The rectus femoris, one of the four quadriceps muscles, is located on the front, middle portion of your the leg. It powers your movement every time you kick a ball, extend your knees or squat down. Exercises for the rectus femoris strengthen your legs, increasing athletic capability and contributing to improvements in physical appearance and body composition. For strength grains, do exercises for your rectus femoris two or three times a week.
Back Against the Wall
The isometric wall squat tones and conditions the quads. Stand with your back against a wall. Lift your chin parallel to the floor and walk your feet forward 24 inches. Don't walk as far if your lower back comes off the wall. Stack your knees above your ankles and point both feet forward. Tighten your abdominal muscles. Slide your back down the wall, bending your knees as you descend. Stop when your quads are parallel to the floor. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds, then push through your heels and stand up. Hold a weighted ball to increase intensity.
Jump Your Way to Strong Quads
Jumping lunges are a plyometric exercise that build power and strength in your quads, hamstrings and glutes. Stand up straight and position your feet hip-distance apart. Extend your right leg behind and lift onto your toes. Stack your left knee and left ankle. Bend your left leg 90 degrees while lowering your right knee toward the floor. Pause before your knee makes contact with the floor, push through your left heel, jump both feet up and switch their position. Now that your right foot is in front and your left leg is extended, regain your balance and do another jumping lunge. Continue switching leg positioning after each lunge. Complete 8 to 15 lunges, stopping when your legs fatigue.
Turn 'Em Out
Challenge your quads with pulsating plie squats. Stand up straight, bend your knees slightly and place your feet slightly wider than shoulder-distance apart. Turn your toes out 45 degrees and place your hands on your hips. This foot placement also activates the inner thighs. Stick your butt out behind you and stack your knees over your ankles. Lower your hips, stopping when your quads are parallel to the floor. Pause, lift your hips two inches, then lower them. Pulsate 15 times, push through your heels and stand up.
Take 'Em Low
Walking lateral squats strengthen the quads, glutes and hips. Stand up straight and position your feet slightly wider than hip-width. Align your knees and ankles, stick your butt out behind you and place your hands on your hips. Lower your hips toward the floor, stopping when your legs form a 90-degree angle. Remain in the squat and step your right foot to your right six inches. Follow with your left foot, maintaining hip-width distance between your feet. Take 10 steps to your right, then take 10 steps to your left. Push through your heels and stand up.
- Fitness: Plie Squat
- American Council on Exercise: Stability Ball Wall Squats
- Yoga Journal: Thighs Matter
- American Council on Exercise: Bodyweight Squat
- American College of Sports Medicine: ACSM Issues New Recommendations on Quantity and Quality of Exercise
- ACE Personal Trainer Manual; American Council on Exercise