Quad Dominant Exercises
The muscles on the front of your thigh are called your quadriceps muscles. Quad means four and this group of muscles gets its name because it consists of four major movers; rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius and vastus lateralis. Their main function is to powerfully extend the knee joint or straighten the leg. They play a big role with walking, running or jumping. Strengthening the quad muscles can help improve knee stability and athletic performance. It is always important to strengthen your hamstrings in the same workout that you are strengthening your quads to avoid imbalances between the muscles in the front and back of your thighs.
Bulgarian Split Squats
Start in a staggered stance with on leg in front of you and the other behind you resting on a stable raised object. Lower your body to make a 90-degree angel at the knees. Stand back up straight and complete this with both legs having a chance to be the raised leg. Keep your back straight and tall throughout.
Start in a standing position with feet shoulder width apart. Step one leg backward and lower your body to bend your knees into 90-degree angles. Stand back up into the start position and repeat with the other leg. Repeat for both legs evenly and keep your back straight and tall throughout.
Start in a standing position with feet shoulder width apart. Hold a weight in your hand close to your chest or down in front of you. Bend your knees to lower your body down and make sure that your knees track over your toes the whole time. Lower your bottom down and stand back up squeezing your glutes at the top. Keep your back straight and don’t allow it to arch throughout.
In a seated position with a weight or resistance band, keep the top half of your leg still. Extend your knee by lifting your foot from the ground and aligning it with the rest of your leg. This isolates the quad muscles. Repeat for both legs.
Start in a standing position. Lift one leg and bring the heel back to your bum. You should feel a stretch in the front of your leg. Push your hips forward to feel even more of the stretch.
Stretches are meant to relax the muscles. It is good to stretch out the muscles that you use after your workout to reward them for the work they’ve done and realize that it is time to rebuild and strengthen the fibers from all of the microtears you created while you were using them.
Julia de Reijke RKin, CSEP-CPT, BASc Kinesiology (Hons), DipFTHP