How to Build Stronger Quads | STACK

Brian Lebo
- Brian Lebo is the owner and director of Athletic Performance Training Center, a strength and conditioning facility in North Royalton, Ohio. He specializes in helping...

How to Build Stronger Quads

November 20, 2012 | Brian Lebo

Must See Strength Training Videos

Michael Johnson Performance Series: The 40-Yard Dash Drive Phase

Elite Performance with Mike Boyle: One-Leg Deadlift

Real Workouts: Henrik Zetterberg


As an athlete, you are probably aware that you need to strengthen your quads. But do you really know why these muscles are so important, and how to effectively train them? Read on to find out.

The quadriceps, those large muscles on the front of your thighs, are responsible for extending the knee, and they are one of the main power generators for triple extension movements, like running, jumping, or kicking a ball. They are engaged in virtually every athletic movement.

To train your quads in a way that will improve your performance on the field, you need to increase strength and power. Building big quads with Leg Extensions is not the way to go. Instead, you need to perform multi-joint movements in an explosive manner.

Add the following quad-focused lower-body routines to your program and transform your quads into power machines. Perform both during your lower-body workout after a dynamic warm-up.

Week 1

  • Select one bilateral exercise
  • Perform 1 set of 6 reps at 80 percent of your one-rep max
  • Choose a corresponding explosive exercise and immediately perform 6 reps:
    • Squat or Leg Press → Squat Jumps
    • Split-Squat → Split-Squat Jumps
  • Select one posterior-chain exercise
  • Perform 1 set of 6 reps at 80 percent of your one-rep max
  • Repeat circuit two times

Week 2

  • Select one unilateral exercise
  • Perform 1 set of 6 reps at 80 percent of your one-rep max on each leg
  • Choose a corresponding explosive exercise and immediately perform 6 reps on each leg
    • Single-Leg Squat or Single-Leg Press → Single-Leg Squat Jumps
    • Step-Up or Bulgarian Split-Squat → Split-Squat Jumps
  • Select one posterior-chain exercise
  • Perform 1 set of 6 reps at 80 percent of your one-rep max
  • Repeat circuit two times

Continue alternating workouts to develop your quads and overall lower-body strength. Make sure to vary your exercise selection to continue making strength gains.

Bilateral Quad Exercises

Unilateral Quad Exercises

Explosive Quad Exercises

Posterior Chain Exercises

Although posterior-chain exercises do not specifically target the quads, you need to strengthen the muscles on the back of your lower body to avoid imbalances. As your quad strength increases, you also need to strengthen your hamstrings and glutes.

Topics: LOWER BODY | QUADS
Brian Lebo
- Brian Lebo is the owner and director of Athletic Performance Training Center, a strength and conditioning facility in North Royalton, Ohio. He specializes in helping...