3 of the Best Exercises to Build Your Quads
Strong, defined quads are a hallmark of fitness. Bodybuilders pursue muscle separation where all four muscles of the quadriceps are visible, while powerlifters desire quads strong enough to squat monstrous weights. Whatever your reason for wanting stronger quads, these three exercises will help you build muscle and achieve definition in your legs.
Read more: The Best Exercises for Your Hamstrings
1. Front Squats
Variations: dumbbell front squats, goblet squats
Why this is one of the best exercises for your quads: In contrast to back squats, front squats place more of the load on your quads versus your hamstrings and glutes.
How to do front squats:
- Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Hold the barbell in the front-rack position. Point your elbows forward and try to position your triceps parallel to the ground.
- Hinge at the hips, then the knees, to descend into the bottom of the squat. Keep your torso as upright as possible and press your heels into the ground.
- Drive through the heels to return to standing.
2. Barbell Elevated Reverse Lunge
Variations: bodyweight elevated reverse lunges
Why this is one of the best exercises for your quads: The focus lies in the eccentric portion of this movement, as well as driving yourself out of a deep deficit. By controlling the descent and capitalizing on the push, elevated reverse lunges pose a significant challenge to the quads.
How to do elevated reverse lunges:
- Place a 45-pound plate or short step-stool on the floor.
- Place your right foot on the plate or stool, planting it firmly near the center.
- Step back with your left leg and lower your left knee to the ground.
- Drive through the heel of your left foot to return to standing.
- Plant your left foot on the plate or stool and repeat the steps with your right leg. Continue alternating.
3. Alternating Jumping Lunges
Variations: walking lunges, regular alternating lunges
Why this is one of the best exercises for your quads: Jumping lunges require you to recruit massive amounts of power from your quads in order to propel yourself into the air. The explosive nature of this movement combined with high-volume rep schemes will torch your quads.
How to do alternating jumping lunges:
- Stand in the split stance: one foot in front of your torso and one behind, with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
- Descend into a lunge until your back knee lightly touches the ground.
- Explode out of the bottom of the lunge and jump as high as possible. While in the air, switch your legs.
- Land as softly as you can and immediately descend into another lunge. Continue alternating.
For more exercise ideas or a personalized fitness plan, talk to a World Gym personal trainer.