THE 10 BEST QUADRICEPS EXERCISES FOR BEGINNERS

THE 10 BEST QUADRICEPS EXERCISES FOR BEGINNERS

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Even beginner lifters usually have a pretty good idea how to pump up the “show muscles” like the biceps and the pecs. Attaining six-pack abs, too, is fairly straightforward, as long as your body fat percentage is low enough.

But ask a guy what moves can build big, powerful quads, and you’re usually going to get two answers: “squats” and blank stares.

 That’s why we’ve put together this list of the 10 best exercises you can do to forge your quadriceps. Don’t worry, squats made the list.
1. Goblet Squat

Why it works: This full-body maneuver takes the pressure off your back, making it more accessible than a traditional barbell squat. The counterbalance with the weight in front of the body allows you to sit back more easily, encouraging proper form.

How to do it: Hold a kettlebell with both hands under your chest. Squat by pushing your knees out so your elbows can move in-between them. Squat as low as you can, and return to starting position.

Prescription: 2 sets of 10 reps with 60 seconds rest between sets.

2. Quadruped Rocking

Why it works: This unique move is a hybrid of two familiar yoga poses: cow and child’s pose, and provides a great stretch for the hips and quads.

How to do it: Get down on all fours, and let the lower back sag. Push your hips back as far as you can, holding the lumbar arch. You should feel a stretch in and around the hips. Return to the starting position, and repeat.

Prescription: 2 sets of 10 reps with 30 seconds rest between sets.

3. Split Squats

Why it works: Split squats work the quads by increasing balance and strength throughout your legs.

How to do it: Step out into a lunge with dumbbells at arm’s length at your sides. Lower your hips by squatting back and down. Without letting your back knee touch the floor, drive your weight back up with the front leg.

Prescription: 2 sets of 10 reps to each side with 30 seconds rest between sets.

4. DB Lateral Lunge

Why it works: People tend to ignore how dramatically lateral movement—think of a running back juking a tackler—hammers the quads. This simple yet effective move simulates those powerful lateral movements.

How to do it: Stand holding dumbbells on your shoulders with elbows up. Step to one side, and squat back and down with the stepping leg, keeping the other leg straight. Return to starting position by pushing up with the bent leg. Switch sides, and repeat movement.

Prescription: 2 sets of 10 reps to each side with 30 seconds rest between sets.

5. Bulgarian Split Squat

Why it works: A variation on split squats, Bulgarian split squats create a deeper squat, isolate your front leg, and stretch your quads even more intensely.

How to do it: Place your back foot on a box or bench, and then lower your hips toward the floor by squatting back and down. Without letting your back knee touch the floor, drive your weight back up with the front leg.

Prescription: 2 sets of 10 reps to each side with 30 seconds rest between sets.

6. Quad Foam Roller

Why it works: Foam rollers sometimes seem like they were made with the quads in mind. It seems no other body part benefits more from rolling atop the foam, working out muscle spasms.

How to do it: Get on top of a foam roller (facing the floor) and roll over the quads either one at a time or both at once.

Prescription: 2 sets of 20 seconds with 30 seconds rest between set

7. Overhead Squat

Why it works: Using a bar encourages proper squatting mechanics. It also works the back and shoulders in addition to the quads.

How to do it: Stand holding a rod or broomstick above your head (or barbell with light weight). Squat back and down until the top of your thighs are parallel to the floor. Push from your hips back to a standing position.

Prescription: 2 sets of 10 reps with 30 seconds rest between sets.

8. Squat Jump

Why it works: The quads are important for jumping. This move also works the hipsknees, and ankles —and that so-called “triple flexion response” creates power in your jump.

How to do it: Stand with feet just outside the shoulders and hands behind your head. Squat, keeping your knees behind your toes. After holding this position for two seconds, jump vertically. Pull the toes to your shins in midair to prepare for landing. Land in the starting squat position, hold 3 seconds, and repeat.

Prescription: 2 sets of 10 reps with 30 seconds rest between sets.

 BY , CPT