Exercising your quadriceps is very important, and they should be shown just as much attention as the rest of your body.
Because quadriceps are essential to daily human function, we need to make sure that they're fit and ready to go. However, many people might not understand the importance of the body part or where to even start when thinking of exercises.
We've made a guide on why exercising this muscle is essential and how you can benefit from quadriceps exercise.
On top of this, we have some examples of quadriceps exercises that will definitely help you grow stronger and benefit from regular exercise. Whether you're looking to lose weight or build muscle, we've got you covered.
What Are The Quadriceps?
In case you didn't know, the quadriceps, also known as the quads, are four large muscles located in the front of your thigh.
These muscles work together with other leg muscles to provide support for your knee joint. They also play an important role in walking and running by helping to stabilize your lower extremities while providing power to move forward.
The quadriceps are essential, and it's essential to keep them healthy if you want to stay active throughout life.
If you don't take care of these muscles properly, then you could end up with problems like aching and pain in the knees, joint stiffness, leg weakness, loss of mobility, and slow recovery after potential injuries.
Why Exercise Your Quadriceps?
If you haven't exercised your quads often enough, then you'll probably notice the first signs of weakness in your hips and thighs at around age 50.
You may feel weak during everyday activities such as climbing stairs or standing up from sitting down. But, there are plenty of benefits to keeping your quads strong because doing so helps prevent injury, improves performance, and makes you more confident.
Quadriceps Exercise Benefits
As mentioned above, these muscles are responsible for giving us the power to walk and run. This means that if you want to get stronger and increase your endurance, you need to work out your quadriceps.
Having said that, it's important to note that working out your quads can actually improve your overall health because the quadriceps are also responsible for helping to maintain stability in our joints.
Quadriceps are also very flexible so if you want to improve your range of motion, then you need to include them into your routine.
A great way to do this is through stretching. Stretching your quadriceps doesn't require any equipment or special tools. It simply requires time and patience.
Reduced Risk Of Injury
It's no secret that most common sports injuries occur in the legs and one of the main reasons behind this is the lack of flexibility in the quadriceps.
By strengthening these muscles, you reduce the risk of injury. In addition, if you're prone to overuse injuries, then strength training can help prevent these types of injuries.
This brings us to another reason to consider exercising your quadriceps: better performance. When you perform certain actions such as jumping, sprinting, lifting weights, running, playing basketball, etc., you put stress on your quadriceps.
This causes them to become stiffer which results in less energy being used when performing those actions. So by improving your quadriceps' flexibility, you'll be able to use more energy when you perform those movements.
How Do I Work Out My Quads?
Many people may have heard of different ways to give their quads a good exercise, but it always helps to know where to start. We have a few suggestions and how to do them so that you can go about stretching afterward.
The best type of resistance band to use is a dynamic tension band. These bands come in various sizes and offer varying levels of resistance depending on how much weight they hold. This is great for you to choose your exercises around your skill set and body size.
When using a dynamic tension band, you should stretch the muscle while holding it to the point where it feels tightest. Hold the band for 10-30 seconds before moving on to the next area.
Static Tension Band
A static tension band is similar to a normal elastic exercise band. However, instead of having a spring inside the band, you'll find a piece of material that has been stretched to a specific length. As the band stretches, it provides resistance against your movement.
You should try to stretch the band until it feels comfortable and repeat the process until you feel necessary.
Squats With Weights
To strengthen your quads, you can perform squats with weights. Goblet squats are a good example and can be performed with just a dumbbell.
If you are looking for a good exercise for inner thighs, squats with weights are also one of the best options out there.
If you don't have access to squats with weights, then you can easily perform the squat without weights by doing single-leg squats.
Single leg squats are performed by raising your right leg up off the ground and keeping both feet on the floor. Then slowly lower your leg back down to the starting position. Repeat this action as many times as possible.
Another way to strengthen your quads is through deadlifts. To perform the deadlift, stand straight and lift one foot off the ground and keep your other foot firmly planted on the ground. Lift your leg high enough so that your knee goes past 90 degrees.
Slowly lower your leg back down again. Then repeat the motion with your other leg. Keep repeating this action until you've completed several repetitions.
Another option is to use a yoga mat or blanket. Lie flat on the floor on your back and place one arm under your head. Place your other hand on top of your thigh near your hip joint. Keeping your arms straight, slowly pull your hands toward each other.
Once you reach a maximum range of motion, slowly release your hands back to their initial positions. Repeat this process three or four times. Try not to lose contact between your hands and your thighs throughout the entire stretch.
Exercise Machines That Work The Quads
Lastly, there are machines designed specifically to target your quadriceps. These are great for those who are signed up for gym memberships and have access to these sorts of apparatus.
They can be extremely useful and offer a lot of control for those who might not be very confident in their own routine-making abilities.
If you're looking for an easy machine to work out on, then you can look into purchasing a cycling machine or using one at the gym.
Cycling machines allow you to pedal back and forth while keeping your legs stationary. There are different types of cycling machines available, with all of them offering a good experience for your quads.
The treadmill is another popular option for those looking to build strength in the quads. It's a bit more difficult than the cycling machine because you must move your legs continuously.
In order to get a good workout from the treadmill, you need to make sure that you walk at a moderate pace.
If you want something that allows you to climb stairs, then you may want to consider getting yourself a stair climber.
This machine allows you to gradually increase the number of steps you take when exercising. Make sure that you check if your local gym offers such equipment, or you can also check out the best stair climber machines for your home gym and invest in one.
Quad Stretches To Avoid Injury
It's important to do some stretches before and after working out. Doing so helps prevent injuries and keeps your muscles loose and flexible. Below are some simple stretches that you can try:
Stand upright and bend over at your hips. Your knees should be bent, and your palms placed flat against the floor. Now slowly raise your heels away from your buttocks.
Hold this pose for 10-15 seconds. Repeat this movement five times. This is great for the hamstrings and the quads because they are both found on the upper leg.
Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend forward at your hips and place your right foot behind your left leg. Bring your hands together and hold them in front of you. Lower your body until your torso almost touches the floor.
Return to the starting position by raising your body back to its original height. Do ten repetitions with your right leg and then repeat it with the left leg. This exercise targets both the quads and the glutes. For added resistance, you can also use weights like dumbbells, or resistance bands, when performing lunges.
Not only is this great for the quads, but is also a very effective exercise for calf muscles.
Lie down on your stomach with your face facing upward. Raise your heels off the ground as far as you can without bending your knees.
Then lower your heels back down. Perform this exercise for about five minutes per day. You can also perform calf raises standing up. Despite being centered around the calves, this stretching exercise also works for the quads.
In conclusion, quads are incredibly important to humans' everyday function and need constant attention if you're thinking of any exercises such as running or cycling.
Because of the size of the muscles and the position of the leg they feature on, you need to ensure that you're stretching regularly to avoid any potential injuries.
Using exercise features such as resistance bands and weights is a great way of ensuring that your quad exercising doesn't go to waste.
Keep things gradual and work your way up slowly. With repetition and slow improvements, you can expect to see a real difference in your quadriceps and their strength.