The quadriceps refer to the muscles placed on the front of your thigh that engage together in order to make your hips flexed or lifted as well as keep your knees extended or straight, especially for runners’. After getting injured or going through a surgery on the thigh or lower leg, the quads usually become much weaker than they used to be. That is the reason why it is necessary to learn and perform the quadriceps strengthening exercises properly in order to strengthen this special muscle group. We are going to show you some effective quadriceps strengthening exercises & workouts that help you strengthen your quads as well as tone your legs and lose thigh fat, giving you strong and long legs, in this article.
Quadriceps Strengthening Exercises – Top 4 Exercises For Runners
1. Barbell Full Squat
What makes this exercise special out of quadriceps strengthening exercises is that it does not only target your quadriceps but also the glutes, lower back, hamstrings and calves muscles. You will need a barbell in order to properly perform this workout. However, if you are a beginner, I would suggest waiting until your skills have improved to properly do the exercise.
How to perform this exercise:
– It is best that you perform this exercise while standing inside a squat rack in order to make sure it is safe. Getting started by setting the bar on a rack at your shoulder height. When you have finished choosing the exact height as well as loading the bar, start to step under it and place it across the back of your shoulders, which is nearly below your neck.
– With both of your arms, grab the bar at each side and start lifting it off the back by pressing your feet against the ground while keeping your torso straight.
– Walk away from the rack and place your legs shoulder width apart and with medium stance. Slightly point your toes outward. Always bring your head up as well as maintain a straight line in your back. This is your starting position.
– Slowly start to bring the bar lower by keeping your knees bent and sitting backwards on your hips while you are keeping your posture straight. Always keep your head up. Continue bringing it lower until you can touch your calves with your hamstrings. Remember to breathe in while performing this part of the movement.
– Start to lift the bar up while breathing out by pressing the heels of your feet against the ground while you are straightening the legs and extending your hips in order to get back to the starting position.
– Keep following these steps until you finish all the recommended reps of this quadriceps strengthening exercise.
This kind of squat will allow you to have a greater range of movement as well as allow the trunk to keep a more vertical position than others because of the higher bar position as well as foot position.
2. Barbell Hack Squat
While performing this quadriceps strengthening exercise, you will have a chance to work not only your quadriceps but also your forearms, calves and hamstrings muscles. What you need is a barbell. Like the previous exercise, do not attempt to perform this exercise if you are a beginner in order to prevent injury.
How to perform this exercise:
– Stand straight and tall while keeping a barbell behind you with both of your hands. Keep your arms straight and feet shoulder width apart.
A little tip for you: Keep the palms of your hands facing backwards at a shoulder width grip. In order to have a better grip, you can also use wrist wraps while performing this exercise. This is your starting position.
– Always keep your head up, look straight forward and maintain a straight back. After that, lower your body down to form into a squat position. Keep doing so until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Remember to breathe in while doing this.
– Press the heels of your feet against the ground and engage your thighs to go back up to the standing position while breathing out.
– Keep following these steps until you finish all the recommended reps.
Variations: You can also perform this exercise by slightly elevating the heels of your feet on a small block. It is necessary to do that if you are a beginner who does not have enough flexibility in order to properly perform this exercise.
3. Barbell Lunge
How to perform this exercise:
– In order to make sure that this exercise is safe, it is best that you perform this workout while standing inside a squat rack. Getting started by setting the bar on the back at your shoulder height. When you have finished choosing the exact height as well as loading the bar, start stepping under it and place it across the back of your shoulders, which is nearly below your neck.
– Walk away from the hack and start stepping your right leg forward then lower your body down through your hips to form a squat position. Remember to maintain a straight torso and perfect balance. Breathe in while going down. Remember that you should not let your knee go forward beyond your toes while coming down because you will put too much stress on your knee joint.
– Press mainly the heel of your foot against the ground in order to push yourself up then get back to the starting position while breathing out.
– Keep following these steps until you have finished all the recommended reps of this quadriceps strengthening exercise. After that, start switching to the other leg.
Caution: This movement requires much balance in your body. Therefore, if you have any problems with keeping balance, I would suggest avoiding performing this exercise or using your body weight while grabbing a stationary subject. If you have back pain or balance issues, never put a barbell on your back to perform this exercise.
– The first variation is to switch between each leg. For example, you can perform one rep with your right leg then the next rep is with your left leg and so on.
– The second variation is also called a static lunge. With this variation, the starting position will be with one of your feet already placed forward in front of you. After that, what you need to do is to keep going up and down from the initial position until you have finished the recommended reps. Then change to the other leg and keep doing the same.
– If you want to make this exercise even more challenging, you can perform walking lunges. This means that you will have to walk across the room while performing this. In this case, you will have to bring the leg, which was left behind, forward after having lunged. By doing this, you will be able to move forward. Only the most advanced athletes are able to perform this version.
4. Barbell Step Ups
How to perform this exercise:
– Stand straight and tall while placing a barbell on the back of your shoulders, which is nearly below your neck. Place an elevated platform in front of you. This will be your starting position.
– Put your right foot on the platform. After that, start to keep your hips as well as your right knee extended in order to step on the platform. Mainly use the heel of your left foot against the ground in order to lift your body off the floor. Then place the left foot on the platform as well. While generating the force needed in order to come up, remember to breathe out.
– At this point, start to keep your right knee and your hips flexed in order to step down while breathing in. After that, put your right foot next to the left foot in order to get back to the starting position.
– Keep following these steps until you have finished all the recommended reps of this quadriceps strengthening exercise. After that, switch to the other leg.
Note: If you are suffering from lower back problems and not able to perform stiff legged deadlifts, this is the exercise for you.
Variations: You can also perform this exercise by switching between your legs after each repetition has been performed. Moreover, you can also use dumbbells. However, if you are a beginner who is having problems keeping balance, you will have to start using only your body weight.
So you have just finished reading the entire “Quadriceps strengthening exercises for runner” article. I hope that useful information & quadriceps strengthening exercises that has been represented in this article can help you achieve your strength training goal faster and speed up your weight loss process. Do not forget to tell us what you think by leaving a comment down the section below if this article is good enough for you. However, in case you are still wondering about some parts of it, do not be shy to send us your questions any time.
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