The 15 best quad exercises for strong, sculpted legs

Your glutes aren’t the only part of your lower body that deserves serious training.

Your quad muscles, which are located at the front of your legs between your knees and your hips, are responsible for everything, keeping your knees in proper alignment (er, a bit important) to help you walk, run and jump. like a boss.

They are also one of the largest muscle groups (yes, your quads are technically made up of four muscles – hence the name “quad”) in your body.

As tempting as it may be to do all booty work, no leg day would be complete without a few solid quad exercises.

The following moves without equipment will trigger them so you can build strong, balanced legs by playing with your tempo (or speed) and adding jumps to the mix. Plus: all of them are easy to move forward with a pair of dumbbells or a kettlebell too, as you get stronger you can continue to see results.

For a complete quad workout (which, let’s face it, sets fire to your entire lower body), mix and match a few of these quad exercises and get ready for burn.

Time: 20 minutes

Equipment: box or step, kettlebell or dumbbells are optional (water bottles or canned food also work)

Good for: quads and lower body

Instructions: Select four or five of the exercises below. (Take the challenge by choosing a variety, such as tempo squats, reverence lunges, alternate rocker lunges, and squat jumps.) Complete the repetitions listed for each exercise, then go to the next, resting as shown . After you’ve run them all, recover for a minute. Repeat two more times for a total of three rounds.


1. Squat

How? ‘Or’ What: Stand with your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart, arms at the sides. Engage the nucleus and push the hips back as if they were lowering on a chair while simultaneously reaching the arms forward until they are tight at chest height. Keep your torso straight and your spine straight, press your knees outward and distribute the weight evenly between the two feet. When the thighs are parallel to the floor, press the heels to reverse the movement and come back to start. He is a representative. Perform 10 to 12 repetitions, then rest for 15 seconds and proceed to the next movement.


2. Squat modified with a pistol

How? ‘Or’ What: Stand directly in front of a chair with your feet parallel and shoulder width apart, hands clasped at chest height. Engage the core and push the hips back down into the chair with control. When seated, lift your right leg off the ground and lie down in a straight line. Engage the core and pass through the left heel to return to a standing position. He is a representative. Perform up to 10 repetitions per side, then rest for 15 seconds and proceed to the next movement.

Pro tip: Avoid using momentum or shifting the weight from side to side during movement.


3. Intensification

How? ‘Or’ What: Start standing in front of a box or solid surface about a foot high. Place the left right foot on the box. Move the weight in the left foot and lift the right foot off the ground, push the knee towards the chest and balance on the left leg. Keep the nucleus engaged, slowly reverse the movement to return to the beginning. He is a representative. Perform 10 to 12 repetitions per side, then rest for 15 seconds and proceed to the next movement.

Pro tip: Keep your torso as straight as possible and avoid using momentum (like swinging forward or pushing your back foot).


4. Split Squat

How? ‘Or’ What: Stand straight with your right foot forward and your left back (as if you were standing on a railroad track), hands on hips. Keep both legs straight and lift on the soles of the back foot. This is your starting position. Engage the core, keep your torso straight and bend both knees to lower the body until the back knee hovers just above the ground or gently taps. Press the front foot to straighten the legs and return to the starting position. He is a representative. Perform 10 to 12 repetitions per side, then rest for 15 seconds and proceed to the next movement.

Pro tip: Press the front knee outward throughout the movement and keep the hips as square as possible.


5. Squat Jump

How? ‘Or’ What: Stand with your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart, arms at the sides. Engage the core and push the hips back as if you were lowering yourself into a chair while simultaneously reaching your arms forward until they are tight at chest height. Press the knees outward, distribute the weight evenly between the feet and keep the chest straight and the spine straight. This is your starting position. When the thighs are parallel to the floor, press on the feet to straighten the legs and jump off the floor. (Swing arms outstretched behind the body when the feet leave the ground.) Land in a squatting position, thighs parallel to the ground. He is a representative. Perform 10 to 12 repetitions, then rest for 15 seconds and proceed to the next movement.


6. Bulgarian Split Squat

How? ‘Or’ What: Start standing with your right foot forward and your left back (as if standing on railroad tracks), the top of your left foot resting on a box and hands on your hips. Shift the weight into the right front foot, engage the trunk, keep the torso straight, and bend both knees to lower the body until the rear knee hovers just above the ground or taps gently. Press the right foot to straighten the legs and return to the starting position. He is a representative. Perform 10 to 12 repetitions per side, then rest for 15 seconds and proceed to the next movement.

Pro tip: Press the front knee outward throughout the movement and keep the hips as square as possible.


7. Bulgarian Split Squat Jump

How? ‘Or’ What: Start standing with the right foot forward and the left back (as if you were on a railroad track), the top of the left foot resting on a box and hands joined in front of the chest. Shift the weight in the right front foot, engage the trunk, tilt the torso slightly and bend both knees to lower the body until the rear knee hovers just above the ground. Press the front foot to explode in the air. Land with your right knee bent. He is a representative. Perform up to 10 repetitions per side, then rest for 15 seconds and proceed to the next movement.

Pro tip: Keep the torso tilted forward and the right knee pressed outward when landing after the jump. Make sure that you can perform regular Bulgarian split squats with an appropriate shape before conquering this movement.


8. Goblet Squat

How? ‘Or’ What: Hold a kettlebell (or the top head of a dumbbell) at chest height with your elbows bent and close to your ribs. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your toes slightly outward. Engage the core and push back the hips as if you were lowering yourself on a chair. Keep your chest straight and your spine straight; push the knees outwards and distribute the weight evenly between the feet. When the thighs are parallel to the floor, press the feet to reverse the movement and return to the starting position. He is a representative. Perform 10 to 12 repetitions, then rest for 15 seconds and proceed to the next movement.


9. Reverse Lunge


How? ‘Or’ What: Start standing with your feet directly under your hips and arms at your sides. Engage the core and step back with your right foot. Bend both legs until the back knee touches the floor directly below the hip (keep your heel straight high), while bending your arms and bringing your hands closer to your chest. Push through the feet to reverse the movement and come back to start. He is a representative. Perform 10 to 12 repetitions per side, then rest for 15 seconds and proceed to the next movement.

Pro tip: You can do this movement with weights to meet the challenge. Keep your heart tight to avoid putting your back down.


10. Curtsy Lunge


How? ‘Or’ What: Start standing with your feet under your hips and your arms together in front of your chest. Engage the core, lift the right foot off the ground and take a big step backward and outward from the left foot. Then bend your knees until the right knee touches the ground behind the left foot. Drive across the feet to reverse the movement and return to the starting position. He is a representative. Perform 10 to 12 repetitions per side, then rest for 15 seconds and proceed to the next movement.

Pro tip: Keep your shoulders and hips straight throughout the movement.


11. 1 + 1/2 Squat


How? ‘Or’ What: Start standing with feet parallel and shoulder width apart, arms to the sides. Engage the core and push the hips back as if you were lowering yourself into a chair while simultaneously reaching your arms forward until they are tight at chest height. Keep your chest straight and your spine straight, push your knees outward and distribute the weight evenly between your feet. When the thighs are parallel to the ground, press the feet to reverse the movement and go up halfway. Then go back down until the thighs are parallel to the ground, and cross the feet to come back to start. He is a representative. Perform 10 to 12 repetitions, then rest for 15 seconds and proceed to the next movement.

Pro tip: Avoid the temptation to bounce in and out of the squat’s low position. Keep the movement slow and controlled.


12. Alternative rocker slot


How? ‘Or’ What: Start standing with your feet directly under your hips and hands on your sides. Engage the core and step back with your left foot. Bend both legs until the left knee touches the floor. Push the feet to reverse the movement and return to the standing position, advancing the left foot instead of stopping in the center. Plant the left foot in front of the body and bend both legs until the right knee now touches the ground directly under the right hip. Cross your left foot to return to the start. He is a representative. Perform up to 10 repetitions per side, then rest for 15 seconds and proceed to the next movement.

Pro tip: Keep the core engaged and the torso straight and press the knee of the front foot outward in the lunge position.


13. Squat To Alternate Curtsy Lunge


How? ‘Or’ What: Start standing with feet parallel and shoulder width apart, arms to the sides. Engage the core and push the hips back as if you were lowering yourself into a chair while simultaneously reaching your arms forward until they are tight at chest height. Keep your chest straight and your spine straight, push your knees outward and distribute the weight evenly between your feet. When the thighs are parallel to the floor, press the feet to reverse the movement. Halfway, take a big step back and to the left with the right foot. Then bend your knees until the right knee touches the ground behind the left foot. Drive across the feet to reverse the movement and return to the standing position. He is a representative. Perform up to 10 repetitions per side, then rest for 15 seconds and proceed to the next movement.


14. Assisted shrimp squat


How? ‘Or’ What: Stand facing the back of a chair or table and rest your hands to support it. Bend the right knee 90 degrees to lift the right foot off the ground behind the body. This is your starting position. Keep the right foot raised, bend the left knee and push the hips back and down as much as possible without rounding the spine, while lowering the right knee to the ground near the left foot. Cross the left heel to reverse the movement and come back to start. He is a representative. Perform up to 10 repetitions per side, then rest for 15 seconds and proceed to the next movement.

Pro tip: Keep the weight as centered and as tight as possible.


15. Tempo Squat

How? ‘Or’ What: Start standing with feet parallel and shoulder width apart, arms to the sides. Engage the nucleus push the hips back and bring the arms forward to tighten them to chest height. Start slowly going down to the number of five, stopping when the thighs are parallel to the floor. Press the feet to reverse the movement in one stroke and return to the start. He is a representative. Perform 10 to 12 repetitions, then rest for 15 seconds and proceed to the next movement.

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