4 Exercises to Build Your Quadriceps

Quadriceps are an important muscle group to pay attention to in the gym, as this muscle is used nearly every day. Between getting out of bed, walking, or standing, the quadriceps are put to work. Creating an exercise around your quads can improve balance and stability, reduce stress on your knees and lower legs, and more.


  1. Squat

Squats are one of the best exercises for your core and lower body, and you can adjust this exercise for your personal goals by reducing or increasing the depth of the squat. The muscles that these exercise works are the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core.


To do the squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your toes facing slightly outwards. Keeping your arms at your sides, bend your knees, and push your hips back. Pause for a moment when your thighs are parallel to the floor, then push upwards and return to the starting position.


  1. Walking Lunge

Lunges are another simple but effective exercise to increase leg and core strength. If you want to increase the challenge of this exercise, hold a dumbbell while you perform it. This works your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core.


To do this exercise, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold your hands at your chest, side, or hips. Step forward with one foot and sink down to your front knee until it is at a 90-degree angle. Alternate sides as you lunge forward while you “walk.”


  1. Box Jump

Box jumps are a great exercise for developing power in your lower body. This exercise works the quadriceps, calves, glutes, and core.


To do this exercise, stand about a foot away from the box you will be jumping on or a stable surface with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and drop your arms until you’re in a squatting position. Swing your arms forward, extend your hips, and jump upward on the box. Land with a slight bend in your knees, then step down and repeat. Be cautious with this exercise!


  1. Single-Leg Raise

The single-leg raise targets the quadriceps, the hip flexors, and the core. This is also a good exercise if you are doing more floor exercises rather than active exercises such as box jumps or squats.


To do this exercise, lie on your back with your legs out straight in front of you. Place one foot flat on the floor so that your knee is at a 90-degree angle, then keep your core tight and legs straight while raising your leg until your thigh is at a similar angle to your opposite thigh. Repeat and alternate legs.


At the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, we want you to achieve your goals with us! We offer group fitness, personal training, and healthy living programs so you can change up your routine. If you are ready to start your workouts and exercises, come to the Y. Contact us for more information!


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