Workout Routines

Your Perfect Body Game Plan: The Quads Teardop

Achieve this coveted sign of leg strength with these pro tips.

by
Legs
Marius Bugge

The VMO, or vastus medialis oblique, is the most impressive leg muscle to define, if only because it’s the only quad muscle visible when you’re rocking boardshorts. Located in your lower quad, a fully developed VMO not only creates a teardrop-shaped cut just above your knee, but it also acts as an important stabilizer that guards the joint against injury. For his part, trainer Nick Tumminello recommends focusing on exercises that hit the entire quads hard. “If you develop the quads overall,” says the trainer and founder of Performance University, “you’ll get the coveted teardrop.” Mix these exercises into your regularly scheduled leg workouts once a week for a teardrop that would make any pro cyclist jealous.

Start with the leg extension, Tumminello says, “which complements squats and lunges because it loads the quads in part of the joint range you don’t get from those movements.” When you’re standing at the top of a squat or lunge and your knees are extended, you’re not getting any force through your quads, but the leg-extension machine keeps the tension on through the entire range.

Expert tip: You can work the quads harder by elevating your heels with 5-lb plates. For the heels-elevated squat, set up as you would for a normal squat, only elevate your heels 1" to 2" using weight plates. Bend your knees and lower your body in a controlled manner until your hamstrings touch your calves, and your glutes are below your knees, then return to starting position.

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