How To Develop Your Quads

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

When developing the quads, you must first recognize what the hardest exercises are which directly target the quads and surrounding muscles. The harder, more intense the exercise, the greater your quads will grow. The first exercise you MUST perform for quad mass, strength and power is the barbell squat. It is the king of leg exercises and works the quads directly. Squatting should be done twice a week. The first workout should be with heavy weight in the 6-8 rep range. The second day (3-4 days later) should be with lighter weight (12-15 reps). Perform 3-4 sets of this exercise. Focus on correct form. A twist I like to do on the squat to make this exercise focus on the quads more is putting a couple of 10 lb weights under my heels. In this way, the emphasis is placed more so on the front quads as opposed to the back side of the legs.

Step 2

Next, grab a pair of dumbbells and perform standing lunges. The lunge directly places emphasis on the quads. A trick I like to do with these is to control the negative movement when I step out with the weight before exploding back up to the starting position. Go for 10 reps on each side of the body (20 steps total) for 4 sets. Don't be afraid to use as heavy of a weight you can use for 10 solid but intense reps. But as always, make sure your form is in check.

Step 3

On the second workout of the week for legs- Instead of performing lunges as in Step 2- perform step-ups using a wooden box or bench about 2 feet high. Step-up are performed by holding a dumbell in each hand and simply steping up to the bench, one leg at a time. This is an excellent intense exercise for the quads and will keep body guessing from workout to workout during the week. Aim for 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps for each leg.

Step 4

The finisher exercise I perform for quads is the sitting leg extension. This is an excellent finisher movement for legs because of the direct tension it places on the quads. Make sure to use a full range of motion and squeeze briefly at the top. Aim for 12-15 reps and 3-4 sets.

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

Try to perform this workout as quickly as possible- taking only a couple minute rest between exercises. At first, it will be difficult, but remember- quads are built by intense movements. Work up to increasing the intensity each week and listen to your body. The first workout will be squats, lunges, and leg extensions. The second workout of the week (3-4 days later) will be squats, step-ups, and leg extensions. Alot of exercises aren't needed for quality quad development- only the right ones performed intensely. Following my guide here, you are sure to see positive results in quad development.

Stuff You'll Need

Suggested Further Reading

Author Title Price
New Rules of Lifting $12.82

This Student Author

This Student Author's Background

Funny or interesting story about this topic...

When developing the quads- remember that intensity will be the main driver in the size and strength of the quads. Sprinter legs are massive and powerful, because they train short and intense- putting forth maximal effort and extending their fast twitch fibers (the growth fibers) to its threshold. Endurance athlete's who participate in low intensity but long workouts have smaller, less powerful quads. The reason is because they work the slow twitch fibers- which are excellent endurance muscles but poor for strength, mass and power. By working out intensely and "feeling the burn" you can be assured you are working intensely and are on track to building more powerful quads

When did you first do this & how did you get started?

I've been squatting and working out for a number of years.

Other Tips from Aaron