Tone up the tops of your thighs, which are the quadriceps muscles, with a few easily adaptable exercises. You can use the weight of your own body and a few items found around the house, such as a chair or staircase, to work your quads. With a home workout, you have no excuse for skipping your leg workout!
Some of the most traditional quad exercises in the gym are squats, lunges and machine exercises, such as the leg press. While you probably won't have any weight machines at home, you can do other things like squats and lunges. The biggest benefit of the gym is that you have more space with plenty of dumbbells and barbells to add weight to the exercise.
For most people, a lot of weight isn't required to get a good workout. With most quad exercises, you can use the weight of your body as resistance. The most useful at-home quad exercises are going to be single-leg exercises because you put almost all of the weight of your body on one leg.
A workout bench is best for this exercise, but if you don't have one at home use a chair or even a couch as your target. Start standing in front of the object, facing away. Balance yourself on one leg and squat down using the other leg until you're sitting on the bench or chair. Then, lean forwards and stand up without touching the other leg to the ground. Do 10 reps on each leg.
Rear-Foot Elevated Split Squat
Find either a stool or bench to prop your back foot up during this exercise. Stand facing away from the object and reach your back foot up. You can either bend your toes and dig them into the surface of the box or bench or leave them flat. The other foot should be about three feet in front, planted on the ground. Drop your back knee down until it's an inch above the ground, then stand up. Do 10 reps on each leg.
A steady surface will work best for this exercise, like a stair or very sturdy chair. It should be at least knee-high to get the most out of the exercise. Plant one foot on the object, lean forward, and step up with your other foot. Step back down with the same foot. Repeat 10 times on each leg.
A long, clear space, like a hallway, is best for this quad exercise. Start at the end of the hallway and lunge down taking big steps and dropping your back knee to the ground before stepping forward with the other leg to switch sides. Lunge all the way down the hallway and back for one set.
All you need is a clear patch of wall against which you lean to get your quads burning. Sit your back against the wall and slide down until your knees are at a 90-degree angle. Keep your back tall and flat against the wall. Hold the position until your legs start shaking.
Often you use some resistance when you're doing a squatting exercise, but it can be tough to find something comfortable to hold while at home. Instead of scrambling around to find a proper weight, try this body weight squat variation instead.
Squat down as low as you feel comfortable. Hold the bottom position for 10 seconds, then stand up. Repeat that 10 times.
- Strength and Conditioning Research: Quadriceps
- British Journal of Sports Medicine: Biomechanical analysis of the single-leg decline squat
- European Journal of Applied Physiology: Comparison of maximal unilateral versus bilateral voluntary contraction force
- National Strength and Conditioning Association: Single-Leg Squat Progressions