Quad extensions. They’re a common leg day exercise seen in almost every training program. “Quad Extensions 3×10.” It’s easy to incorporate them into a training plan because almost everyone knows what they are and how to do them. They’re awesome to feel that burn during leg day; however, there’s one golden key that cranks it up to an entire different level. Changing the position of your leg. That right there will work your quads in a completely different way. By changing the angle of your leg, (turning your foot in, straight, or out) it targets different muscles that make up your “quad.” (See picture below)
By rotating your foot in, you target more of the outside of your quad (vastus lateralis).
By rotating your foot out, you target more of the inside of your quad (vastus medialis (aka vastus medialis oblique “VMO”).
By keeping your foot straight, you target more of the central muscle (rectus femoris/vastus intermedius).
Instead of keeping your foot straight the entire time, vary the angle of your foot. Have 3×10 written on your program? Do one set foot in, one set foot out, and one set foot straight. It is awesome and you will feel how much of a difference it is! Think about it – we don’t always walk in a straight line. We twist, turn, rotate, etc. So, why are we only strengthening and working the quad in one direction? Try this quad burnout challenge and let me know how it goes! As always work hard, but also work smart.
Quad Burnout Challenge: Medium/Moderate Weight: 20 reps foot pointed out, 20 reps foot pointed straight, 20 reps foot pointed in