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Quadriceps Workout Routines

Updated on December 8, 2014

Training The Quadriceps Muscles

There are too many weight training enthusiasts that neglect training their leg muscles, including the quadriceps. Some train their upper body muscles almost exclusively, and do a leg workout every now and then. This could be because most men don't really care about building their leg muscles and some exercises for them are tough to do with high intensity. However, if you want to build a balanced physique and get as strong as possible you need to do leg workouts that hit every major muscle group in the area, especially the quadriceps.

The quadriceps are the muscles on the fronts of your thighs and make up the largest muscle group of the legs. While you need to train all of the muscle groups of the legs including the hamstrings and calves, training the quads is going to give the biggest increase in size. If you perform intense quadriceps workout routines, you'll eventually get big legs.

Best Quadriceps Exercises To Build The Legs

The squat is without a doubt the best exercise to do as part of quadriceps workout routines. While it's known as primarily a quadriceps exercise, the squats also works your hamstrings, lower back, and many other muscles to a smaller degree. In fact, heavy and intense squatting will help you build your upper body as well since you'll get a big boost in testosterone when you do them. To do squats you put a barbell on your upper back/trapezius area and squat down until your upper thighs are parellel to the floor. Then you lift the weight using your qudriceps muscles to a standing position. Place your feet about shoulder width apart and keep your lower back arched (avoid bending it) to avoid injuring it. It's best to do free weight squats, but you can do them on a Smith machine if you have lower back or knee problems.

The best exercises to do after squats in your quadriceps workout routine are hack squats and leg presses. If you have lower back problems you may even want to do these exercises instead of free weight squats since you'll have back support on either of them. Hack squats are done by getting on the hack machine, lying against the back support, and squatting down. Leg presses are done by lying on a leg press machine, putting your feet on the platform and raising the weight up and down. You'll spare you lower back while doing these These exercises also make great alternatives to the squat if you have lower back problems that stop you from doing them. Your back will be supported while doing either exercise. Make sure to put your feet in the proper position when you do hack squats or leg presses as improper placement could cause a knee injury.

Two other great quadriceps exercises you should do during your leg workouts are walking lunges and front squats. Both of them will hit the teardrop muscles of the quads. You can do lunges from either a standing, fixed position or while walking forward and with either a barbell on your back or dumbbells in your hands. When you do walking lunges in a crowded gym, it's best to do them with dumbbells in your hands. When you so walking dumbbell lunges you should have wrist straps on so your grip doesn't give out too early. To do front squats during your quadriceps workout routines, you need to put a barbell on your upper chest area and squat down like you would during a normal squat. This exercise takes some getting used to, so you should start out with a light weight. Front squats can be uncomfortable to perform at first, but they are a great quadriceps exercise for building the front and teardrop muscles of the upper thighs.

One of the most popular exercises to do during a quadriceps workout routine is the leg extension. However, they are primarily an isolation exercise and shouldn't be done until the end of your quadriceps workouts. An excellent finsher to your quad workouts is a couple of drop sets of leg extensions to give your muscles a nice pump.

You should perform your quadriceps workout routines with the other leg muscles as part of a push-pull routine. Start with the quads, then do workouts for your hamstrings and calves. This will give your leg muscles plenty of rest and recovery time before their next workout.

Sample Quadriceps Workout Routine

This sample quadriceps workout routine follows a light weight - high rep, medium weight - medium rep, and heavy weight - low rep workout scheme.

Light quadriceps workout (15-20 reps per set)
2-3 sets of squats
2-3 sets of hack squats or leg presses
1-2 sets of walking lunges or front squats
1-2 drop sets of leg extensions

Medium quadriceps workout (10-15 reps per set)
3-4 sets of squats
2-3 sets of hack squats or leg presses
2-3 sets of walking lunges or front squats
1-2 drop sets of leg extensions

Heavy quadriceps workout (5-10 reps per set)
4-5 sets of squats
3-4 sets of hack squats or leg presses
2-3 sets of walking lunges or front squats
1-2 drop sets of leg extensions

You should try to perform this quadriceps workout routine every 5 to 7 days as part of a push-pull weight training split routine. How many days in between these workouts depends on the recovery ability of your leg muscles. If you're a natural weight trainer, it won't take a lot of sets and exercises during each quadriceps workouts to build them if you train with high intensity, so this should be enough to do the job. You should switch between doing hacks and leg presses and doing lunges and front squats during every other workout or workout cycle to avoid hitting a plateau. If you keep your body guessing, your muscles will continue to grow in strength and size.

Quadriceps Training Equipment

If you want to set up a home gym you should definitely get some quadriceps training equipment. The main piece of equipment need for quad training would be a squat rack. Squat racks are wise investments for a home gym as you can use them for many exercises.

A leg extension machine is also great for training the quadriceps. You can find benches that have a leg extension add-on.

If you have plenty of space and money to spend, you can even get a leg press or hack squat machine. Both pieces of equipment are excellent for leg training.

Proper Squat Form


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