The Exercise Database houses an incredible collection of exercises, complete with ratings, tips, and reviews. We've assembled the ten best-rated strength exercises for quadriceps from our database, along with tips from the experts. Bring back the short shorts, brothers and sisters!

Exercise 10. Box Squat with Bands

(Rated 9.0)

Box Squat with Bands

Quick Tip: Aim for about 40% of the load (measured at max tension) to come from the bands. Depending on how the bands are attached, there may be too much slack in the line. If so, wrap them around whatever you attached them to an extra time or two, shortening the band.

Exercise 9. Barbell Lunge

(Rated 9.0)

Barbell Lunge

Quick Tip: I recommend doing these while in-place instead of taking a step with each rep or walking. As a one-legged squat, technique is important and you don't want fatigue to make you sloppy!

Exercise 8. Narrow-Stance Squats

(Rated 9.3)

Narrow-Stance Squats

Quick Tip: With a narrow stance, mobility can be an issue for many people. If you can, use Olympic weightlifting shoes, which feature hard, raised heels. Alternatively, place a 1-2 inch board under your heels.

Exercise 7. Goblet Squat

(Rated 9.3)

Goblet Squat

Quick Tip: Pause at the bottom of the motion, using your elbows to push your femurs out. This will help with your hip mobility.

Exercise 6. Frankenstein Squat

(Rated 9.3)

Frankenstein Squat

Quick Tip: This drill teaches you how to correctly position your shoulders for front squats and cleans without rounding the thoracic spine. Start with just the bar as you work up in weight to ensure proper posture. If you can't hit rock bottom without the bar moving, work on your mobility!

Exercise 5. Box Squat

(Rated 9.3)

Box Squat

Quick Tip: Don't crash down onto the box. Descend with control. This movement is a favorite among strength athletes, and for good reason. Just ensure that you use good technique at all times, and try not to rock forward as you come off the box.

Exercise 4. Kettlebell Pistol Squat

(Rated 9.5)

Kettlebell Pistol Squat

Quick Tip: This movement not only requires strength, but great balance, flexibility, and coordination. If you can't do it yet, start without the weight or progress from goblet squats.

Exercise 3. Front Squat (Clean Grip)

(Rated 9.5)

Front Squat (Clean Grip)

Quick Tip: Flexibility may sideline many of you. Work on it until your shoulders and wrists can hit the proper position. Until then, you can try the crossed-arms version or use straps.

Exercise 2. Barbell Squat

(Rated 9.5)

Barbell Squat

Quick Tip: Technique is a must. Squatting doesn't hurt your knees; bad squatting hurts your knees. What's my number one coaching cue? "BUTT BACK!"

Exercise 1. Front Squats With Two Kettlebells

(Rated 9.6)

Front Squats With Two Kettlebells

Quick Tip: If your mobility is poor, you will tend to lean forward on these. When I see this problem, I have people squat facing a wall, standing a couple inches away. This will teach you to use your hips more and prevent excessive torso lean, which shouldn't occur in a front squat.

Don't like the top 10? Login, rate your favorite quadriceps exercises, and change the list! Leave your own tips and tricks in the comments below.

Ratings compiled September 2012.

About the Author

Matt Biss

Matt Biss is a training and nutrition specialist. He earned his B.S. in Exercise Physiology and is a certified personal trainer and strength coach.

View all articles by this author

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