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8 Best Outer Quad Exercises for Strength and Definition

Tight vastus lateralis muscles can be attributed to a number of causes but the two most common are overuse or under use. On the flip side, if you’re sitting at your desk day in day out during work, this inactivity can cause your vastus lateralis to tighten up. The combination of stretching and myofascial release should help to relax the muscle. Finally, if your weakness is overall thigh development, there’s one answer you may not want to hear, but you must.

Set up in a squat position with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands in front of you. Avoiding twisting as you’re returning to the starting position. In addition to your quads, the lateral lunge helps strengthen your inner thigh. Rest the top of one foot on the object behind you and step your front foot forward far enough that you can squat without your knee going past your toes. You can perform all of the following exercises in the comfort of your home with no special equipment.

You can build muscle with bodyweight exercises, but you’ll have to do high reps to take your muscles close to failure. For example, when doing bodyweight jurassic empire drive-through reviews squats, you may need 50, 70, or more reps to fatigue your quads. However, it is possible to emphasize the outer quad so it is a little more active.

The secret to targeting the vastus lateralis is almost laughably simple. Most of you were probably taught from the start to take a shoulder-width stance on compound leg movements such as squats, leg presses and hack squats. That’s pretty solid advice, although many of you probably found that squats felt more natural when you opened up your stance wider. You might have also played around with shifting your foot position on the leg press platform to selectively target certain areas. The most common variation is to set your feet higher up and wider on the platform to involve the glutes and hamstrings more.

This exercise alternates between narrow stance squats and wide stance squats, which target more of your backside muscles. Get into a kneeling position with your knees hip-distance apart, torso tall, core and legs engaged, and hands on your hips. A curtsy lunge adds a different element of balance to your leg workout and helps to strengthen both the inner and outer thighs. Remember, you want to keep a 90-degree angle with your front and back leg when you lunge. It helps to keep this visual in mind to get the most out of the exercise. Working your inner thighs as well as your outer thighs and glutes is key to having greater overall strength in your lower body and reducing your risk of injury.

Stand on the platform of a sissy squat bench with your feet hip-width distance apart. The tops of your feet should be underneath the padded foot support bar. Load the desired weight onto the hack squat machine. Exhale and push through your feet to engage the quads and push the platform back to the starting position.

The weight of your body will force the quads to activate in order to keep you from falling to the ground. Sticking with squats, another option is to slow down the lowering phase of the movement… known as eccentric training. As a health and fitness writer, Emily combines her two passions—powerlifting and writing.

The vastus lateralis is your outermost quad and the muscle you need to target to develop a great-looking quad sweep. Just like the other vastus muscles, the vastus lateralis extends your knee. Before you start doing the quad exercises outlined in this article, it’s a good idea to perform a warmup routine for at least 5–10 minutes. Your warmup can include brisk walking or jogging or dynamic mobility exercises such as leg or arm swings.

Hold a kettlebell in front of your chest and just below your chin. Pull your shoulders down and back, and brace your core. A very accessible exercise – most gyms have a hack squat machine. Bend your legs and squat down, allowing your knees to travel forward. Do this exercise with one leg at a time to identify and fix any left-to-right strength imbalances, and strengthen your mind-muscle connection. A very accessible exercise – most gyms have a leg press machine.