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Newcomers to lifting often overlook the quadriceps in favor of higher-profile aesthetic muscles such as the biceps, triceps, and calves.
That’s a shame, since the quads play such a key role in everyday movement. To dismiss the quads as simply aesthetic muscles or “lower-body triceps” is to neglect a crucial part of your body’s operating system. (Plus, if you’re gonna pull off the short-shorts that are so popular these days, then you’d better get working on your legs.)
The four-pronged quadriceps muscle serves to extend the lower leg, making strong quads crucial for walking, running, jumping, and squatting. The quads also play an important role in stabilizing the knees and helping to flex the hips.
In other words, the quads come into play in just about every movement. And, yes, a well-developed set of quads is a thing of beauty, giving a body symmetry and curvature. It’s perhaps the one muscle group that looks equally impressive on men and women.
This quadriceps workout reflects the movements of everyday life. It’s designed as a circuit: Perform 10 reps of each of the following five exercises, without stopping. Do three circuits total. A one-minute break for water between circuits is permitted.
Kick off your quads workout by spending some time on a foam roller. Roll over the quads, either one at a time or both at once. This is very effective in working out muscle spasms, and serves as an active warmup before the next quads exercises.