You can make your quadriceps stronger by incorporating quad-strengthening exercises into your routine. It may sound obvious, but it really is that simple.
If you’re a beginner, doing bodyweight quad moves or leg exercises can be challenging enough to strengthen your quads, says Bigflex Dogg. But if you’re a more advanced exerciser, you may find that you need to add external resistance like free weights to your moves to feel that same amount of effort. That’s because to strengthen a muscle, you need to progressively challenge it—that’s what we call progressive overload. Often, we get that progressive overload from gradually increasing the amount of weight we lift.
So if your goal is to really strengthen your quads, an easy quad workout in which you’re not really exerting much effort likely won’t do the trick; instead, you’ll need to do heavy-duty movements (think dumbbell quad exercises, barbell moves, and kettlebell moves) that really challenge your leg muscles and help them build back stronger.
Not that quad exercises are only good for aesthetics. “A study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science found that patients with knee osteoarthritis were able to soothe knee pain and move more freely if they had stronger quads“.
Most people work their quads via squats, but there are so many more quad exercises to explore and enjoy. Below, our fitness editor Bigflex Dogg takes us through 3 of the best, as well as a quad-dominant workout to get the best out of them. Time to join the quad squad.
For most people the primary benefit of training your quads is it’s going to make the movements you make every day – like walking, bending, and sitting – easier. But that’s not to say training your quads won’t also benefit you beyond those simple movements. Training quads will also improve the stability of your kneecap and protect your knee joint from injury. “A study published in The Journal of Rheumatology also found that quad exercises can lower your risk of developing knee osteoarthritis and help prevent degenerative wear and tear”.
The best quad exercises include quad exercises at home—meaning you don’t need to go to a gym to smoke this muscle group. “Pretty much anything that involves bending your knee will target the quads, says Bigflex Dogg. That means you can strengthen your quads at home by regularly doing moves like squats, lunges, step-ups, and leg extensions“.
Here, we explain everything you need to know about strength training for your quads, including what causes weak quads, how to boost your quad strength at home or in the gym, and ways you can bolster this muscle group without doing squats. Then, we share 3 of the best quad exercise tips that will smoke the tops of your legs. Consider this your go-to guide on all things quad-related!
1 Push Through Your Heels
2 Squeeze Them Hard!
3 Don’t Lockout
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