Name: Cory Gregory
Weight: 185-190 lbs
Occupation: Co-Founder MusclePharm
For a lot of us, leg training is pretty simple. A heavy dose of squats, leg presses, lunges, or any other torturous exercise is usually all it takes to demolish your lower body. But what happens when you fall into a rut and your quads already know what’s coming?
Even worse, what happens when you get bored of your normal leg routine? More than likely, you’ll end up just going through the motions and quitting on a body part that demands your utmost attention and intensity.
When you hit a lower-body wall, reach into your little bag of tricks and pull out one or more of these eight unique quad exercises! When it comes to fitness, I’m always trying to keep things different and think outside the box. My creativity usually leads to great gains. And that’s what you’ll get with these distinctive quad moves—some craziness that will take your legs to a higher level!
1 German Volume Leg Extensions With A Twist
For this exercise, I put together two things most people are familiar with: leg extensions and German Volume Training, which is basically 10 sets of 10 reps for a total of 100 reps. But, I also threw in a brutal twist. You only get 10 seconds of rest between sets.
Leg extensions are a basic quad exercise, but doing them for 100 reps with hardly any rest will leave your lungs burning and your quads wondering what hit them. While you’re going through the reps, you’re going to hurt. Power through and keep the rest to an honest 10 seconds—not a slow 10-count that takes 30 seconds—and you’ll be impressed.
2 Close-Stance High-Bar Olympic-Style Squat
I like to call these dive-bomb squats because it’s all about going really deep —ass-to-grass deep. Keep the bar high on your back—on top of your traps—and your stance close. The position of the bar and your stance will ensure that the bulk of the focus is on your quads.
If you’re normally a low-bar squatter, changing the bar placement and stance will definitely be a challenge. These are great to add in at the end of a workout. Use them as a finisher and don’t be afraid to do a lot of reps.
3 Track Lunges
The concept of bodyweight lunges may sound simple, but I crank up the intensity to max levels. You’ll be doing bodyweight lunges for a distance of up to one mile, and no less than 400 meters, or one lap around the track.
If you’re feeling really frisky, put on a weighted vest and go for a mile. It may take you up to an hour to complete, but you’ll find out how mentally tough you are in a hurry. The key is to keep moving. Don’t stop for many breaks. Push through the pain and push through the burn and the carryover to quad development and your squat strength will be massive.
I basically replaced my cardio work with these track lunges and the difference was huge. I build muscle while I do cardio—that’s an ideal scenario. One final warning, though: be prepared for mad soreness.
4 Frank Zane Single-Leg Leg Extension
Frank Zane gave me this idea after I asked him about his freaky quad separation. He credited single-leg leg extensions for his great quads, but he added a few little secrets.
He told me that he only did the top quarter or even half of the movement, focusing on squeezing the quads at the peak of every rep. He also explained that he did extensions without rest. He simply switched legs and went back and forth for a killer 6-8 sets of 20 reps per leg!
This is an awesome finisher to any leg workout and you’ll notice how effective they are, especially when you squeeze at the top of every rep.
5 Sissy Squat
This exercise might have the worst name in workout history, but let’s focus on how effective it is. It’s a lost exercise for most guys—likely due to the name—but it can blow your quads up.
To perform sissy squats correctly, keep your hips up and make sure you push up through your quads. You’ll get an unbelievable pump! I recommend 20 reps for this movement, but if you want to get crazy, superset them with another exercise in this article. It will be mind-blowing, that’s for sure.
6 28-Method Squat
The 28 Method takes quad punishment to an entirely new level. You’ll do it like this: perform 7 normal reps, 7 slow reps, 7 quarter-reps in the hole, and 7 quarter-reps at the top.
The worst part of this method is the seven slow reps. You have to stay slow on the descent and there’s no rebound out of the hole. Stay slow out of the hole to torch your quads. The tension you’ll feel on your muscles during those seven reps is incredible.
Believe me, you will need to go much lighter than you might expect, but the payoff is immense. These are a definite go-to for me when I want to get a little crazy with my quad routine.
7 28-Method Leg Extensions
We stay with the 28 Method here, but trust me: Just because you’re doing leg extensions doesn’t make it any easier. Your quads will be screaming the entire time and the slow reps are absolutely brutal.
By going slow, you take all of the momentum out of the lift and your quads work overtime on each rep. This is another perfect finisher for any leg workout.
8 Russian Split Squat with quarter-rep method
The finale in this crazy quad lineup includes another of my favorite techniques: the quarter-rep method. When you apply it to the split squat, it’s almost like you’re doing a pump fake out of the hole. Your quads fall for it every time.
Every time your knee touches the floor on the way down, come back up only a quarter of the way, and then drop back down before finishing the full rep. Your quads will be wondering what the heck is going on, especially after the sixth rep. Doing 8-12 reps per leg can reap some serious benefits.
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