Workout of the Week: Quads

As the name suggests, the quadriceps are a group of 4 muscles on the anterior portion of the legs, the function being to extend the knee. Developed quads create the ‘thick’ look to the legs that most bodybuilders desire, as well as creating a strong base for leg training and sport.

In last week’s ‘Workout of the Week’ we discussed how training legs at least twice a week is optimal for strength and growth as there are so many large, powerful muscles involved. We also discussed how, if one session is focussed more on the posterior chain (hip thrusts or deadlifts) the other should be squat based.

Here is an idea for a session which is simple, effective, and can be completed in around an hour!

 

Warm up: 5 minutes on spin bike

The aim here is not to use the time to burn as many calories as possible. This is not a ‘cardio’ session as such and exhausting yourself will only detract from your leg training. The goal is to get the blood flowing around your legs and warm the knee joints. Keep this part of your warm up to a maximum of 10 minutes before moving on to your usual warm up protocol (dynamic stretches and light sets).

 

Compound: Squats

This will be your main strength exercise of the day. Aim to work up to sets in the 5-8 rep range most weeks and track lifts. Progressive overload means that your muscles are being forced to grow and adapt to accommodate heavier weights!

Narrow stance leg press

While a wide stance with toes pointed out will target more of the glutes, a narrower stance with toes pointed forwards usually has people feeling the weight more in the quads. Control the weight on the way down and explode back out. These can be loaded heavy so long as form is not compromised.

 

Hack squat

Again, a narrower stance may be preferred for quad training. Unlike the free weight barbell squat, machines move in a fixed position taking some of the core and back involvement out of the exercise. Fans of the hack squat for quad training include bodybuilder Tom Platz! 4 sets of 8-15 is ideal.

Isolation: Leg extension (single leg, dropset to both legs on final set)

By using one leg at a time, you can focus on fully extending at the knee and squeezing the quad at the top. At least one single leg movement should be included in each leg day to prevent imbalances developing.

 

Finisher: Dumbbell walking lunges superset with wall sits (1 minute+ holds)

Perform walking lunges for a given number of reps (20 total steps/10 steps per leg is a good place to start) and go straight into a wall sit, holding for at least a minute. Take around another minute to rest before beginning your next set. This is a perfect burn out superset!

About the Author

Savannah Westerby BSc Sport and Exercise Nutrition.
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