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6 best leg workouts for men to get bigger quads

The best workouts for quads. Image via Pexels/Binyamin Mellish
The best workouts for quads. Image via Pexels/Binyamin Mellish
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Natalie P.

The quadriceps, commonly known as quads, are a large group of four muscles on the front of the thigh. They are responsible for most of the movement in the leg. Hence, they are often targeted by common leg exercises. However, because they are at work pretty much all the time every day, developing them would mean having to isolate them completely in your workouts.

By develop, we don’t just mean to get them big and have your tear drop muscles pop, but also strengthen them so you can perform other leg exercises better too.

Man performing barbell squat. Image via Unsplash/Sam Moqadam
Man performing barbell squat. Image via Unsplash/Sam Moqadam

6 best workouts for quads

Some of these variations target not just your quads, but your glutes, hamstrings, calves, and adductors too. Regular practice of these will have your quads looking great within weeks!

Barbell Squat

A classic move, the barbell squat is common among gym-goers on leg days. You can do this exercise by holding a barbell on your shoulders behind your neck, or balancing it on them in front.

• Start by standing straight with your feet hip-distance apart. Place the barbell on your shoulders and hold it firmly. Step back from the rack and take a breath in.

• Make sure your feet are firm on the ground, push your hips back and lower them down by bending at your knees and hips. Keep your back straight and lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Inhale as you do this.

• As you exhale, push yourself up by straightening your legs to return to the starting position.

• Repeat this move for 12 to 15 reps and place the barbell back. You may increase the weight progressively with each set.

Here’s a video for reference:

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Goblet squat

Another variation of the conventional squat. This one requires you to squat deeper, increasing the range of motion and the tension on your quads.

• Start by standing straight with your feet hip-distance apart. Hold a dumbbell in front of your chest, just below your chin.

• Making sure your feet are firm on the ground, push your hips back and lower them down by bending at your knees and hips. Keep your back straight, lower yourself until you are in a full squat position. Inhale as you do this.

• As you exhale, push yourself up by straightening your legs to return to the starting position.

• Repeat this move for 12 to 15 reps.

Watch this video if you’re confused:

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Leg press

Basically mimicking the movement of a squat, you would need a leg press machine for this movement. It is a powerful move for the quads as the center of gravity is shifted from the regular squat.

• Seat yourself in the leg press machine. Place your feet in the centre of the platform, keeping them hip-distance apart. Straighten your legs and move the safeties away.

• Bend at your knees and lower the platform towards you until your legs are bent at a 90-degree angle. Inhale as you do this.

• Exhale and straighten your legs, pushing the platform away from you.

• Repeat this move for 12 to 15 reps.

Watch this before attempting the exercise:

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Leg extension

This is another exercise that requires a machine. It calls for squeezing the quads and increasing the tension placed on them.

• Seat yourself in the leg extension machine and lock yourself in. Place your ankles behind the cushioned bar. Take a breath in.

• Exhale and push the bar up with your legs. Squeeze your glutes when your legs are straight.

• Bring the weight back down slowly while inhaling again.

• Repeat this move for 12 to 15 reps. You may increase the weight progressively with each set.

Take a look at this video:

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Bulgarian split squats

This is an absolutely destructive variation of conventional lunges. Bulgarian split squats are sure to fire up your quads and make them burn. For this exercise, you will need a bench or a box that’s about knee-high.

• Stand in front of the bench. It should be behind you. Take a step forward and place your right foot up on the bench behind you.

• Lower your body into a lunge position while keeping your back straight and shoulders tall. Inhale as you do this. Allow your left leg to form a 90-degree angle at the knee

• Exhale and straighten your left leg, pushing yourself up from the ground.

• Repeat this move for 8 to 10 reps on each leg. You may even hold dumbbells as you progress.

If you’re confused, you can refer to this:

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Walking lunges

Another ghoulish variation of the traditional lunge, this one requires you to keep taking steps ahead with every painful lunge.

• Start by standing straight with your feet together. Ensure there is enough room ahead of you to take at least 20 regular steps.

• Bring your right leg out and place it about a foot ahead of you. Lower your body into a lunge position while keeping your back straight and shoulders tall. Allow your right leg to form a 90-degree angle at the knee. Inhale as you do this.

• Exhale and straighten your legs. As you do this, shift your weight to your right leg and step forward, bringing your left leg and placing it ahead of you, lunging on that leg next.

• Repeat the move until you have completed about 10 steps on each leg. You may even hold dumbbells as you progress.

Take a look at this before attempting it:

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Remember that nutrition plays an important role in building muscle, so you've got to make sure you’re nourishing well after your leg days to pack that mass. And make sure you stretch. Tight legs mean tight hips which mean bad posture and form while lifting!

Add these to your next leg day routine to annihilate your quads. Don’t we all love the feeling of struggling to sit after leg day?


live poll LIVE POLL

Q. Do you work your quads out regularly?

Duh! Every leg day.

I hate leg days!

43 votes so far

Edited by Diptanil Roy
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