Quadricep Workouts & Exercises to Boost Muscle, Tone & Strength! 

The quadriceps are a huge muscle group that can dramatically enhance the appearance of the lower body if they are shaped and proportioned correctly. Many lower body exercises directly emphasize the quads, as do simple activities like jogging and running.

The biggest mistake guys make is to prioritize their upper body so much that the legs start to look skinny and out of place. At the same time, women also make the mistake of not using resistance training Quadricep workouts, which would help them achieve toned, shapely legs.

Get ready for quite a burn! Working this muscle group can be a challenge to say the least, because of the immense burn that you feel when training them. Even moderate lifting can feel quite intense, but the payoff and results are well worth the toil.

Keep in mind that until you've gained experience with major compound exercises and unless you've trained consistently for over a year, its not beneficial to really focus & specialize on the Quads...

Quick Tip: The best approach to training your Quads is to include them in a well-structured, total body workout program that scientifically plans all of these things for you: 1) volume, 2) intensity, 3) frequency, 4) progression, 5) exercise selection, 6) periodization & MUCH more...

 Discover the Secrets to Developing a Perfectly Balanced, Ripped Physique (95% of Gym Rats Have No Clue About This)

Here's an outline of the rest of this page:

1) Introduction of the Quadricep muscle group
2) Quad exercises
3) Quick training tips
4) Sample Quads workout

Introduction & Basic Anatomy

The quadriceps is an enormous muscle group made up of 4 muscles on the front of your thigh. Starting with the big, bad rectus femoris, its main function is extension of the knee, or straightening out your legs in other words. The rectus femoris also acts as a hip flexor due to its originating location(near the hip).

Then there are the Vastus Lateralis, Medialis & Intermedius. As you can see below, these muscles help to "fill" out your legs even more and enhance the highly defined "tear drop" look that can greatly improve visual appeal. These muscles are basically involved in extension of the knee as well. So using a variety of exercises that effectively target all of these regions is critical in achieving the best possible development and strength.

Quad Exercises

Barbell Lunge

- Place bar behind head, resting on shoulders.
- Hold bar with elbows at about 90 degrees.
- Step forward with one leg into a lunge position.
- Return to standing and repeat with other leg.

 Barbell Squat

- Place barbell over shoulders, behind head.
- Grip bar firmly with hands, elbows bent to 90 degrees.
- Feet should be about shoulder distance apart.
- Slowly bend knees, keeping back straight.
- Return to start position and repeat.

Leg Extension

- Sit in knee extension exerciser.
- Place front of ankles under pads.
- Slowly straighten knees.
- Return to start position and repeat.

Leg Press

- Sit at leg press machine.
- Place both feet on foot plates, knees bent.
- Make sure back is supported by backrest.
- Push down on foot plate, straightening knees.
- Return to start position and repeat.

Lunge Squat

- Hold weights in hands.
- Step forward and bend knees until in a lunge position.
- Slowly bend both knees to lower trunk toward floor.
- Slightly straighten knees to raise up.
- Continue to lower and raise while in lunge position

Machine Squat

- Lie on squat machine with feet on base plate, shoulder distance apart.
- Position pads on shoulders.
- Slowly bend knees.
- Straighten knees slowly.
- Do not lock knees straight on the straightening phase

Machine Uni Squat

- Set level of slide board.
- Lie on back on board, place one foot on foot platform.
- Bend knee to 90 degrees.
- Straighten knee and repeat

Dumbbell Uni Squat

- Stand on involved leg.
- Hold weights in both hands.
- Bend knee to 90 degrees.
- Straighten knee.

See More Quad Exercises, Videos & Training Tutorials

Quick Training Tips

  • Squats & Lunges are very effective complete lower body workouts that really hit the Quads hard. Make sure not to let your toes go past your knees if you're not lowering past 90 degrees. Front squats, when you place the barbell in front near your deltoids, increases tension on the quads.
  • When squatting, always begin the movement by bending at the knees first. Start with a shoulder-width stance or slightly less to keep tension on the quads. Don't lock your knees at the top of the rep.
  • By pausing momentarily at the bottom of your squat rep, you'll burn the quads more and prevent the use of momentum from bouncing back up.
  • For a little more emphasis on the inner quad, assume a slightly wider than shoulder-width stance with your toes pointed out. For emphasizing the outer quad, try hack squats. 
  • When doing leg presses, lower the weight slowly and explode on your way back up. The leg press machine, due to its stability, is relatively safe for explosive movements. However, don't lock your knees at the top.
  • Leg extension machines offer the best quad isolating exercise, but avoid holding the weight at the top because it can put excessive strain on the patella tendon. For a more advanced variation, try to lean your body forward off the back pad so that you are a little less than 90 degrees to your legs in the top position. 
  • Walking lunges are a more advanced variation of regular lunges in that they keep constant tension on the legs. You may find that you need to lower the weight a little bit to perform successfully.

Sample Quad Workout

As we mentioned on the top of this page, its better to train your Quads with a well-structured, total body workout program...

But, if you feel that you've been training long enough and have decent strength in the major lower body compound lifts, then you can try the sample Quadricep workout below to further specialize on that region:

Front Squats: after warming up, 2 sets of 10-12 reps
Walking Lunges: 2 sets of 8-10 reps(each leg)
Leg Press: 2 sets of 8-10 reps
Leg Extension: 2 sets of 12-15 reps

Depending on your full weekly routine and how your train your legs, this Quad workout can be done once a week and no more than twice. Rest times should be between 90-120 seconds between sets if your goal is to maximize growth.

 Discover the Secrets to Developing a Perfectly Balanced, Ripped Physique (95% of Gym Rats Have No Clue About This)


Upper: Abs | ArmsBack | Chest | Shoulders | Forearms | Biceps | Triceps | Lats | Full Upper
Lower: Quadriceps | Hamstring | Glutes | Calves | Full Lower