Powerlifters know a whole lot about squatting. And their knowledge has carried over into sports performance training and bodybuilding.
But that’s a double-edged sword, because powerlifters are all about maximal efforts, wide stances, a shortened range of motion, and usually low-bar positions. Great for moving a mountain of plates, not so great for targeting quadriceps development.
No, the “quad squat” is a whole different beast compared to the powerlifting squat. We surveyed our stable of coaches and hypertrophy experts and came up with what we call “The Ultimate Quad Squat.” Check it out:
- Yep, it’s a front squat. The front squat position allows you to keep the torso as upright as possible, and that’s crucial for zeroing in on the quads. It also allows most lifters to more easily squat deeply.
- It’s a narrow stance. This shifts tension to the quadriceps and off the glutes and hamstrings. It also increases the range of motion compared to a wide-stance squat.
- There’s no complete lock-out. Squat up until you’re 2-3 inches away from fully extending the legs. Again, this is all about targeted tension.
- Because of all of the above, yes, you’re going to have to use a lighter weight. So set the ego aside and remember this is about hypertrophy, not breaking a 1RM. Many experts believe that the quads require more time under tension (TUT) and higher reps to grow anyway.
- Elevate the heels on a couple of weight plates or a wedged board. This allows greater range of motion and a deeper squat if that’s an issue for you, plus it encourages you to push through your toes which gives you more quad activation.
- Summary: Front squat, narrow stance, no lock-out, lighter weight, heels elevated.