best quads exercises

Exercise for Quads to Take Your Leg Day to the Next Level for Building Stronger Lower Body

Everyone loves doing arms and shoulders. But good physique without proper developed lower body is not counted attractive when it comes to the overall developed body.

If you’re one of those gym addicts, then legs workouts should come staple into your routine. And, even front muscle between your hips and knees is also important to look at. Yes, exercise for quads is as essential as arms workout. Also, building gods like quads are favorable to prevent knee pain. Your quads are the key absorber of any shock that comes to your knees while landing from any jump or when you quickly try to change direction on the field.

Also, if you’re an aesthetics lover, an impressive quadriceps muscle is a complete game-changer. The legendary bodybuilder Tom Platz is a prime example of who’s known for having the best quads in history.

Like show off muscle biceps and the pecs, the quad is also a good muscle to pump up, even for the beginners. Also, quads are the biggest lower body muscles group, which already do the heavy lifting.

Top 7 Exercises for Quads

Here, below we’ve put some of the best quads exercises that you can try to build a solid foundation of a strong and impressive lower body.

  1. Barbell Back Squats
  2. Barbell Front Squats
  3. Sissy Squats
  4. Leg Extensions
  5. Leg Press
  6. Barbell Walking Lunges
  7. Machine Hack Squats

1. Barbell Back Squats

Squats are a compound movement that uses almost the whole body. It’s one of the exercises for building strength and getting your CNS adaptation at the maximum level by stressing nearly everything, which leads further to some good gains. Squat is not only good exercise for quads, but it’s also helpful in putting on some serious mass, and even losing fat while preventing you from becoming skinny.

barbell back squats

One of the popular compound movements focuses on building strong lower-body muscle groups with overall strength. Being a traditional way to begin leg day, squats are also a centerpiece for a lower-body training routine. It’s one of the competitive lifts in the realms of powerlifting sports, but equally, it’s also considered a classic example of measuring lower-body strength.

With the barbell kept on the upper back or else traps, the emphasis goes directly on the posterior chain, but it also works the entire body. It’s among those exercises, that can be trained through heavy singles to sets of 20+ reps or even higher.

Benefits of Barbell Back Squats

  • Improved leg strength and hypertrophy.
  • Enhances sports performance. For example, better sprinting or jumping.
  • Improved strength of the lower back.
  • Helps in building muscular torso (core).
  • Increased lower body power.
  • Helps to build strong glutes.
  • Strong hamstrings.
  • Good calf size and strength.
  • Better and improved mobility.
  • Stronger joints.
  • Prevents injuries.
  • Increased production of hormones – growth hormone and testosterone.

2. Barbell Front Squats

Similar to back squats, barbell front squats are also a compound exercise focused on building stronger lower body muscle groups. Barbell kept in front of the body on your anterior delts. The front squats mainly focus on glutes and quads and upper back and core strength to keep your body upright. It can be done as an alternative for back squats and an accessory exercise for deadlifts or squats for muscle and strength gain.

barbell front squats
Furthermore, it creates less pressure on the spine and less torque on your knees, making it quite good for people who’ve knee or back injuries.

Benefits of Barbell Front Squats

  • Helps to build strength and size for quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
  • Builds core and upper back strength that helps to maintain an upright position.
  • Good mobility of hips, ankles, and shoulders.
  • Not stressful to the spine, such as back squats.
  • Have multiple options of grip like crossed armor zombie arms, holding using straps wrapped around the bar.
  • Helps to expose weaknesses such as problems with thoracic extension. In other words, whether you can keep your chest up or not.

3. Sissy Squats

Though the name sound bit misleading but the exercise is not. And sissy squats aren’t for sissies. It’s from the shortening of “Sisyphus.” Compared to traditional barbell squats, the sissy squat is a bit different. It isolates your quad by excluding your glutes while performing this exercise. It helps in balancing your anterior as well as posterior chain muscles. It’s one of the famous golden era exercises, but its effectiveness has stood all test of time. However, one thing to consider is that, though it’s one of the best quads exercises, it’s not for the beginner to stress on knees. So, it’s better to leave it for intermediate or advanced lifters.

sissy squats

Benefits of Sissy Squats

  • Best for building hip flexors, apart from quads.
  • It helps you build that teardrop thigh shape.
  • It’s a compound movement, which means you can target several areas at a time.
  • Works your core more intensely compared to those normal squats.

4. Leg Extensions

The leg extension is one of the quads exercises that focus exclusively on your quads. It’s an isolation exercise that targets all four muscles of quads, namely rectus femoris, vastus intermedius, vastus lateralis, and vastus medialis. It’s one of the staple exercises in weight lifting for those who like to build muscular legs.

leg extensions

Benefits of Leg Extensions

  • Builds the strength and size of your quads.
  • Helps in strengthening ligaments connected to the knee joint while helping to prevent injury.
  • One of the best accessory exercise for making your squats stronger.

5. Leg Press

The leg press is another exercise for quads that’s done using the leg press machine. It’s quite a favorite among lifters who like exercising in a seated position instead of standing with the extra load on the spine. It’s a pure hypertrophy workout that builds quads equivalent to squats. Also, it’s one of the fantastic pre-fatigue leg exercises.

leg press

Benefits of Leg Press

  • You can adequately focus on your legs without worrying about your back, as it’s supported, and you also have hand rests.
  • You can accommodate big weights without taking the help of any spotter.
  • Builds stronger quads.
  • Good for lifters who are recovering from an injury.

6. Barbell Walking Lunges

The barbell walking lunge is one of those exercises for quads that tests how well you can balance yourself while challenging your glutes, quads, and hamstrings along with core muscles. Further, you can even overload it using a barbell or extra weights. It should be performed using moderate reps like 8 to 15 reps per set, or you can even prefer doing high reps without any weights. For instance, it can become one of the good exercises for quads at home, or you’re limited with weights.

barbell walking lunges

Benefits of Barbell Walking Lunges

  • Challenging for lower body muscles, which means a better workout.
  • Quad dominating if you take a shorter stance and targets glutes on larger steps.
  • Improves cardiovascular conditioning, hip flexibility, and core stability.
  • Good accessory movement for squats.

7. Machine Hack Squats

The hack squats are done using a hack squat machine that’s good for targeting quads. It’s mostly used as an accessory workout for squats, but it can be one of the good lower-body movements in quads exercises. It’s usually done from moderate to high repetitions, such as 8 to 12 reps per set or sometimes even more.

machine hack squats

Benefits of Machine Hack Squats

  • It’s a compound exercise that works on entire lower-body muscles like hip flexors, calves, hamstrings, glutes, and definitely quadriceps. And even the core muscles that include internal and external obliques and rectus abdominis.
  • One of the best heavy movement quads exercises that can even be used as lightweight burnout.
  • Change in foot placement can change the emphasis on the targeted muscle.
  • Good for those who lack ankle mobility.
  • Best and easy to perform mass builder exercise.
  • Less stressful to spine.

Closing Thoughts

Quads are one of the largest muscle groups in the body, and if it’s not assaulted correctly, it won’t grow. However, there’s no need to make it complicated. Here, we’ve mentioned some of the best quad exercises you can do that will help you build good size and strength.

These are 7 different quads exercise that you can prefer. If you want, you can even divide legs day twice per week. For instance, one day, you focus entirely on quads and another day entirely on hamstrings. If you want, you can adjust one or two of these mentioned exercises into your routine, or else you can do these 7 exercises in a row, and once you get used to, you can shuffle the exercise order while increasing weights.