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Building strong and muscular quadriceps - Tips, exercises & schedule

Did you know that every time you climb a flight of stairs, sprint, or do a squat, you're using your quadriceps? Also known as the "quads", this muscle group is one of the most powerful and active muscles in our body. Whether you are an athlete looking for a way to improve your performance or are simply interested in the anatomy of the human body, this blog is for you. In this text we take a closer look at the anatomy, function and training of the quadriceps, so that you can gain a better understanding of this important muscle group.





What are Quadriceps?

The quadriceps is a large muscle group located in the front of the thigh. It consists of four separate muscles: the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and vastus intermedius. These muscles work together to extend the knee joint and flex the hip.

The rectus femoris is the only muscle in the quadriceps that crosses two joints, namely the hip joint and the knee joint. It is therefore responsible for both hip flexion and knee extension. The vastus lateralis, vastus medialis and vastus intermedius only affect the knee joint and are responsible for extending the knee.

The quadriceps is one of the strongest muscle groups in the body and consists of both slow and fast muscle fibers. The fast twitch fibers are responsible for fast, explosive movements, such as sprinting and jumping, while the slow twitch fibers are more involved in endurance activities such as walking and cycling.

Understanding the anatomy of the quadriceps is important for effectively training this muscle group. By isolating the different muscles and using specific exercises, athletes and fitness enthusiasts can improve quadriceps strength and function.

natomy of legs and quadriceps (quads) with muscles at the front of the thigh: rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, vastus medialis. Also hamstrings, calf muscles and parts such as thigh, knee and shin


Why should you train them?

Training the quadriceps offers several benefits, both for athletes and those seeking better health and fitness. First of all, the quadriceps are responsible for supporting and stabilizing the knees, which means that strong quads can help prevent injury and improve the overall health of the knee joints. In addition, well-developed quadriceps can help you perform better in sports, especially in activities that require a lot of leg strength, such as running, jumping and cycling.

But training the quadriceps isn't just beneficial for athletes. Strong quads can also make everyday life easier, such as climbing stairs, walking, and lifting objects. In addition, well-developed quadriceps can contribute to better posture and even help reduce back pain.

It is important to remember that training the quadriceps is not only about increasing muscle mass, but also about improving the function and strength of this muscle group. With the right exercises and techniques, training the quadriceps can therefore contribute to better health, fitness and sports performance.


Volume vs Power

The answer to this question depends on your training goals and the specific sport or activity you practice. In general, it is recommended to include both strength and volume training in your training program to get the best results.

Strength training is aimed at maximizing the strength of the muscles, making it ideal for athletes who want to improve their strength and explosiveness. Strength training usually involves using heavier weights with fewer reps and sets. Examples of strength exercises for the quadriceps are squats, lunges and leg presses.

Volume training, on the other hand, focuses on increasing muscle endurance and size, which can lead to increased endurance and hypertrophy (muscle growth). This can be especially beneficial for sports such as running and cycling, where endurance plays an important role. Volume training usually involves lighter weights with more reps and sets. Examples of volume training for the quadriceps are leg extensions and step-ups.

It is important to note that our training programs include a combination of strength and volume training to stimulate the muscles in multiple ways and prevent the body from adapting to the same types of exercise. It is also important to get enough rest and recovery between workouts to avoid injury and get optimal results.

Best exercises

The best quadriceps exercises are critical to effectively training and developing this important muscle group. Whether you want to improve your strength and explosiveness for your sport or just want a stronger and toned upper leg, choosing the right exercises can make all the difference. Below is a list of some of the best quadriceps exercises to include in your training program.


Squats / front squats

The squat is one of the most popular and effective exercises for training the quadriceps. In this exercise, the weight is placed on the shoulders as you bend the knees and then come back up. The squat not only activates the quadriceps, but also other muscles in the lower body, such as the glutes, hamstrings and calves. In addition, the squat also stimulates the core muscles and improves stability and balance.


One of the reasons squats are so effective for training the quadriceps is because they target muscles throughout their range of motion. During the movement, the quadriceps are constantly under tension from the beginning to the end of the exercise, which gives them a good incentive to grow and become stronger.


In addition, squats can be performed in different variations to emphasize different areas of the quadriceps. For example, placing the feet a little further apart and turning the toes outward can put more emphasis on the outer parts of the quadriceps, while placing the feet closer together and pointing the toes forward, the emphasis is more on the inner parts of the quadriceps.


Here are the steps to properly perform a squat:


  1. Place your feet shoulder-width apart with your toes pointing forward or slightly turned out.
  2. Place the barbell over your shoulders and hold it with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width.
  3. Inhale and engage your core muscles as you push your hips back and bend your knees to lower down. Keep your back straight and look straight ahead.
  4. Lower down until your thighs are parallel to the floor or slightly lower. Make sure your knees don't go past your toes and your heels stay on the floor.
  5. Exhale and push yourself up as you straighten your knees and return to the starting position.

Person doing a squat exercise ApexNutrition. Feet shoulder width apart, barbell on shoulders, knees bent. Get fit at ApexNutrition!


Here's a step-by-step plan for performing the front squats:


  1. Place a barbell on a rack at chest height and grab it with a pronation grip (palms facing up).
  2. Bring your elbows forward and place the barbell on your shoulders, close to your throat, holding the bar with your hands.
  3. Step under the barbell and position the barbell on your front deltoid muscles, close to your collarbones.
  4. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing forward. Keep your abs tight and your back straight.
  5. Keep your elbows up and your hips back as you bend your knees to get into a squat position.
  6. Make sure your knees don't go past your toes and keep your balance.
  7. Straighten your knees and hips to return to the starting position.
  8. Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions.

Front squat at ApexNutrition: dumbbell on chest, knees bent. Person falls down. Get fit at ApexNutrition


Tip:: Some important tips to keep in mind while performing squats include keeping good form, avoiding overexertion, and starting with light weights to master proper technique. In addition, you can try variations of squats, such as the front squats or sumo squats and goblet squats, to vary your workout and emphasize different parts of the quadriceps.



Lunges are an excellent exercise to train the quadriceps. They work not only the quadriceps, but also the glutes, hamstrings and calf muscles. In addition, lunges can be performed in different variations, allowing you to vary your workout and emphasize different areas of the quadriceps.


One of the main benefits of lunges is that they target the quadriceps throughout their full range of motion. During the exercise, the muscles are fully stretched from a stretched position, forcing them to work harder to return to their original position. This promotes muscle growth and strength development.


In addition, performing lunges also helps improve stability and balance, as the exercise requires a high degree of coordination and control. This can be useful for athletes who want to improve their performance or for people who want to improve their overall physical fitness.


Here are the steps to properly perform a lunge:


  1. Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Take a step forward with one leg and bend your knee until your thigh is parallel to the floor, while your back knee almost touches the floor. Make sure your front knee stays directly over your ankle and doesn't bend forward.
  3. Keeping your torso stable, push yourself back to the starting position by straightening your front leg. Make sure you keep your balance and don't waver.
  4. Repeat the exercise with the other leg by stepping forward and doing the same.

At ApexNutrition person does quad-stimulating lunges: step forward with one leg, knee bends while other knee touches the floor

Tip:Things to keep in mind while performing lunges include keeping your back straight and avoiding knee pain by making sure your knees don't go past your toes and your front knee stays directly over your ankle. In addition, you can try variations of lunges, such as walking lunges, side lunges, and reverse lunges, to vary your workout and emphasize different areas of the quadriceps.


Lay Extension

The leg extension is an exercise in which you train the quadriceps by means of a machine. During the exercise, you sit on a chair with your legs in the machine, placing your feet under a roller that pushes your legs up as you straighten your legs.


One of the benefits of the leg extension is that it's an isolated exercise that targets the quadriceps and puts less stress on the hamstrings and glutes, unlike exercises like squats and lunges. This makes it a good choice for people who want to specifically train the quadriceps or for people with weak knees or back problems who can't do these exercises.


In addition, you can easily adjust the resistance of the machine, which allows you to increase or decrease the intensity of the exercise, depending on your training goals and physical capabilities.


The following is a step-by-step plan for performing the leg extension exercise:


  1. Sit on the leg extension machine and place your feet under the roller. Make sure the roller is just above the ankles and your legs are at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Place your hands on the handles of the machine and keep your back straight against the backrest.
  3. Inhale and contract your quadriceps to straighten your legs. Make sure you perform the movement slowly and in a controlled manner.
  4. Hold your quadriceps for a moment at the end of the movement.
  5. Exhale and slowly lower the roller down as you bend your legs back to a 90-degree angle.
  6. Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions.

At ApexNutrition trains person quadriceps with leg extension: feet on support, weight up. Get strong legs ApexNutrition!

Tip:: Important points to consider when performing the leg extension exercise are avoiding overloading the knees by performing the movement slowly and in a controlled manner, preventing hyperextension of the knees by not extending the movement too far and not using too heavy weight to avoid injuries.

Another option is to perform a superset with both double and single legs. Start with a heavy weight for the double leg exercise and perform 10 reps. Then lower the weight and perform 8 reps per leg for the single leg exercise. This can be a nice change and can help develop both legs evenly.


step ups

When training to strengthen and enlarge your legs, it is important to vary your exercises. One of the most effective exercises for training the quadriceps is step ups.


The exercise is quite simple, you simply step onto a platform, such as a bench or a step, one leg at a time and use your quadriceps to raise yourself up. One of the main benefits of step ups is that they target and isolate the quadriceps muscles. This allows you to specifically train and increase your quadriceps.


But that's not the only advantage. Step ups can also help increase leg strength and stability. Regularly performing this exercise strengthens the quadriceps and improves the stability of the knees and hips. This can help reduce injuries.


Another advantage of step ups is that they mimic the movement of climbing stairs, which can improve your walking ability. This can be particularly helpful for people who regularly climb stairs.


Finally, this exercise not only strengthens the quadriceps, but the entire leg. This is because you also tighten your hamstrings and glutes while performing the exercise.


A step-by-step plan for performing step ups:


  1. Place an elevation, such as a bench or step, in front of you.
  2. Stand facing the platform and place your right foot firmly on the platform. Keep your left leg straight and slightly behind your body.
  3. Push your body up with the power of your right foot and fully extend your right leg.
  4. Lower your body back down and place your left leg on the floor next to your right leg.
  5. Repeat the exercise with your left leg on the platform.
  6. Perform the desired number of repetitions.

At ApexNutrition person does step ups: one leg steps onto raised platform, followed by other leg. Get stronger legs ApexNutrition!

Tip:: While performing the exercise, make sure you keep your body straight and do not move your knees in or out. Also keep your abs tight and your back straight to avoid injury.

You can also make the exercise heavier by using weights, such as dumbbells or placing a barbell on your shoulders.


Schedule + ebook

Below is the sample schedule for the quads:



Sets + Reps


4 x 8 -12 (excluding warm-up sets)


3-4 x 8 per leg

Leg extension 

4x 8 double + 8 per leg

step ups

3 x 10 – 12 per leg


Make sure to rest for 30-60 seconds between each set and hydrate well.

In addition to the example schedule described above, many more training schedules are available in the ebook of ApexNutrition. These schedules are designed to meet a variety of goals and levels, from beginners to advanced athletes. The ebook also includes nutrition and recovery tips and recommendations to help you get the most out of your workout. If you're serious about developing your quadriceps and overall physical fitness, it's worth checking out the ebook and taking advantage of the extensive knowledge it offers.

E-book ApexNutrition


shilajit en turkesterone are supplements that can help build big quads. Shilajit contains essential minerals and fulvic acid, which help promote nutrient absorption and improve muscle growth. Turkesterone comes from the plant Ajuga turkestanica, which grows mainly in Central Asia. It is a plant hormone that is structurally similar to insect and mammalian hormones, and can help increase muscle mass and reduce muscle breakdown.

Turkesterone from ApexNutrition
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