If you ask serious athletes about which one of the various muscle groups looks the most impressive on the body, there’s a fairly good chance that they tell you the quadriceps or quads, for short. Only a handful of muscles exemplify power as well as strength over and above a pair of thick, strong quads which peak through a pair of shorts or pants. In addition, big legs often help you hit a big one-rep max.
Whether you’re a recreational weight-lifter, strength athlete, or play a sport, strong quads are essential for performance in addition to healthy movement. Building strong quads isn’t a complex process, but it takes adequate time, programming, and planning. You also need to include the right quad exercises in your routine.
Why People Neglect Their Hamstrings
Now, when you have a look at the musculature of the legs, it’s plainly obvious as to why so many people concentrate on the quads and neglect the hamstrings:
- They contribute a lot more to the general look of your legs and, being the larger muscle group, your quads respond faster as well as more noticeably to training.
- While the quads are bigger, stronger as well a more visible than their smaller, backside counterparts, ignoring the latter is huge mistake.
Having underdeveloped hamstrings causes a number of things to happen:
- It creates an imbalance which is particularly noticeable from the side as well as the back.
- It makes achieving adequate depth in the squat much more challenging.
- It ups the risk of hamstring and knee injuries.
This means that in addition to your quad exercises, you need to include a good number of hamstring exercises when it comes to leg day.
The Best-Of-The-Best In Terms Of Quad Exercises
The squat is a movement pattern which we engage on a daily basis, such as:
- When we squat down in order to pick something up, or
- Get into and out of a chair.
By doing the quat regularly, you’ll become more efficient at this essential movement. Also, the process of squatting with a barbell recruits muscles in your legs — mainly your quads but also your glutes, hamstrings – as well as those in your core and back.
Leg strength has a carryover to more athletic movements such as jumping and sprinting, which are two moves that your quads are directly involved in.
What Are the Benefits That You’ll Get From The Back Squat?
In addition to recruiting the glutes as well as the quads, the back squat also engages your abdominals. The result is that you’ll develop more powerful, explosive legs as you do this functional movement pattern while loaded with weight. As we’ve said before, squatting is something which you do every day, whether you realise it or not. So, practising the move will keep you efficient at doing this movement.
How To Perform The Back Squat
- Get under a loaded barbell. Set it to about shoulder height in a squat rack, so that the bar is resting over your upper traps.
- Put each of your hands on the barbell. Tuck your elbows in as well as under your body.
- Lift the bar clean off of the rack and then walk backward a few steps.
- Make sure that your feet are approximately shoulder-width apart, or slightly wider.
- Press your feet into the ground and then actively drive your feet outwards (without actually turning your feet). You should be feeling it in your knees, quads, and glutes as they all fire at once.
- Take a deep breath in and then expand your stomach to tighten your core. Squat down ’til the bottoms of your thighs are parallel with the ground. Now, drive through your heels in order to stand back up.
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