Your quads might not be in need of work as much as your glutes and hamstrings — but that doesn’t mean that you should totally ignore the front side of your upper legs to completely focus on your posterior.

Even though quads are sometimes an accessory or afterthought for leg days, the muscles are still a major key to a strong, shapely lower body. Hammering the group with a specialised workout can do wonders for your gains — especially if you’ve been avoiding the types of moves that typically address the lower body.

If you’ve suffered from knee pain for any length of time, you start to avoid the exercises that cause this pain: moves like squatting, lunging, running, and jumping. Over time, this doesn’t help your knees. You just get weaker and your quads get smaller. The result is actually more knee pain and diminished performance!

Even if you don’t suffer from knee pain, building quads of the gods is one of the best ways to prevent knee pain. The quads work as key decelerators that absorb shock from your knees when landing from a jump or lunge or when quickly changing direction on the court or field.

How It Works:

  • Perform this routine 2 to 3 times per week exactly as outlined below.
  • Hit your other muscle groups 1 to 2 times per week with just 2 to 3 sets of 6 to 12 reps of a single exercise, stopping 1 to 2 reps short of failure on each set during this time frame.
  • Conventional training wisdom has you start with compound movements first and save the isolation moves for later. But our goal here is not performance—it’s to build as much muscle as possible in a short period of time.
  • Therefore, we will be starting with a strategic single-joint movement to enhance the mind-muscle connection and pre-fatigue your targeted body part. This will allow you to “feel” the muscle working more throughout your training session.

Related article: 5 Training Tweaks To Get More Quads Growth On Leg Day!

The Quads Specialisation Workout

Mobility Warm-up: Do a couch stretch for for 2 to 5 minutes on each side.

1. Leg Extension

The objective here is to pre-fatigue your quads and flood your knees and muscles with as much blood as possible. This will warm you up and improve your mind-muscle connection so that you “feel your quads” more throughout the remainder of your workout.

How to:

  • Flex your quads as hard as you can for 4 seconds at the top of each rep.
  • Perform 3 to 5 sets of 10 reps. Rest 1 minute between sets.

Weeks 1 and 2: 3 sets
Weeks 3 and 4: 4 sets
Weeks 5 and 6: 5 sets

Related article: 5 Exercises To Shock Your Quads Into Ultimate Shape

2. 1.5-Rep Bulgarian Split Squat

With 1.5-rep training, you do twice as many reps in the bottom position of the exercise, where you are weakest. It also extends your overall time under tension to spark new muscle gain in your targeted region.

How to:

  • Lower all the way down into the Bulgarian split squat, come up half way, go back down again, and then come all the way up.
  • That’s 1 rep.
  • Perform 2 to 4 sets of 6 to 8 reps on each side. Rest 30 to 60 seconds between sides.

Weeks 1 and 2: 2 sets
Weeks 3 and 4: 3 sets
Weeks 5 and 6: 4 sets

Related article: Push/Pull/Legs Split: 3-6 Day Weight Training Workout Schedule and Plan

3. Eccentric Single-Leg Squat

This move is designed to overload the eccentric/lowering portion of the exercise to spur muscle damage and subsequent growth. Plus, by working one leg at a time, you’ll shore up weaknesses and imbalances between sides. After all, symmetry is key to aesthetics.

How to:

  • Lower for a full 5 full seconds, then stand back up.
  • Perform 2 to 4 sets of 5 reps on each side. Rest 30 to 60 seconds between sides.

Weeks 1 and 2: 2 sets
Weeks 3 and 4: 3 sets
Weeks 5 and 6: 4 sets

Related article: Build Monster Legs & Glutes With This Workout!

4. Double Kettlebell Pause Front Squat And Box Squat Jump Superset

Front-loaded squats allow you to stay more upright, which works your quads more.

Pausing at the bottom of the squat eliminates your stretch reflex, or the rubber-band-like tendency of your muscles and connective tissues that helps power you through movements. The pause also extends your quads’ time under tension and sets the stage for movement mastery.

Following a loaded strength movement with an unloaded power movement for the same muscle groups—known as contrast training—is a research-proven method to increase force production. The phenomenon is known as post-activation potentiation.

Ultimately, it translates into greater gains.

How to:

  • Perform 8 to 12 reps of squats, holding the bottom of the squat position for 4 full seconds on each rep.
  • Then immediately perform 10 box squat  jumps.
  • That’s 1 superset.
  • Repeat the superset for the corresponding number of sets.

Weeks 1 and 2: 3 sets
Weeks 3 and 4: 4 sets
Weeks 5 and 6: 5 sets

Related article: Build Bulging Bigger Legs Fast With This Workout

5. Single-Arm Alternating Forward Lunge

Without question, one of the most important parts of my leg transformation (particularly for my quads) was continuous lunging for 10 or more minutes.

You’ll bulletproof your knees, improve hip mobility, and shred up your legs. It’s that sweet spot where strength meets conditioning—a legitimate metabolic magic act. I think it’s the perfect finisher!

How to:

  • By holding a dumbbell on one side of your body at a time, you enhance the work for your core, hips, and thighs and give your grip a break so you can keep going non-stop without setting the weight down.
  • Hold a dumbbell in one hand by your side and continuously perform alternating forward lunges for 5 to 10 minutes, switching hands every 30 seconds.

Week 1: 5 minutes
Week 2: 6 minutes
Week 3: 7 minutes
Week 4: 8 minutes
Week 5: 9 minutes
Week 6: 10 minutes