little jerk. It puts a bit of force on the hip and knee
- After that, repeat the same process with the other leg
It’s crucial that your torso remains upright throughout the lunges. Moreover, you should keep your head straight and your back should not be arched. Moreover, as you lunge forward, your front knee should be in line with the direction of your foot
Dumbbell lunges are especially recommended for the beginners. However, once you master them, you can combine them with barbell lunges. It’s a comparatively intense variation of lunges.
However, it’s very useful in developing the strength in your front thigh, gaining muscle mass and improving balance. Correct positioning and accurate technique are crucial for barbell lunges to yield results.
- First of all, position the bar on the back of your shoulders with head upright. Your hands should be holding the bar from the sides, and you should be looking forward
- Don’t arch your back while holding the barbell or performing lunges. You must keep it straight throughout the process
- While standing straight with feet at a shoulders’ width apart, now perform the first lunge
- As you put one of your feet forward, make sure your heel lands first on the ground, followed by your forefoot
- Moreover, when you place your foot firmly on the ground, lower your body with it to the extent that the rear knee almost touches the ground. Keep the back and head upright
- Now come back to original previous position with the help of a jerk which moves your hip and knee back again
- Do the same performance with the second legIt’s important to keep the torso upright throughout
- Similarly, with every rep, your knee should be pointing in the same direction as your foot
Leg Press is yet another fantastic, result yielding exercise to get muscular legs. It works well for both the beginners and professionals. Moreover, a good thing about leg press, especially seated leg press, is that it’s relatively simple and yet productive. Don’t be surprised if you get sore quad muscles after performing reps of leg press. It means your quadriceps are getting thicker.
- First of all, seat yourself on the machine in a position that your head and back should be completely and comfortably in contact with the padded support
- Now place your feet on the foot plate in such a way that both your heels and forefoot should be in firm contact with the plate
- Your seat should be in the way that your legs make an angle of more or less than 90 degrees with your knees
- Make sure your hips stay in contact with the seat throughout the workout
- Now, use your entire foot (both the heel and the forefront) to push back the foot plate. It’s imperative to use your heels and not the forefoot aloneDon’t pull your head away from the seat. It should be in contact with the back of the seat
- Now, allow the foot plate to come back to original position but you must not lose control over the pedal while doing so. Neither should you release it abruptly. Make sure at this point, your heel and forefront both are firmly in contact with the plate
It’s advisable to perform three sets of ten reps each. Remember, you can increase the weight progressively.
The exercises listed above are considered by most experts to be not only top quad exercises but also enough to get those muscular legs you dream off. If you perform only these five with the best technique and consistency, you don’t need any other workout for your quadriceps muscles. However, don’t forget that whether it’s the rep count or the weight, you must increase it progressively to avoid injury.
Although, working out your quadriceps can sometimes be tiring as they need a lot of effort to get some extra muscle mass. However, it’s paramount that you incorporate at least some sort of quad exercises in your routine. No wonder, Reference states that the quadriceps muscles are very much prone to become shortened if they aren’t stretched regularly. So, keep up the hard work and you’ll notice the results.
I hope this article is of great help to you regarding the most effective quad exercises, especially when it comes to performing them with the precise technique. Do let us know in the comments below if you would like to learn anything else about quad exercises.