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  1. #1
    Registered User bluesbreaker's Avatar
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    Exclamation How to target quads with squats

    I recently took a break from doing legs after suffering a knee injury.

    Yesterday, I hit them for the first time in 6 months, and I started really light: 95x10 for 5 set

    Today, I feel it a lot in my hams and a little in my glutes, but I feel nothing in my quads.


    So, any tips about how to target the quads a bit more? I'm guessing I just have to re-acquire the muscle memory..

    I'm going back tomorrow and I'll try to up the weight to 135x10x5, see if that helps.
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    Banned Ninjathoskinny's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bluesbreaker View Post
    I recently took a break from doing legs after suffering a knee injury.

    Yesterday, I hit them for the first time in 6 months, and I started really light: 95x10 for 5 set

    Today, I feel it a lot in my hams and a little in my glutes, but I feel nothing in my quads.


    So, any tips about how to target the quads a bit more? I'm guessing I just have to re-acquire the muscle memory..

    I'm going back tomorrow and I'll try to up the weight to 135x10x5, see if that helps.
    Try prefatiguing the quads using a set of high reps (20-25) leg extensions before the squat.
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  3. #3
    Registered User messnwitsquatch's Avatar
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    If you use a wide-stance squat, then it targets hips and hamstrings a lot more than a narrower stance.
    Using oly shoes, or just putting a palte under your heels while squatting puts more stress on quads.
    You could also supplement with front squats.

    I'd say if you have good squat form and you're happy/comfortable with that form, don't change anything and just supplement with front squats. Granted I can't tell you if you have good form or not without any video.
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    Originally Posted by bluesbreaker View Post
    I recently took a break from doing legs after suffering a knee injury.

    Yesterday, I hit them for the first time in 6 months, and I started really light: 95x10 for 5 set

    Today, I feel it a lot in my hams and a little in my glutes, but I feel nothing in my quads.


    So, any tips about how to target the quads a bit more? I'm guessing I just have to re-acquire the muscle memory..

    I'm going back tomorrow and I'll try to up the weight to 135x10x5, see if that helps.
    Majority of people have a weaker posterior chain than their quads. I think you'll start to feel more in teh quads once the glutes/hams catches up.

    I couldnt' work lower body for almost 3yrs cause of injury, but just started again back in October. So I was kinda just like you. I started re-learning ass to grass form and I was only feeling it in the glutes and hams for like a month. But now I feel it both in the quads and glutes/hams.
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    Bootless Errand ironwill2008's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bluesbreaker View Post
    Today, I feel it a lot in my hams and a little in my glutes, but I feel nothing in my quads.


    So, any tips about how to target the quads a bit more? I'm guessing I just have to re-acquire the muscle memory..
    Squat with a high-bar position, which will allow you to remain more-upright, and shift the emphasis slightly more from your glutes/hams to your quads.

    To make it a really moot point, step away from Back Squats and start doing Fronts instead. They offer an ideal bar position to be able to remain almost completely upright, with the majority of the work going to your quads.
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    Registered User brudman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    Squat with a high-bar position, which will allow you to remain more-upright, and shift the emphasis slightly more from your glutes/hams to your quads.

    To make it a really moot point, step away from Back Squats and start doing Fronts instead. They offer an ideal bar position to be able to remain almost completely upright, with the majority of the work going to your quads.
    Great points here, and to add to it, I suggest a narrower stance.
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    Registered User Engineer_Guy's Avatar
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    As others have said already, stance width will make the biggest difference. Use a shoulder width stance if you aren't. If you are already doing this, then your quads are probably just more dominant.
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    i found hitting hamstrings before squats using leg curls great for targeting my quads during squats...
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    If you're currently letting your legs go below parallel with the ground, start just going to parallel. Once you go much below that you start recruiting the glutes and hamstrings a lot more. If you're interested in other workouts to hit the quads, I'd recommend single leg leg press, works wonders and doesn't require you load so much on the machine.
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    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    Squat with a high-bar position, which will allow you to remain more-upright, and shift the emphasis slightly more from your glutes/hams to your quads.

    To make it a really moot point, step away from Back Squats and start doing Fronts instead. They offer an ideal bar position to be able to remain almost completely upright, with the majority of the work going to your quads.
    This x 9000

    Don't try to pre-exhaust your quads. That will make it worse, imo.
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    Registered User k9pit's Avatar
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    Try high bar and go with your normal everyday stance. Wear flat shoes or squat shoes if you have them.

    I used to have this issue, I was doing low bar with a wider stance.....mostly hams and glutes. Once I started doing what felt most natural, I started being able to hit quads with intensity using squats.
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    Thread Killing Ape 400Lb Gorilla's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    Squat with a high-bar position, which will allow you to remain more-upright, and shift the emphasis slightly more from your glutes/hams to your quads.

    To make it a really moot point, step away from Back Squats and start doing Fronts instead. They offer an ideal bar position to be able to remain almost completely upright, with the majority of the work going to your quads.
    This is the best info given.

    Preexhaustion is probably not best to do before a big exercise like squat
    You would be surprised just how much time I have to waste.
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    Registered User darrenash's Avatar
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    I train quads separately from hamstrings so quad emphasis is something I use with squats. A has been said, use a high bar with a narrower stance. To find the best stance, try just using the bar and experimenting until you find the best stance for you.

    Another tip is to perform half squats - parallel. A lot of people consider these to be bad, but I've had tremendous results from them. The only disadvantage is that you have to increase the weight from what you would squat fully with. It would be wise to perform full squats every-now-and-then.

    Also, front squats can be beneficial.

    One last method is... Smith squats! These are generally hated on this site. But that's because people keep comparing them to barbell squats. Smith squats can be a good exercise to target your quads. You need to keep your legs slightly more forward than barbell squats. Try them. They may not be for you, but you've nothing to lose from trying therm out.
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