Quad Exercises For Quick Size and Strength Gains

Quad exercises are essential to any bodybuilding program as the quadriceps are the largest and strongest muscle group in the human body.

The quadriceps are essentially the muscles that make up the front of your thigh from the groin down to the knee.

The name quadriceps comes from the fact that there are 4 smaller portions or “heads” that make up the entire quadriceps muscle group. I will not go into the details of each of these 4 heads of the quadriceps on this site, but you can visit the following link to the Wikipedia page dedicated to the quadriceps muscles for further information on the detailed composition of the quad muscles: Wikipedia Quadriceps Page

The purpose of this page is to provide you with the quad exercises and other information that you will need to quickly strengthen and develop your quads.

Quad Lift #1: Squats

Quad Exercises Squats

Targeted Muscles: Quadriceps – Thigh Muscles

Auxiliary Muscles: Hamstrings and Glutes


To perform the squat lift, place a barbell loaded with weight across your shoulders, and squat down until your upper legs are parallel with the ground.

You will want to make sure that you keep your back as straight as possible when performing this exercise to ensure that you don’t transfer any unnecessary stress to your lower back which could cause injury. When using heavy weights on this exercise, be sure to perform the movement in a slow and controlled manner to help avoid injury.

I recommend placing a pad across your upper back to help support the weight of the bar comfortably on your upper back and shoulders.

Some people prefer to perform this lift with a chair or bench underneath them so they can feel when they have squatted down as far as necessary. This is perfectly acceptable, but not required when performing the squat lift.

Quad Lift #2: Leg Extensions

Quad Exercises Leg Extensions

Targeted Muscles: Quadriceps – Thigh Muscles

Auxiliary Muscles: N/A


To perform the leg extension exercise, you will need access to a leg extension machine which is basically an adjustable bench with the back nearly perpendicular to the ground with a straight bar with leg pads near the floor where your legs are hanging when relaxed.

You will place your legs behind the padded bar with your shins resting on the back of the pads and extend your legs until they are fully straightened which will bring the pads upwards until they are about parallel to the floor.

You should pause slightly at the top of the movement before lowering the weight.

Quad Lift #3: Leg Press

Quad Exercises Leg Press

Targeted Muscles: Quadriceps – Thigh Muscles

Auxiliary Muscles: Hamstrings and Glutes


The leg press essentially works the same muscles as performing squats. The leg press is performed sitting on a leg press machine and placing your feet on the pressing board. You will lower the weight as far as possible (basically until your knees are just about to hit your chest) and press the board back to its starting position without locking your knees.

Most leg press machines have handles for you to grip for added stability. I recommend using these handles as they will allow you to focus more intensity into the leg press movement.

Final Note

Because the quadriceps are such a large muscle group, you will want to choose two of the three quad exercises above to implement into your weight lifting program to ensure full development of your quads.

Coupling these exercises with an effective muscle building diet plan will give you everything you need for fast muscle and strength gains.

You should also use muscle confusion techniques to maximize your muscle building potential.

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