With anything in life if it gets boring you need to change it up. If you are constantly going into the gym and hitting the same exercises you will lose interest and even if you don’t your body will adapt and get comfortable and we all know that staying in a comfort zone won’t help you reach your goals.
So here are some unique exercises to throw in that will make any leg day a bit more interesting. I recommend easing your way into these as some of the sets/rep suggestions may leave you struggling to walk the next day or for several days!
✓ Close Stance Squats
First up we have 28 method close stance squats, take a narrower stance than usual and perform 7 reps of full depth squats, then 7 really slow reps, then 7 reps just from the bottom of the squat to parallel and finally 7 reps from the top down to just above parallel and back up. These will need to be performed with what you consider really light weight and they will set your quads on fire, 4-5 sets of this exercise is almost a leg day in itself.
✓ Leg Extensions
Our next exercise is leg extensions; I know nothing special about those. That’s why we are going to do them single leg and your only rest will be while the other leg is working. 6 sets of 10 reps on each leg alternating right to left with no rest in between. In order to grow a muscle, you have to work it. The blood flow into your quads will be intense, so if you need to drop the weight but do not stop.
✓ Russian Split Squats
Moving on we have Russian split squats which are a tough exercise requiring good balance, mobility and strength. So just for good measure we are going to add in a ¼ rep after each rep. So after each full rep we are going to ¼ lunge down to just above parallel then back up to start the next rep, that counts as 1. 5 reps each leg for 4 sets will have you feeling every muscle in your leg but most of all those quads.
✓ Sissy Squats
Next on our agenda is the sissy squat, I know not a very tough sounding name, but the exercise might as well be called Conor McGregor Squats because it doesn’t mess around. Often best utilized as a superset possibly with hamstring curls to balance out the legs. You will hold a squat rack or machine with one hand and a plate on your chest with the other and squat down on the balls of your feet raising the heels up but sitting back. All of the pressure should be on your quads and you hold on so you don’t twist your knees. These are a sneaky exercise that hurt a lot more than you might think, 5 sets of 12 reps will leave you looking around for your foam roller.
✓ Walking Lunges
Walking lunges are my absolute favorite exercise to really develop my quads and muscular endurance in my legs. I tend to do 15-20 minutes of constant work, but the beauty of them is you can add weight and do sets/reps, you can do time limits, distance or even to failure. They are such a versatile tool in leg training that they needed to be on this list.
✓ GVT Leg Extensions
Now leg muscles are the biggest in the human body which means they can handle the biggest load and the most volume. So our last exercise comes from German Volume Training which can punish any muscle, but the quads take a serious hit here. Leg extensions, 10 sets of 10 reps but the real kicker – 10 seconds rest in between each set. By keeping the blood in the muscle and continuing to work it you will feel much more of a burn and see much better results. The overall feeling on the last set will be a combination of joy and hatred that you read this article.
Take Home Message
So there you are, a number of different exercises designed specifically to torture your quads. I do not advise doing all of these on any given day, I would throw one or two in to your next leg session and reap the benefits gradually. The teardrop quad is a much sought after achievement by many gym users and these exercises can definitely help you achieve that. Make sure you also work your hamstrings just as hard in order to keep a balance in your leg muscles.