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Old 12-17-08, 12:33 AM   #1
SunFlower
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Best Way To Work Quads ??

I recently started going to the gym to work out my leg muscles. However, everytime I do an excersice to work my quads I always get sore glutes and no soreness in my quads. I feel like I never work them. I do squats, lunges and step ups.
The only thing that seems to stress my quads is leg extensions but even then they never get sore.
What should I do ?
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Old 12-17-08, 10:40 AM   #2
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Best Way To Work Quads ??

Pedal - TF
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Old 12-17-08, 10:55 AM   #3
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muscle soreness is not the best measurement for training... in other words you do not have to push your body to the point of being sore to get a good workout

all the exercises you listed do target the quads especially the leg extensions

what are you doing for reps and sets and what are your goals?
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Old 12-17-08, 11:57 PM   #4
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I do sitting squats at the gym. Not too many maybe 2-3 sets of 10 reps while holding a 4lb medicine ball straight in front of me.

Start without the ball and practice with a chair behind you if you've never done them before to help your form... that way you'll know how far to sit (bum taps seat). ALWAYS press back up through your heels, NEVER put pressure using your knees when returning to the standing position.

With a properly formed sitting squat you WILL start to feel the burn. Stretch quads after to avoid cramps.

Another thing I do for improving my climbing strength is leg presses (1-2 times a week), this works those glute muscles, start light and work your way up with adding weight. I push about 250 lbs after 2 years of doing them and I'm a 120lb female. Just for a comparison.

Otay, good luck = )
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Old 12-18-08, 12:00 AM   #5
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Me again,

Forgot to mention forward stepping lunges. Rotate left to right each time you go forward and the same applies as in sitting squats, press back up through the HEELS, not the knees. Do quad stretches after.
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Old 12-18-08, 11:48 AM   #6
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Anyone here tried isometric squats? I've never done one, so I'm not sure how they're done. Are they really beneficial for cycling (esp. climbing)?

Currently I'm using a machine in the gym that is basically a single-leg press (2-3 sets, 15-18 slow reps/set), but I'd like to find a good exercise I can do at home. The sitting squat sounds pretty good.

Inquiring/bored minds want to know...
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Old 12-18-08, 05:51 PM   #7
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lunges with dumbbells work well if you can grip enough weight. if squats and leg press don't do it there is likely something wrong with your form though; bending over too much, foot placement.
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Old 12-19-08, 08:36 AM   #8
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I know its not exactly weight training, but did you try running on the tread with a large incline? (5.0 or higher)

Or you can always go for a run outside with a bag full of weight.

Other than that, I go with dubbayoo, lunges work awesome, pick up a set of dumbells you think you can manage and get your knee almost to the ground and get up, it gives a pretty good burn.
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Old 12-19-08, 12:01 PM   #9
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Your quads aren't sore because you work them cycling. Your other muscles get sore because you work them less cycling. If you do consistant weight training, all your muscles will get less sore after a session, more like just tired.

If you want your quads to get sore or at least tired, which is not an unreasonable desire, you need to work them a lot harder. You can't do that right now, because your "helper" muscles aren't strong enough yet - which is why they're sore. When you get more used to it, try doing squats or leg sled with a fairly heavy weight to exhaustion - until you can't do any more. Say 2-3X body weight on sled or 1-1.5X on squats. That should hurt. Lay off with the leg extensions, unless you're bodybuilding.
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Old 12-19-08, 01:23 PM   #10
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I have a similiar deal with squats. I barely feel them in the quads but my glutes are always sore. Couple of thoughts to try to get more quad activation:

1) 1/4 to 1/2 squats where you go only part way down. The glutes kick in as you go deep but are much less involved higher up in the movement. You should be able to lift more weight with these vs full squats.
2) 70m all out sprints and running hills *really* blasts my quads. Even if my quads aren't sore from a max squat workout, a sprint or hill workout will make it tough to bend down and tie my shoes for a week.
3) Maybe lunges or steps ups will hit the quads in a slightly different way than squats to better hit quads. You can also play around with depth of the lunge and height of the step-up to increase quad activation.
4) My understanding is that its best to avoid leg extensions since it puts a lot of strain on your knees since they're sort of "floating" in space and not supported like they are with squats, lunges and step-ups.
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Old 12-19-08, 09:50 PM   #11
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Partial squats are bad on the knees. Avoid them.
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Old 12-20-08, 09:04 PM   #12
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I'd suggest hiring a good personal trainer for a few sessions. Tis the season- I'm sure your club sells gift certificates- make the strong hint to loved ones that you'd love a multi pack personal trainer deal. Then ask for a trainer with a good certification- perhaps CSCS, Cooper Institute, or NASM. Talk with the head trainer and tell them what you're looking to accomplish, then ask for recommendations. I'd also go one step farther and ask that trainer if you could talk to their clients, both past and present. Ask those clients:

1) What were your goals, and did you achieve them?

2) If you met your goals, what was the timeline?

3) Are they able to maintain their goals they met?

4) If they didn't meet their goals, why not?

5) If they left that trainer, why?

6) How comfortable do they feel with their trainer? How knowledgeable do they feel that trainer is/was?

7) If they're no longer training with that trainer, would they return to that trainer if they had the opportunity? Why or why not?

Then, you can make some informed decisions on whether or not that trainer will work for you. If you're still not sure, purchase a single session with them and see how you work with them.

Don't forget- there is a cancellation policy. As a personal trainer, please don't take advantage and whine about how you wish you could make it, but xyz happened, so you have to cancel the day of your session. That is really unfair to the personal trainer, who now most likely cannot make up that session by taking on another person with that little notice. That is always my one pet peeve, and I always charge for the session. I used to be lenient, but one year, when we had a huge snow storm, every client cancelled! The reason why I had a problem is because we knew the storm was coming. I called every client the day before and told them to cancel if they thought they'd have a problem making it in. They all assured me they'd make it in for various reasons (I'll be in the area, it's on the way to my home, I work in the building, etc.). Then every one of them cancelled, and I was stuck at the gym making my floor rate, and I couldn't get home in time because I had to fight the storm myself!

Anyway, a little off topic, but I just think you're probably not working out efficiently. That's a waste of time and money, so you'd be better off with a trainer.

koffee
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Old 12-23-08, 10:37 PM   #13
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Squats, leg presses, leg curls. If you feel no pain the squats, proper form is your problem. I dont know the name, the one you carry a dumble in front of you on the chest and then proceed to do squats, sometimes place both legs on a stepper so you can go deeper on the squat.

I dont know about you, but it works wonders for me, weight training as an addition to the training, most of the time I do them after short one to two hour rides or on my off-days. Some may not like weights, but I like how my legs feel, can tell the difference when going all out intervals.

I have added dead-lifts, you really need proper form when doing them. I can go pretty heavy and can sky-rocket the HR and then combine them with explosive power jumps after a 12-15 rep set of heavy-dead lifts, I go high intensity like once a month.

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Old 12-24-08, 10:15 AM   #14
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Why are you trying to gain strength in your quads?

The best exercise to build leg strength is full barbell squats.

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/...FullSquat.html

Try doing 3 sets of 5 reps of full squats and add weight every workout so that it is an intense struggle to complete the 5th rep with perfect form.

If your quads aren't getting killed by this you'll have to wait a few weeks while the muscle imbalances in the rest of your legs are worked out.
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Old 12-24-08, 07:03 PM   #15
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Ever hear of the skier's squat? If you want sore, this should do the trick.

You know how a girl curtsies?

Stand between two chairs and place one foot behind the other.
You will need the chairs when the muscle cries uncle.

Drop straight down about a foot to start with. The tricky part is keeping the back almost straight while dropping straight down. You don't want to go much more than halfway down.

When it gets easy, try adding weight.
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Old 12-25-08, 07:59 AM   #16
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Get on a Precor elliptical trainer in a partial squat position for a s long as you can tolerate, and then repeat. Then do some wall sits for as long as you can hold it. You won't be able to walk the next day. Happy?
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Old 12-25-08, 11:16 AM   #17
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Your quads may not be as sore because cycling has strengthened them and they need more intensity to work them effectively.

I started lifting weights in 1986 and did bodybuilding training for many years with cycling fitting in sometimes. My cycling has now taken priority and my weight training has changed because of that. I don't train real heavy for the quads anymore because the cycling maintains the size and mass in the muscle. I do, however, focus on much higher repetitions than I used to - anywhere from 15-25 and primarily on the 45 degree sitting leg press. I have mild arthritis in the knees most likely from heavy weights and squats over the years so I limit my squat activity.

I also learned over the years that 5-8 total sets for the quads is plenty as long as you work them hard. Forcing out 25 reps and withstanding the lactic acid burn is very beneficial for bike riding - sprinting, intervals, etc. To isolate the quads more you can use a Smith machine and put the bar on the front of your shoulders and squat with the feet out in front of you. This is called front squats and you have to use lighter weights for this one. I cross my arms on the bar to stabilize it.

Finally, don't forget the rest of the legs. For the hamstrings - leg curls (standing, seated and lying) and stiff leg deadlifts (use light weight) work great. The deadlift will also work your lower back really well. And, don't forget the calves. A few sets of standing or seated calf raises can really help.
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Old 12-25-08, 12:21 PM   #18
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Old 12-30-08, 02:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccook View Post
Partial squats are bad on the knees. Avoid them.
Myth
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Old 12-30-08, 02:29 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunFlower View Post
I recently started going to the gym to work out my leg muscles. However, everytime I do an excersice to work my quads I always get sore glutes and no soreness in my quads. I feel like I never work them. I do squats, lunges and step ups.
The only thing that seems to stress my quads is leg extensions but even then they never get sore.
What should I do ?
Front barbell squats or zercher squats (if you lack wrist and shoulder flexibility) are more quad-intensive than back squats. Full-depth is the way to go ("leave a stain on the floor" as a powerlifter told me once). Get a good teacher if you don't know what you're doing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wfrogge View Post
Myth
And you are qualified in that statement...how? Let's consult Dr. Fred Hatfield, aka Dr Squat, the 1st person to squat 1000 lbs in competition...

Partial Squats: Contrary to popular belief, squatting above the
parallel position -- knees at approximately 90 degrees flexion -- is
actually more dangerous that going to parallel or below. There are two
reasons for this. When you look at the structure of the knee, you'll note
that at about 90 degrees flexion, the tibia's sloped shape allows it to
shear upwards and over the femur. This causes a lot of compressive force
against the patella, and pulls forcefully against the posterior cruciate
ligament. These potentially destructive forces become significantly less
as you descend further into the squat postion, largely due to the fact
that the tibia's surface isn't as sloped posteriorly, where it articulates
with the femur. The second reason is that, because of better leverage
while doing partials, you're obliged to use a far heavier weight in order
to gain any sort of adaptive overload on the muscles involved -- dangerous
to the entire shoulder girdle, neck, low back and knees.
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Old 12-30-08, 02:48 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cod.peace View Post
And you are qualified in that statement...how? Let's consult Dr. Fred Hatfield, aka Dr Squat, the 1st person to squat 1000 lbs in competition...

Partial Squats: Contrary to popular belief, squatting above the
parallel position -- knees at approximately 90 degrees flexion -- is
actually more dangerous that going to parallel or below. There are two
reasons for this. When you look at the structure of the knee, you'll note
that at about 90 degrees flexion, the tibia's sloped shape allows it to
shear upwards and over the femur. This causes a lot of compressive force
against the patella, and pulls forcefully against the posterior cruciate
ligament. These potentially destructive forces become significantly less
as you descend further into the squat postion, largely due to the fact
that the tibia's surface isn't as sloped posteriorly, where it articulates
with the femur. The second reason is that, because of better leverage
while doing partials, you're obliged to use a far heavier weight in order
to gain any sort of adaptive overload on the muscles involved -- dangerous
to the entire shoulder girdle, neck, low back and knees.
Think about a squat motion for a minute.... either way you do them (full or partial) you will hit that "bad zone" that will cause "damage". Now if you go down/up fast I can see a possible issue but it would be the same for either squat.

And I can find just as many Dr's that will say partial squats are ok as you can find that say they are bad
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Old 12-31-08, 11:05 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wfrogge View Post
Think about a squat motion for a minute.... either way you do them (full or partial) you will hit that "bad zone" that will cause "damage". Now if you go down/up fast I can see a possible issue but it would be the same for either squat.

And I can find just as many Dr's that will say partial squats are ok as you can find that say they are bad
Yeah, but how many of them have squatted over 1000 lbs? There's a difference between, shall we say 'casual' weightlifting where you're not moving too much weight where partial squats aren't going to be a big deal, vs. 'serious' weightlifting involving hundreds of lbs where the stresses are so much higher. While it's been a few years due to some hand/wrist problems the last time I squatted 350 lbs, full-depth, my knees felt awesome after.
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Old 12-31-08, 11:20 AM   #23
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deadlifts are an excellent exercise for overall body development if done properly.

The deadlift is a compound movement that works grip strength, and the primary muscles used in the deadlift are the erector spinae, the gluteus maximus, adductor magnus, hamstrings, quadriceps, and the soleus.

basically including balance and form will work all of your major and sub major muscle groups of your whole body. it is a strength building exercise

you could alternate between deadlifts and squats,start real light and work up to what your goal is.

Form is essential though in both of these movments.
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Old 12-31-08, 12:06 PM   #24
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I second the deadlift recommendation. I've been doing them for 3+ years and it's an excellent overall exercise. The hamstring strength it develops really comes in handy when grinding up steep hills as well and it balances out ab work with lower back strength. I find that I can only do them 1x every 2-3 weeks if using low reps and high weight since it really exhausts the CNS.
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Old 01-05-09, 09:51 PM   #25
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Deads are great, but beware- they can greatly increase the size of your glutes. Ask me how I know. Actually, all major compounds are excellent- deads, squats, and variants thereof (except straight-leg deads, which really target the hammies and leave the glutes relatively untouched, thank goodness...).

And to the conversation about ATG squats vs half-squats- both have their place, and target different groups. ATGs will recruit your glutes more than halfsies, while the latter targets the rectus femoris (the front muscle of the quads) more. Both types of squat (and any others too) will damage your knees if you don't pay strict attention to form, and that means proper foot and knee placement, spine alignment, and visual focus (don't look down, but "out"). And, never, ever "bounce." I think that most people who hurt themselves on halfises or even going to parallel do so because they bounce at the bottom, rather than practice a smooth eccentric-concentric pattern.
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