Quads Workout

Quads Workout

 

Quadriceps or Quads are grouped under lower body. It is the strongest muscle in the body and responsible for the extension of the knee.

It is located in the anterior part of thigh and comprised of four muscles:

  1. Rectus Femoris
  2. Vastus Lateralis
  3. Vastus Medialis
  4. Vastus Intermedius

Rectus Femoris occupies the middle of the thigh, covering most of the other three quadriceps muscles. It originates on the ilium.

Vastus Lateralis is on the lateral side of the femur (i.e. on the outer side of the thigh).

Vastus Medialis is on the medial side of the femur (i.e. on the inner part of the thigh).

Vastus Intermedius lies between vastus lateralis and vastus medialis on the front of the femur (i.e. on the top or front of the thigh), but deep to the rectus femoris.

It is very difficult to isolate each muscles of quads. Almost all muscles are stimulated in each quads exercises to some extent.

Below few exercises are covered to target Quads Muscles.

Leg Extensions

Main Area Targeted: Vastus Medialis and other Quads Muscles

Leg extension is an isolation exercise that works the vastus medialis when you perform exercise through its entire range of motion.

Steps:

  1. This movement is performed with seated leg curl machine. There will be many variations at your gym to choose from.
  2. Have a seat in the machine, lock your ankles behind the pads. You may have to adjust the pads so that they are placed right at the top arch of your foot. Adjust the weight accordingly.
  3. Extend both legs until they are straight, contracting the thighs.
  4. Try not to lift your buttocks from the bench when performing the exercise.
  5. Hold for 1-2 seconds, then return to the original starting position as you breathe in.

Leg Press

Main Area Targeted: Quads Muscles

Secondary Area Targeted: Gluteus Maximus, Hamstrings

Steps:

  1. Position yourself in a leg press machine that is either flat or inclined to the ground.
  2. Your feet should be shoulder width apart with your head and back resting comfortably on the machine.
  3. Unlock the weight and slowly lower the weight, bending the knees and hips until you reach 90 degrees.
  4. Push the platform up using the heels of your feet. Stop before your knees are fully extended and allow the weight to return to the starting position.
  5. Inhale while moving downwards and exhale while returning to the start position.

Smith Machine Squats

Main Area Targeted: Quads Muscles

Secondary Area Targeted: Gluteus Maximus, Hamstrings

Steps:

  1. This movement is performed with a Smith machine. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent.
  2. With the bar on the smith machine, step underneath and position the bar across the back of your shoulders. Place your arms on either side of the bar.
  3. Now, keeping your head and your back straight, lower yourself by bending at your knees.
  4. Once your thighs are parallel with the ground, pause and without bouncing return to the starting position.
  5. Be sure to push with your feet, keeping your heels flat on the ground. Also, do not lean forward. Slowly, come back up to the starting position.
  6. Keep the weight as per capacity and focus on the proper form, since if done improperly, squats can cause injury to your back.

Step-Ups

Main Area Targeted: Vastus Medialis and Quads Muscles

Secondary Area Targeted: Gluteus Maximus, Hamstrings

Steps:

  1. Stand facing a bench or a step. Place one foot on the bench and step up onto the bench.
  2. Place your other leg on the bench before stepping down with the first leg. Repeat 10 times on each leg.
  3. The higher the bench, the more challenging the exercise. Increase the difficulty of this exercise by increasing the height of the step or bench, or hold a pair of dumbbells.
  4. Stepping close to the bench targets more of the quadriceps and stepping farther away for the bench activates more of the gluteus muscles and hamstrings.

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