IllPumpYouUp.com
 
Ship To:
Toll Free: 1-800-940-2911  
 
IllPumpYouUp.com
Challenges
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
Home Find a Supplement Plan Shop by Brand Shop by Category Specials and Sales Best Sellers Stacks Reviews






|
|

Facebook  Instagram  Twitter  Google Plus  YouTube
Join us on Facebook and Twitter to learn about specials, coupons and free products.
POPULAR NEW ITEMS
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
BEST SELLERS BY CATEGORY

Muscle Builder
Weight Loss
Protein 
Myogenix AfterShock Recovery
Hi-Tech Lipodrene with Ephedra
Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Protein Gold Standard

Test Booster
Creatine
Amino Acid
iSatori ISA-TEST GF
All American EFX Kre-Alkalyn EFX
SciVation Xtend
IPYU Video of The Month
FREE 10 Serving No-Xplode When Purchasing a No-Xplode
SUPPORT CENTER
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
$25 Store Coupon For a Picture
IllPumpYouUp.com Designer T-Shirt Gray




$5.95 FLAT RATE SHIPPING ON ALL NON PO BOX USA MAINLAND ORDERS OVER $99!
 
Articles > Weight Training > Quad Exercises and Quad Routines
Like this article? Then 'Like' this page!
 

While athletes sometimes think of the quads as a single muscle, there are actually four different parts to the quadriceps femoris: the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis and vastus intermedius. All four muscles converge into a single quadriceps tendon, which inserts on and around the kneecap and continues below the kneecap to insert on the front of the tibia, which is the larger of the two lower-leg bones. The quadriceps work together to extend the knee; that is, straighten the leg. They are the strongest muscle group in the human body.

The rectus femoris originates on the hip and passes above the three vastus muscles on its way to the knee and tibia. It's the only quadriceps muscle that crosses two joints. If the pelvis is fixed, the rectus femoris flexes the hip and extends the knee, as in walking. It also helps to support the pelvis and trunk on the femur, the upper-leg bone. The vastus lateralis and medialis begin on the back of the femur, wrap around it and insert on its front.

The fibers of the vastus lateralis and medialis run at an angle, which is very noticeable if the muscles are in contest condition. When the knee is bent, they also play a small role in rotating the lower leg laterally, or outward, and medially, or inward, respectively. The vastus intermedius lies underneath the other three muscles.

There are also seven muscles on the inside of the leg that contribute to what we call quad mass and shape. These include the adductor magnus, adductor longus, adductor brevis, pectineus, gracilis, psoas and iliacus. Referred to collectively as the adductor muscles, they move your legs toward each other and enable you to cross them. (The biceps femoris and gluteus maxlinus contribute to adduction as well.)

When properly developed, the adductors create an inner sweep to your quads that matches and complements the outer sweep, not only increasing the thickness of your legs but also adding to their total strength. Several of the adductors can also contribute to the defined, striated character of a bodybuilder's legs in competition conditions.

BEGINNING ROUTINE
Exercise
Sets
Reps
 
Leg extensions
3
6-10
 
Squats
3
6-10
 

This quick workout introduces you to the demands of quad training. Always start with a warmup on each exercise using 40 percent of the weight you'll lift on your three work sets. That's important because each exercise works the leg muscles differently. Try to do at least six reps per set, and focus on progressive resistance. When you can do 10 reps with a given weight, increase the weight. This will temporarily lower the number of reps you can do, but over time you'll gain strength and get up to 10 again. When that happens, add more weight.

Due to the stresses that the squat places on the body in general and the lower back in particular, you should train your quads only once a week. Lift heavy yet intelligently, and watch as your legs pack on size.

Leg Extensions - There is much debate in muscledom about the benefit and advisability of doing leg extensions before squats. Some suggest that this will preexhaust the quads, which, depending on your perspective, can be either positive or negative. On the one hand, it makes no sense to tire your quads to the point that your glutes and hams do more of the work during your squats. While squats are hardly an isolation exercise, you still want to work your quads as much as possible. At the same time, heading straight into three- or four-plate squats cold or even after an aerobic warmup-seems like an invitation to injury. I've found that my knee tendons never send warning signs about stress during squats when I do leg extensions beforehand. They seem to like being warmed up with extensions first. In fact, I can lift more weight on squats without pain or injury-even without wraps. Give it a try and see if you feel the same difference.

Sit on the leg extension machine and position the back rest so that your body is snug in the seat. Adjust the length of the moving arm so that the cushions touch the center of your ankles. Although your legs can be pivoted at the hip for different variations of the exercise, your feet should be straight, in-line with your legs. Raise the arm of the machine until it's parallel to the floor and your quads are fully contracted. Hold for a second, then lower the arm slowly and repeat.

Never let the arm go underneath the seat, even if that's its resting location. When you lower the weight, the angle formed by your calves and hamstrings should never be less than 90 degrees. Letting the arm drop beyond this point needlesslessly stresses the knees. Never let the arm bounce off the bottom either. If you're lifting close to your bodyweight, grab the seat to keep yourself in position.

Squats - This movement works all of the leg muscles and can promote dramatic growth. In fact, when it's performed properly, it's the biggest muscle builder of them all. When you descend into the squat, your back should be perpendicular to the floor. While some forward motion is inevitable, you can minimize this by placing a board or weights beneath the soles of your feet. Depending on your height, the thickness of the platform will vary from a five- to a 45-pound plate. Experiment with just the bar on your back to find the elevation that works best for you.

Place the barbell on a rack so the bar is just below your shoulder height. Then position yourself under the center of the barbell so that it rests on the middle of your traps. Never rest it directly on your spine, which is dangerous, or place it on the lower part of your traps, which will promote forward movement.

Once you're in position, lift the bar gently to make sure that the weight is balanced on both sides. If it is, stand upright and slowly step back onto the platform. Position yourself on the board or weights with your heels slightly closer than shoulder width. Your toes should point outward at an angle of approximately 30 degrees. This will maximize your balance.

Next, lower yourself in a controlled manner until your hamstrings are parallel to the floor. Make sure your knees are bent directly over your feet. You can achieve this with a close or wide stance, depending on how you pivot your leg at the hip. Practice it without weights until you get it right. Keen problems are not inevitable with the squat. They're caused by improper technique. Minimize the strain on this essential joint by always making your feet disappear behind your knee and leg at the bottom of the exercise

Now for the reverse movement. Think of yourself as a rocket and surge upward with the force of a space launch, moving straight up and not forward. Push from the soles of your feet, not your toes. (It may seem like a small change, but it makes a big difference.) Also, look straight ahead while you squat, and examine your technique in the mirror as you rise. Never look down, which can cause you to lean forward, or look up, which can result in a curving of the spine.

INTERMEDIATE WORKOUT
Exercise
Sets
Reps
 
Leg extensions
3-4
6-10
 
Squats
3-4
6-10
 
Adductor machine
3-4
6-10
 

Once you build a foundation, it's time to start working some of the other muscles that shape the upper leg.

Adductor Machine - Nowadays, most gyms have an adductor machine, a device that recruits all nine adductor muscles, helping to build that wonderful thickness on the inside of your quads to match the outer sweep you build with the squats and leg extensions. This can make a crucial difference in today's hyper-competitive bodybuilding contests.

Select a relatively light weight and position yourself in the seat. Place your legs on the two pads in front of you and bring the pads together with your arms instead of your legs. (This will allow you to fine-tune your leg position and lessen the potential for injury.) Your legs should be rotated so your toes are pointing slightly outward.

Sit back in the seat and slowly let your legs move apart. When the legs are fully extended, reverse the movement and squeeze them together until the pads touch. Repeat.

Never let the weight stack bottom out when your legs are extended, it eliminates the tension on your legs and makes it necessary for you to jerk-start the next rep from a very disadvantageous position. If the stack does touch, increase the angle of the two pads by changing the location of the control latch under the seat. That way you can maintain resistance throughout the entire movement and even make use of the stretch reflex to gently stimulate muscle growth.

Be careful with this exercise. The muscles that connect to the groin area are not as strong as some others. Avoid injury by slowly increasing the weights you lift.

ADVANCED PROGRAM
Exercise
Sets
Reps
 
Leg extensions
4
6-10
 
Squats
4
6-10
 
Adductor machine
4
6-10
 
Leg presses
4
6-10
 

The advanced workout adds another compound mass builder for your quads.

Leg Presses - These will end your leg workout with a growth-inducing bang. Ideally, you should use a leg press on which the weight stack rotates from a single pivot point instead of moving up and down on the traditional sled. The reason for this is simple kinesiology: Your knee is a pivot joint. Using a pivot-based press therefore most approximates the desired movement, minimizing the potential for stress and injury. If your gym does not have a pivot press, however, use the regular sled variety. Just pay attention to the signals your knees are sending, and back off if they tell you enough is your resistance over time in order to stimulate the greatest growth.

Load the machine or set the weight stack, then position yourself in the seat. Place your feet on the center of the pad with the heels approximately one foot apart, then rotate your legs so your toes are pointing outward about 30 degrees. Slowly lower the weight stack until your quads are touching your chest. Return to the starting position and repeat.

During each repetition, think about the movement you did on the squat when you made your feet disappear under your knees. While you obviously won't see them vanish during this exercise, it's important to follow this form in order to minimize the stress on your knees. Not only will you avoid injury, but you'll also be able to lift more weight, since your mind won't be telling your muscles to hold back to save your body from the strain. Also, be sure to maintain tension during the entire set. Never rest between repetitions by locking your knees and taking the stress off the quads. Extend your legs until they're 98 percent of the way to lockout, then begin the next rep. You can rest in this position to catch your breath toward the end of the set, but never go beyond the 98 percent point.

No one ever said that leg training was easy. And no one ever will. Building conquering quads is hard work, but the results are well worth it. There's nothing like jean-ripping mass to separate you from the alsorans and catapult you to victory on stage. So what if you sometimes feel faint after heavy squats? Consider it a badge of honor. You've reached that select league of musclemen who are succeeding in the quest for killer quads and becoming the envy of all their peers.

 

Related Articles
Building Monster Quads
Quad Exercises
Squats or Leg Presses

 




 
Frequently Visited Areas
BODYBUILDING FORUM
FITNESS EXERCISES
SUPPLEMENT REVIEWS
ONLINE PERSONAL TRAINER
PRODUCT RANKING
VIDEO REVIEWS
TRAINING ARTICLES
NEW PRODUCTS
SUPPLEMENT ARTICLES    
 
I'LLPUMPYOUUP.COM
527 D Street
CLEARWATER, FL 33756
Email Us
Toll Free: 1-800-940-2911
 
How Are We Doing?
REPORT A PROBLEM
SITE FEEDBACK
 
Product Suggestion
RECOMMEND AN ITEM
Payment Types Accepted


 
Click for the BBB Business Review of this Vitamins & Food Supplements in Clearwater FL
Nextag Seller
IllPumpYouUp.com is an Upfront Merchant on TheFind. Click for info.
bizrate Customer Certified Site - IllPumpYouUp.com Reviews at Bizrate
 
 

HOME  |  MY ACCOUNT   |  DISCONTINUED  |  LINKS  |  AFFILIATE PROGRAM  |  CONTACT  |  LOG OUT
Copyright© 2003-2014. IllPumpYouUp.com All Rights Reserved.