Quads | What Are They | How to Get Them

Quadriceps aka Quads! Let’s talk about damn those quads!!!! Why? Because, friends don’t let friends skip a leg day!

We are going to cover the following topics in this blog:

  1. Muscles in quadriceps
  2. Exercises for the quad muscles
  3. Common compensations related to squats
  4. Stretching quads

What are quads?

Quads or quadriceps is a four headed muscle consisting of 4 muscles and all these lay in the front of the leg. Simply put this muscle extends the knee (as you might have seen on the leg extension machine and one of those flexes the hip (with other muscles involved).

We will not get into the detailed anatomy but I think it is vital to name those. So let’s do that:

  1. Rectus femoris: occupies the middle of the thigh, covering most of the other three quadriceps muscles
  2. Vastus lateralis is on the lateral side of the femur (i.e. on the outer side of the thigh)
  3. Vastus medialis is on the medial side of the femur (i.e. on the inner part thigh)
  4. Vastus intermedius lies between vastus lateralis and vastus medialis on the front of the femur (i.e. on the top or front of the thigh), but deep to the rectus femoris. Typically, it cannot be seen without dissection of the rectus femoris

There is a fifth and sixth (recent studies have been done on this one) but for the sake of this blog, we will not discuss those here.

Exercises for the quad muscles

Here is the sample of exercises for individuals who have been cleared for lower body exercises:

Quad Gains

Few key things to keep in mind while doing these exercises:

  1. Make sure you are not locking your knees
  2. Maintain the correct posture
  3. Focus on the correct form, and lifting heavy will come eventually
  4. Always engage your core while working on a muscle group
  5. Breathe……. Inhale and exhale, just keep that going. Inhale on flexion and exhale on going back to the starting position.

Tip: Smith machine, squats with the ball on the wall are great to learn the correct form for the squats. Example of a ball squat:

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With the ball squats, you can use weights as well, you could do a goblet squat, suitcase squat, overhead. You name it. This will help you train your mind to maintain the correct posture during a squat.

Another exercise for quads is our isometric (refer to the muscles blog for kind of contractions) one called wall sit. It is simple and effective! Try it!

Common compensations during squats:

  1. Asymmetrical Bar PlacementSquats
  2. Exaggerated Knees-Forward MovementKnee Issues
  3. Inward movement of the kneesKnee collapse with squats
  4. Ballerina lift offPain when doing squats
  5. Limp feetKnee pain when doing squats


    Stretch those quads….

    1. Standing quad stretch and the variations:
    2. Laying quad stretch:
    3. Kneeling quad stretch:


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