Quad exercises are a great way to build strength in your upper legs, and, if done regularly, will yield results relatively quickly. Working your quads (the muscles along your thighs) with a fitness ball is a great way to strengthen and build the muscles. Use a variety of exercises to develop all 4 of the quadriceps muscles, rather than just focusing on 1 or 2. You can use a fitness ball at a local gym or in your own home. Several alterations of quad exercises can be performed standing up with the fitness ball between your back and a wall, and others can be performed by lying on top of the fitness ball.
Method 1 Method 1 of 3:Squatting with the Fitness Ball as Support Download Article
Perform traditional squat moves for the quadriceps. Place the fitness ball on a wall behind you. Stand with your legs about shoulder-width apart, and lean back against the fitness ball for support. Slowly bend your knees and lower your tailbone until you are almost in a sitting position. Hold the pose for 10 seconds and slowly return to a standing position.
- Perform several 4-5 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions.
- When doing these wall squats with the fitness ball, position the ball low enough against your body that it will still offer you full support once you are in a squatting position.
- Start with your feet far enough from the wall so when you squat, your knees are above your ankles and not your toes.
Practice wide-stance squats to strengthen your inner quads. Stand with your feet planted out past each side of your body, leaning with your back against the fitness ball. Your feet should be about 4 feet (1.2 m) apart and your torso should stay upright. Lower your body slowly, supporting your weight in your quadriceps and glutes, and hold the pose for 10-12 seconds. Stand up slowly and repeat. As with traditional squats, try doing 4-5 sets of 8-10 repetitions each.
- To prevent injury, do not extend your knees past the tip of your toes when bending into position for squats.
- Make sure your knees are above your ankles, not your toes, as you complete the squat.
Do narrow-stance squats to strengthen your outer quads. As with wide-stance squats, place the fitness ball on the wall behind you. Stand with your legs close together and with your back against the fitness ball on the wall. Your legs should only be slightly narrower than your hip width. Bend your knees and lower your body to nearly a 90-degree angle. Hold for 10-12 seconds and slowly return to standing position. Keep your torso upright and your back straight.
- Do 2-4 sets of 7 to 9 repetitions. As your quads strengthen, you’ll be able to increase the number of sets and reps that you can do.
Method 2 Method 2 of 3:Performing Exercises That Build Both Quads and Glutes Download Article
Do hamstring curls to engage your quads and glutes. Lay on your back on an exercise mat. Place your feet on the fitness ball and bend your knees, pulling the ball toward your rear end and stabilizing your body. Hold your body steady and straighten your core by pushing your hips up. When you feel stable, extend your legs and roll the ball away from your body. Then bend your legs again to retract the ball.
- If necessary, balance yourself by laying your arms at your side on the mat. Rest your back on the ground between repetitions if necessary.
- Aim for 4 or more repetitions per set and perform at least 2 sets.
Do a quad press to strengthen your quads and glutes. Get on your hands and knees on an exercise mat. Place the fitness ball at your feet behind you. Bring your feet up and balance them on the ball in a crouching position, supporting yourself with your hands. Then, extend your legs by rolling the ball back under your feet. Hold your core stable and face the ground as you straighten your legs. Hold the pose for 3 seconds before curling your legs in and rolling the ball toward you again.
- Perform 4 to 6 repetitions per set and at least 2 sets to work out your quads.
Try doing quad presses with a single leg to double the resistance. Get into quad press position: hands on the ground (as if you’re doing a push up) and both feet extended on the fitness ball behind you. Tilt your body to the right, and lift your left leg off of the fitness ball. Then, use your right leg to roll the ball towards you. Hold for 3 seconds and roll the ball back out by extending your leg.
- This can help you build muscle in your weaker leg. Or, switch legs while you’re doing single-leg quad presses. Try 5 reps with 1 leg followed by 5 reps on the second leg.
- This exercise will also engage and strengthen all your core muscles.
Method 3 Method 3 of 3:Exercising Your Quads and Core Download Article
Perform a bridge to build up your core and rear quads. Lie on your back with the fitness ball beneath your heels. Keep your knees bent. Then, elevate your torso by extending your knees and pushing your hips upwards. Hold this elevated position for 5 seconds, then slowly lower your torso back down to the ground.
- Try doing 3 sets of 10 reps on your first few times doing this exercise. As you feel more comfortable, step it up to 5 sets of 12 reps.
Do an abdominal ball raise to strengthen your quads and stomach. Lie on your back and position the fitness ball between your knees. Tighten your quads and calf muscles, and firmly grip the ball with your knees. Then, tighten your stomach muscles and bring your knees towards your chest to lift the ball into the air. Hold the position for as much time as it takes you to take and release 3 deep breaths.
- Aim to do 1 set of 8–12 abdominal ball raises.
Try a quad extension to strengthen your front quads and your core. Position yourself as if you were doing a pushup: hands on the ground, toes on the fitness ball, and knees bent. To perform the extension, use your quads to straighten your knees until your legs are completely straight and your rear end is in the air. Your body should look like an upside-down V-shape. Hold this position for about 3 seconds, and make sure to keep your arms and back straight. Then return to your starting position. Perform 2–3 sets of 4–5 reps each.
- By tightening your abs and back as you work your quads, you can help stabilize yourself and tone your core as you work out.
- Before beginning any physical fitness regimen, consult a health professional or physical trainer to prevent injury, especially if you are above 60 years of age or have any health problems. Thanks! Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0