Free weights, machines, and even just your body weight can be used to effectively train your quadriceps. Don’t leave these 5 movements out of your quad training program!
1 - Back Squats
Almost everybody will agree that squats are the most necessary movements to do for your quads. Make sure you have a narrow stance, as the wider you go, the more you will recruit your posterior chain. Having your feet at about shoulder width, or a little wider is the way to go. Also, make sure to go to parallel, meaning your hip crease is level with the top of your knee. Ass to grass squats are great, but deeper than parallel means more posterior chain recruitment.
2 - Lunges
Lunges are great for unilateral quadriceps development. You can also use split squats and step ups, which are great variations of a lunge. You can use barbells, dumbbells, weighted vests, or even just your own body weight.
3 - Leg Press
Leg Press machines are great for quad training. You can go really heavy without worrying about your stabilizing muscles throughout your body giving out before your legs. This means it is great to use after tiring out your stabilizers with squats at the beginning of a workout.
4 - Leg Extensions
The only isolation movement that is worth doing for your quadriceps is leg extensions on a machine. You can switch between doing these one leg at a time and both at a time for a different stimulus. The deeper you start, the more ROM and quad recruitment you will be able to achieve.
5 - Front Squats
Front squats might be too demanding for flexibility, in which case goblet squats can be used. Front squats are fantastic for quad training. Olympic racking or just racking on your shoulders while crossing your arms and keeping your elbows high are the options to hold the bar.