Most guys don’t think about specifically training the quads. Instead, they figure that this four-pronged powerhouse muscle that stabilizes the knees and flexes the hips will spring into action during pretty much any lower-body exercise. That’s true—but it’s all the more reason to appreciate and focus on the quads.

Quads also tend to get neglected in “pre-hab” routines. When people work to counteract the physical effects of modern cubicle culture—hunching over computers and smartphones all day—they tend to focus on their hips and hamstrings, not their quads.

But the quads help us maintain proper posture while sitting or standing. In fact, the quads come into play in just about every movement. And 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. That’s why you should make this quads workout a regular part of your fitness routine.

How it works: This 30-minute dumbbell workout to build your quads is designed as a circuit. We’ll hammer through four rounds of these seven moves. Rest only briefly between rounds to produce maximum results in minimal time.

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