Best Quad Exercise?

Glen Edy
Guest best quad exercise?
Monday, October 3, 2005 11:13 AM

I was a bit enspired after reading that Doc. used to do front squats with 775-lbs for reps. I had been doing parallel box squats all summer. So when I finally gave front squats a shot I really felt the stress in my quads and it made me realize that box squats don't work the quads much at all. I think I am now rather interested in maximizing the strength of all af my muscles as apposed to letting it just be mainly the ones that make me stronger at the squat, bench press, and deadlift; so this would obviously include the quadricepts. So here is the question: What is the best quad exercise? Could it be front squats? Anyone else got any better ideas? No leg extensions for me folks; they trashed my knees when I tried them last summer.

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Todd Wilson
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Monday, October 3, 2005 11:53 AM

Front squats with the heels elevated to be exact.

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saad ahmed
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Monday, October 3, 2005 12:11 PM

I would recommend alternating btw these movements,Front squats,close stance high bar squats and step ups.With good form all of these movements will inrease your quad strength,add stability to your squats and strengthen your knees.

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Eric Homan
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best quad exercise?
Monday, October 3, 2005 2:00 PM

I like olympic squats as well as front squats for the quads.

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Glen Edy
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Monday, October 3, 2005 3:44 PM

What would be the purpose of elevating the heels?

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saad ahmed
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Monday, October 3, 2005 4:08 PM

What would be the purpose of elevating the heels?

#The eccentric motion of a front squat is straight down,with heels you can push more easily and it puts less pressure on the knees..plz correct me if im wrong.

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Todd Wilson
Guest best quad exercise?
Monday, October 3, 2005 4:31 PM

By elevating your heels you allow your torso to stay even more upright. This restricts the posterior chains involvement, especially the glutes. Therefore the quads have to take more of the load.
However, as someone mentioned, all forms of full and sront squats, all variations of split squats and step ups are excellent for quad development and should be all be used for maximum strength and/or hypertrophy. Adding chains can increase the effectiveness as well, though you may need to lower the number of sets.

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mark plummer
Guest best quad exercise?
Monday, October 3, 2005 5:10 PM

Glen,
Where did you read that info? I'm quite intrigued with the Doc's training and some of the crazy weights he threw around but I can't seem to find anything.

Mark

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Jeffrey Vaughn
Guest best quad exercise?
Monday, October 3, 2005 9:30 PM

As much as I love the back squat I am with Todd on this one all the way...
Jeffrey Vaughn

http://www.geocities.com/vaughnpower/1.html

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phil elliott
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Monday, October 3, 2005 9:45 PM

What about overhead squats?

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Jeffrey Vaughn
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Monday, October 3, 2005 10:04 PM

Best exercise for quads; overhead squats; no chance.
Jeffrey Vaughn

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Todd Wilson
Guest best quad exercise?
Monday, October 3, 2005 10:58 PM

Overhead squats just don't allow for the optimal load or rep ranges for hypertrophy.
There are a few exceptions, but most of the time, as far as developing strength, overhead squats are really only specific to the full olympic lifts. They can also be used as an assesment tool.

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Jeffrey Vaughn
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Monday, October 3, 2005 11:33 PM

There are too many weak links in the overhead squat to properly load the legs...
Jeffrey Vaughn

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Brian Wallace
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Monday, October 3, 2005 11:55 PM

I would also agree front squats ass-to-heels is the optimal exercise for quad development.
"By elevating your heels you allow your torso to stay even more upright. This restricts the posterior chains involvement, especially the glutes. Therefore the quads have to take more of the load."

True, but I never like to alter an exercise to intentionally make someone use what would normally be considered bad form (heels coming off ground, even if in this case they have a plate under them). Regular front squats do the job just fine.

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Todd Wilson
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Tuesday, October 4, 2005 1:04 AM

It doesn't reinforce bad form. The trainee still displaces weight through the heels. So long as the trainee has adequate flexibility in the ankle joint, there will not be any negative effects from the "strategic" use of the heels raised variation.
In fact, one of the best hypertophy and strength enducing routines I have ever used used both methods simulataneously.

Heels elevated front squat 2-4.

Step off the wedge, front squats As many reps as possible, typically 1-3.

Rest ten seconds (as you re-position the bar)..... Back squats, as many reps as possible, typically 2-4

This tri-set allows for a maximal load on the quads, yet increase the mechanical advatage in each set, and allows for reps in a rep range that induces strength and hypertrophy, yet because of the greater intensity, greater benefit is derived over a straight set IF quadricep strength is the goal.

Unless someone only squats with the heel elevated, I've never seen any negative carry over.

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Kim Baugher
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best quad exercise?
Tuesday, October 4, 2005 10:42 AM

Olympic lifters typically lift in shoes with elevated heels anyway.

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Mark Sikora
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Tuesday, October 4, 2005 12:43 PM

Not for nothing, and not as convienant as front squats but: load up a sled, strap on a harness and do some pulls (100ft or so depending on weight) and your quads will be screaming, shaking, cramping etc.
good luck

Mark

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Glen Edy
Guest Mark Plummer
Tuesday, October 4, 2005 1:00 PM

I read it on a post on this sight several weeks ago. It was a thread concerning meathods for improving the punch for boxing. Some how this lead to the topic of the front squat; off topic if you ask me. When someone said that you should be able to front squat about 80% of your back squat, Jeffry Vaunghn asked who can front squat 80% of 900 which was about 720. Doc then replied back that he used to do 775 for reps and if I am not mistaken, I tghought he mentioned something about some other olympic lifters. Correct me if I made a mistake in my quotes, but this is what I recall reading to the best of my knowlege. I don't know the exact link because it was a while ago.

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Glen Edy
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Tuesday, October 4, 2005 1:02 PM

Thanks for all the advise folks. Always appritiated.

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Brian Wallace
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Tuesday, October 4, 2005 1:33 PM

Most people lift in basketball or running shoes (not ideally, but that is the reality), which are unstable and already have a heel. Adding additional forward lean in addition to this creates more problems than it helps.

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Glen Edy
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Tuesday, October 4, 2005 1:48 PM

Todd. Do you recomend doing the front squats with the knees foward or with the shins perpendicular to the floor?

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The Super Furry Animal
Guest best quad exercise?
Tuesday, October 4, 2005 4:04 PM

one-legged squats.

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Todd Wilson
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Tuesday, October 4, 2005 4:18 PM

Most people lift in basketball or running shoes (not ideally, but that is the reality), which are unstable and already have a heel. Adding additional forward lean in addition to this creates more problems than it helps.

### Could you elaborate on these problems? I am ignorant of any.

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Todd Wilson
Guest best quad exercise?
Tuesday, October 4, 2005 4:23 PM

Todd. Do you recomend doing the front squats with the knees foward or with the shins perpendicular to the floor?
### Glen, I assume your asking should the shins stay vertical in the front squat? NO, Absolutely not, this is poor form. The shins are vertical only during the powerlifting style competition squat. Not the front squat, not the full squat. Allow the knees to travel as far forward as they need, but frankly, don't worry about shin angle. In fact, in the heels elevated front squat, your shins will travel a great deal forward.

### With the bar racked on your clavicles, initiate the movement with the knees. This is opposite of the powerlifting squat in which you initiate it with the hips. By initiating with your knees, all involved joint will in turn move to the right place unless you have some type of imbalance or flexibility issue.

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Glen Edy
Guest best quad exercise?
Wednesday, October 5, 2005 11:47 AM

That is exactly what I was asking. I used to do all of my squats with the knees foward; that is until I started trying to excell in the powerlifting squat and perfecting my form for it.