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Woman squatting at the gym to strengthen her quads.

Best Quad Workouts

Quads are one of the largest muscle groups in our lower bodies, and as such, they perform many important functions, like absorbing force when walking, allowing the hip to flex, maintaining posture and balance, and moving the kneecap. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to build up these essential muscles, and doing so can have many benefits.

Benefits of Quad Workouts

There are a whole host of benefits to strengthening your quads, including improving your balance and stability, increasing your jump height, and boosting your overall athletic ability, making both tough workouts and everyday motions like walking and bending easier to do.  

The best quad workouts also improve the stability of your kneecap, protect your knee from injury, and lower your risk of osteoarthritis, helping to ensure that you remain in tip-top shape.

Best Types of Quad Workouts

One of the best things about quad workouts is how easy they are to do! They typically require no special equipment to perform and can be supplemented with dumbbells for an additional challenge as your strength increases.


Squats are great for working your quads, along with your core and hamstrings. To perform a squat, start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your core tight, push your hip backs as if you’re about to sit down. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor, holding the position for several seconds before pushing yourself back up using your heels. Perform 10 reps for the best results.


A classic exercise for a reason, lunges help build up those quads while also working your core and glutes. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, then step forward with one foot and lower yourself until your front knee is at 90 degrees. Hold the position for a moment before lunging forward again with your opposite foot. Repeat 10 times for each leg.

Step Ups

Step ups mimic the motion of walking up the stairs and are quite the workout for your quads! Face a sturdy, elevated surface (a stair works perfectly), engage your core, and step up onto it. Lift your other leg up to hip height at a 90-degree angle, then lower it back down off the step. Perform 10 reps on each leg.

Squat Jump

Build up your whole lower body with this powerful exercise. Essentially, you’ll need to perform a squat as previously described, lowering until your quads are almost parallel to the floor. Then, instead of lifting yourself back up, jump up! Be sure to bend your knees to soften the impact, and don’t try this exercise if you have knee pain or injuries.

Bulgarian Split Squat

This variation on the traditional squat focuses on stabilizing your knee and hip while still working your quads. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, rest the top of one foot on a sturdy object behind you (a chair or bench works well), and then step forward with the opposite foot into a squat. Lower yourself until your thigh is nearly parallel to the floor, then lift back up and repeat with the opposite leg.

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