Nothing is as impressive as a good, massive pair of legs. However, if you lack quadriceps, how do you catch up? How to properly build the quadriceps? Should we just do squats and leg extensions? Not exactly… Here are 8 tips to work the quadriceps in order to develop them.
1. Train them two to four times a week
Frequency is often the key when it comes to promoting muscle growth and strength for a specific muscle or movement. In doing so, if you want to take thighs, you will have to integrate this notion of frequency over an extended period (6 to 8 weeks) to attest to real progress.
Ideally, it is necessary to vary the movements used as well as the relationship volume / intensity to always progress over time. To this, aim for a progression in terms of effective work sets in the range of 5 to 10 repetitions in addition to an increase in loads. Start from 20 effective sets per week and finish at more than 40 sets during the last week of your cycle.
2. Don’t forget to insulate
Although quadriceps exercises such as step ups, lunges or leg extensions should not be confused with large mass builders, it is essential to think about targeting the quadriceps specifically to exhaust all muscle fibers and create strong metabolic stress. .
Do quadriceps exercises to isolate them and use only one joint (knees or hips). Indeed, you have to think about the main action of the quadriceps in order to be able to target them: The extension of the knees (and hip flexion for the rectus femoris).
Here, make sure to use a large number of repetitions per set, and to add intensification techniques to store a maximum of training volume and stress.
3. You must strengthen the quadriceps first and last
In addition to targeting them frequently in your weekly routine, to take thighs, you will also have to do it during your sessions. So building up your quadriceps early in your workout will help you get plenty of stimulation and maximum blood and nerve flow when you’re still at your coolest .
Finally, end your leg sessions with a finisher for your quadriceps using a combination exercise, high volume training or multiple intensification techniques on isolation movements. Here, focus on congestion and a slow eccentric (~3 seconds) to really build up your quads.
4. Don’t forget squats for muscle growth
Some advertise that you don’t need squats to get big legs. While you can build quads without ever squatting, if you want to pack thighs fast and get strong, you’re going to need them.
Do a few low-volume, high-intensity sets to build your quads before burning yourself out with multiple blasts. Finally, don’t forget to seek the help of a spotter to beat your personal bests, whether in weight or in total volume per set and workout.
5. Go beyond failure
Most people train other body parts to fail, but fail to do the same for the legs. For many people this is difficult to conceive or apply as it is hard and painful… It’s time to get the density up and work with some serious intensity if you really want to get some thighs.
Some possibilities of application to strengthen the quadriceps
Forced reps : A partner helps you lift the weight after reaching muscle failure so you can do a few more reps with their help and the eccentric phase alone.
This lends itself especially well on a guided hack squat or leg press because you can easily control the failure to safety. Your series is interspersed with small pauses of a maximum of 5 to 8 seconds to reach the total number set. Eventually, you try to complete all the repetitions without stopping before increasing the load.
Post-fatigue : This involves doing an isolation move – at or near failure – after a basic quadriceps exercise. Here, that means we’re trying to take the hamstrings and glutes out of the move combo. This ensures that you can push your quadriceps to the limit rather than being limited by another muscle group or technically.
6. Push yourself and progress
One of the main reasons you fail to build quads is the mental investment you put into your workouts and the lack of a set progression. If you don’t train your legs to fail, you lose the first half of the battle. And if you don’t force yourself to always be better than your last session, you lose the second half, which is the war.
7. Pay attention to the amplitude
Working out your quadriceps with heavy weights and full amplitude is painful and each repetition seems to take forever. But if you want maximum muscle growth, there is no escaping the application of this principle.
Although the partial or the isolation of a certain portion of movements is possible, it should be reserved for a minimal part of your training. Therefore, always favor a full range of motion in order to work the quadriceps well and take thighs.
Remember that muscle stretching under tension is an important driver of hypertrophy and is essential in inducing muscle growth. You cannot take thighs the correct way with only minimal isometric or dynamic contractions.
So don’t stop your quarter amplitude squats or your leg press series without having unlocked the safety! This means that you must work on your mobility in order to be able to perform each of your repetitions at their maximum amplitude in complete safety.