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15 Quad Exercises That Seriously Smoke the Tops of Your Legs


15 Quad Exercises That Seriously Smoke the Tops of Your Legs

From running to jumping to squatting, there are tons of movements where strong quads come in handy. So taking the time to target this muscle group through quad exercises is always a good idea.

First though, let’s get clear on what, exactly, your quads actually are. Your quads (technically known as quadriceps femoris) are the front muscles of your legs, Ava Fagin, C.S.C.S., sports performance coach at Cleveland State University, tells SELF. They’re called quadriceps because they involve four different muscles: rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and vastus intermedius.

Together, your quad muscles are the primary driver of knee extension (basically, any move where your leg goes from bent to straight ) and they also play a big role in hip flexion (essentially, anything that involves bringing your leg closer to your chest) ), Fagin explains. That means your quads assist in loads of everyday movements, like walking, running, lunging, squatting, and climbing stairs.

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, and ways you can bolster this muscle group without doing squats. Then, we share 15 of the best quad exercises that will smoke the tops of your legs. Consider this your go-to guide on all things quad-related!

How can I make my quadriceps stronger?

You can make your quadriceps stronger by incorporating quad strengthening exercises into your routine. It sounds obvious, but, well, it’s actually that simple.

If you’re a beginner, doing bodyweight quad moves or leg exercises can be challenging enough to strengthen your quads, says Fagin. But if you’re a more advanced exerciser, you may find that you need to add external resistance, like through 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…

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