Training

Best Leg Exercises | 4 Week Workout Plan

Build Bigger Quads In Four Weeks

The idea of neglecting upper body gains for an intensive leg workout would put many weightlifters off straight away. But not you, right? Leg day can be a killer, but the results most definitely out-weigh the lack of motivation and DOMS.

Your quadriceps femoris, or quads is the large muscle group that comprises the four muscles on the front of your thigh. Your quads are integral in jumping and squatting. They are an extensor of your knee and flexor of your hip.

Many lifters’ quads tend to be the most developed part of their legs. This is because the hamstrings are often neglected for being behind, and many lifters have a tendency to work what they can see in the mirror. Your quads are also integral in many upper body lifts. It doesn’t matter how much you can lift in each arm, if your legs aren’t up to par they will tremble. Because of a tendency to lean and raise weights from in front of you, you very much rely on your quads without realising it.

never miss leg day

Leg Workout

The most highly effectively quads exercises for guaranteed results include variations of squat and leg presses. There are, however, other things to consider before applying your energies to a tailor made quads workout. Let’s address the negatives first: back and knee issues.

Here are four compound lifts that you can build your routine around.

Front squats may fall on hamstring day for many people, but by holding the bar across your chest instead of shoulders, this moves the weight in front of you onto the quads.

Hack lifts are similar to standard deadlifts, but because the bar is behind your heels the weight is switched more towards your front and you bear it more on your quads.

Trap bar deadlifts are another deadlift variation you might have put more in the hamstring category of exercises, but by reducing the strain on your back these are similar to the effects of front squats wherein your quads will bear a lot of the load.

When it comes to sets and reps, for strength-building stick to 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps of a heavy weight on weeks one and three. On weeks two and four, go for a moderate weight at 3-4 sets of 8-12.

Pick three of the following compound lifts for weeks one and three, and three for weeks two and four:

Standard squat
Leg press
Hack lift
Trap bar deadlift
Front squats

Each session should be followed up by isolating your quads with leg extensions. Go for a light to moderate weight at 3 sets of 10-15.

 

Rest

Your legs and back muscles require adequate rest to grow. Fortunately for you, as many upper body exercises don’t greatly impact on your quads, you’ll be able to carry on with your upper body training on the condition your quads receive adequate rest and you consume the right nutrition.

For anyone thinking that your quads have nothing to do with upper body strength, they are in fact integral in balance and standing exercises, so it’s best to make the day after either a full rest day or work the bench.

Nutrition

Higher reps of squats will burn a lot of calories. This is because compound lifts use several muscle groups at the same time and the up and down of squats will increase your heart rate. Because your aim is to develop mass muscle and not lose weight, you should accordingly ensure you are getting the right amount of protein and calories. The general suggestion is to consume a minimum of 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight each day. In terms of calories the rough estimate is your bodyweight x 15-17 calories.

To make sure you’re getting the protein and energy when you need it, keep a protein shake at hand at the gym, which will help to get it all into your system as quickly as possible after working out.

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Supplements

First and foremost, protein is an essential step to building muscle. During intense workouts, your muscles can undergo wear and tear, therefore it is extremely important that you eat enough protein. Protein helps your body synthesize and rebuild, creating stronger and bigger muscle mass. If you’re worried about eating too much – try a protein shake, Myprotein has plenty to offer – for all dietary needs.

 

Creatine is also an option, giving your muscles an extra energy boost to lift heavier and do more reps than you normally would – perfect for building muscle faster due to the progressive overload trick. Also, creatine has a similar effect to carbs – they draw more water into your muscles to make them look bigger!

 

Leg day can be daunting and requires energy, focus and motivation – so why not try caffeine? We don’t necessarily mean a hot latte, Myprotein offers caffeine capsules which are great for on-the-go energy boosts, simply keep a pill box in your gym bag and voila!

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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Master of Science in Sport Physiology and Nutrition. She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding. Find out more about Faye's experience here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/faye-reid-8b619b122/.


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