Quad exercises

These 5 Quad Exercises Will Completely Transform Your Thighs

Want to lose thigh fat, strengthen, and tone your thighs? These 5 quad exercises will completely transform your thighs.

Running, walking, and jumping all require functional quads. Build more toned, functional, and stronger quadriceps with these 5 best quad exercises. 

Many prominent lower body exercises like deadlifts primarily target the hamstrings and glutes. 

But if you want to develop your quads and make them stronger you want to include other leg exercises into your leg routine.

When it comes to lower body workouts, quadriceps tend to see less spotlight and take the backseat.

But quads are the gateway to healthy knee joints, flexible hips, and functional movements. 

Without them, your movements would be limited and hard-pressed. 

Quadriceps femoris is a group of muscles in the front of your thigh. It’s the most voluminous muscle in the body, with more muscle mass than any other muscle group (1). 

If you are an athlete, quads are ever more important. 

In sports, quads play an extremely important functional role in the hip joint, posture, knee joint, and walking. Yet, it’s one muscle group that often finds itself on the receiving end of the stress, causing trauma and damage in that area. 

If you’ve been neglecting quads in your lower body workouts, it’s time to give some focus and strengthen this essential muscle group. 

Here are the best quad exercises to build more functional, stronger legs. 

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5 Best Quad Exercises to Build Strong Legs

5 Best Quad Exercises to Build Strong Legs
Photo: Getty Images / Kanawa_Studio

1. Stair Sprint

Stair Sprint

You need quads to climb up the stairs. So it’s a no-brainer that stair sprints would help develop better strength in your quads. 

How to do it: 

Find stable a few flights of stairs. Sprint up the top, lifting your knees as high as you can, and jog to the bottom. Do this for 30-60 seconds. Repeat 2-3 sets. 

2. Front Squat

Front Squat

Squats primarily target the quadriceps along with other muscles like the hips and glutes. You can perform this with or without weights. 

How to do it: 

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and adjust your toes so they point slightly outward. 
  • Contract your glutes and core and keep your back flat before you start. Hinge your hips and slowly lower yourself into a squat position until your thighs are almost parallel to the ground. Don’t let your knees go over your toes. 
  • Return with control and repeat 10 reps, 2-3 sets. 

3. Wall Sit

Wall Sit Exercise

Wall sit is an excellent squat variation that smokes your quads. Instead of performing reps, you hold the squat position against the wall for a length of time. It’s a great quad exercise for all fitness levels. 

How to do it: 

  • Stand with your back to a flat surfaced wall, about a foot away. Keep your back flat against the wall and bend your knees to let your back slide down against the wall until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. 
  • Hold the position for 1 to 2 minutes. Release and repeat 2-3 sets. 

4. Step-Ups


Step-up forces you to use the quad muscles in your upper leg. It also develops your glutes, hips, and core at the same time, making it one excellent choice on a lower body workout day. 

How to do it: 

  • Face a sturdy bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Step up onto the bench just with your right leg. Press into the right foot to come up and allow your left leg to follow. Once both feet are on the bench, step back down with your left leg and let the right leg follow. 
  • Perform 10 reps on each side and complete 2-3 sets. 

5. Bulgarian Split Squat

Bulgarian Split Squat - quad exercises
  • Stand straight with a dumbbell in each hand with your back to a bench, about a foot away. 
  • Lift your right leg behind you, knee bent. Balance yourself on the toes of your right foot on the bench. 
  • Bend your left knee but avoid letting your knee past the toes. With control, let your right knee drop toward the floor. Come up using your core and quads. 
  • Perform 10 reps on each side and complete 2-3 sets. 

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