Skip to main content

Quad Exercises

Why should I train quadriceps?

Your quads, or quadriceps femoris, are made up by the four muscles in the front of your thigh (the vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius, and the rectus femoris). Together, these muscles are responsible for enabling knee extension, and they also help to support hip flexion.

There are several benefits to training your quadriceps. Walking, running, jumping, and even standing with good posture, all use the quads. Because they are used in so many daily activities, weak quads are prone to injuries including muscle strain and tendonitis- training helps to strengthen these muscles against protect them against injuries. Strong quads also play a vital role in stabilising the knee and protecting your knee from cartilage loss[1]!

If the health benefits weren't enough for you, having strong quads helps to improve athletic performance and power. They also play a huge part in building bigger, bulkier legs - so if you want to build size, you cannot ignore your quads!

 

Commonly asked questions on quadriceps

  • The four quad muscles span the front and side of your thighs, and connects to both the knee and hip joint. If you want to target all four quad muscles in one exercise, opt for exercises with involve both the knee extension and hip flexion - such as squats, leg press, split squats, and lunges. 

  • While tight muscles after working out aren't comfortable, it's a normal process that occurs as a result of muscle fibres contracting, and even microscopic tears to the muscles. The best way to reduce stiffness in your quads, or any muscles you workout, is to warm up before your workout and stretch gently after. 

  • Whether you should exercise with sore quad muscles or not depends on the cause of the pain. For example, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a natural response that occurs with a new exercise routine or increase in intensity of exercise, and as long as you have rested your quads for at least one full day, it is safe to exercise with DOMS. Doing so can even help reduce the DOMS as it encourages blood flow to the muscles which aids healing. However, if you have an overuse injury such as a strain, you should rest until this is healed. 

Squat your way to stronger and toned legs.

Main muscles worked:

  • Quadriceps
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
 See all squat variations
How to use the leg extension machine

Isolate and exhaust your quads with leg extensions.

Main muscles worked:

  • Quadriceps
 See all leg extension variations
How to use the leg press

Push your strength forward with the leg press.

Main muscles worked:

  • Quadriceps
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
 See all leg press variations
How to lunge

Take your fitness a step forward with lunges.

Main muscles worked:

  • Quadriceps
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
 See all lunge variations

If you’re not sure if any of the above exercises are suitable for you, please consult your doctor before you start it. Need guidance on how to perform the exercise? Ask a personal trainer at your gym.