Bodybuilding.com's 10 Highest-Rated Quadriceps Exercises

Our Exercise Database is home to thousands of exercises. We lined up the highest-rated quad crushers and added insider tips to make this ultimate list!

The Bodybuilding.com 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)

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.

Box Squat with Bands


Exercise 9 Barbell Lunge
(Rated 9.0)

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!

Barbell Lunge


Exercise 8 Narrow-Stance Squats
(Rated 9.3)

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.

Narrow-Stance Squats


Exercise 7 Goblet Squat
(Rated 9.3)

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

Goblet Squat


Exercise 6 Frankenstein Squat
(Rated 9.3)

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!

Frankenstein Squat


Exercise 5 Box Squat
(Rated 9.3)

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.

Box Squat


Exercise 4 Kettlebell Pistol Squat
(Rated 9.5)

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.

Kettlebell Pistol Squat


Exercise 3 Front Squat (Clean Grip)
(Rated 9.5)

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.

Front Squat (Clean Grip)


Exercise 2 Barbell Squat
(Rated 9.5)

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!"

Barbell Squat


Exercise 1 Front Squats With Two Kettlebells
(Rated 9.6)

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.

Front Squats With Two Kettlebells


Ratings compiled September 2012.

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