Quadriceps and Hamstring Exercises

Quadriceps, Hamstrings (also, gluteus and calves):

quadriceps, hamstring, gluteus, and calf muscles

The quadriceps (the muscles on the front of your thigh) are the most important muscles in sports. They determine how fast you run, how high you jump, and how hard you can push. Coming in second are the combination of hamstring and gluteus (butt) muscles. The quads are big muscles so they take a lot of effort and time to strengthen. The videos below illustrate some great exercises to safely strengthen your quads and how to stretch them during the cool-down phase of exercising. Some require special equipment but many can be done at home. Before exercising you should always warm up your muscles through some light exercise like jumping jacks or a gentle jog.

Two things to especially note: Since you’re focusing on a particular muscle group you should always allow a day between exercises for these muscles to rest and repair. Everyone, but especially girls, should include hamstring exercises (the muscles on the back of your thigh) to balance out the strength of your quads. Strong quads and weak hamstrings is often the cause of ACL tears in girls who play basketball. For this reason some hamstring exercises have also been included at the end of the list

Note that you gluteus (butt) and lower leg (calve) muscles will also get a workout as they support the quads and hamstrings in each exercise.

Prerequisites:

 

These exercises will work your quadriceps, and hamstring muscles.

Quadriceps Exercises:

If you have access to additional equipment:

(avoid the leg extension machines in weight rooms since they can over-stress the tendons of the knee)

Hamstring Exercises: