adidas / January 2024
5 Minute Read

6 At-Home Quad Exercises To Try

Join adidas athletes Alix Klineman and Katie Holloway Bridge for an at-home quad workout. Uncover six quad exercises you can do from the comfort of your home.

Meet your quads—aka your day one supporters. From your first steps to your first time competing in your sport, they were there. Located at the front of your thigh, the quadriceps, affectionately known as 'quads,' are pivotal in maintaining knee stability and keeping you upright. Quad strength is essential for everyone, particularly for elite athletes. That's why we've teamed up with volleyball superstars Alix Klineman and Katie Holloway Bridge to lead a quad strength session from home. They'll break down how to infuse power and poise into your quads with six simple and effective exercises.

"Quad strength provides substantial power and stability as it’s your biggest leg muscle,” explains Klineman. “While other supporting leg muscles are great, the quad takes the bulk of the work, making strong quads crucial."


Can you build quads with bodyweight?

Yes, you are able to build and enhance your quad muscles with bodyweight. Bodyweight quad exercises engage and strengthen your quad muscles.  

How can I train my quads at home?

You can train your quads at home by performing bodyweight and limited equipment quad strengthening exercises such as squats, wall sits, banded squat walks, etc.

What are the best exercises to strengthen quads?

The best quad exercises are ones where you're fully engaging and activating all four of the muscles that make up this part of the body through dynamic exercises. Split squats, banded squats, and step-ups are just a few examples of excellent exercises you can add to your leg day routine to strengthen your quads.

The Moves: Enhance Your Quads with These 6 Exercises

All of these exercises can be done from the comfort of your home. From resistance band quad exercises to dumbbell quad exercises, here are the moves we’re covering:
  1. Banded Squat Walk
  2. Banded Jump Squat
  3. Step-Ups with Dumbbell
  4. Bulgarian Split Squat
  5. Wall Sit
  6. Single-Leg Raise
Remember, it’s about quality and consistency over how many reps you can do and how fast you can do them. As Holloway Bridge emphasizes, “Prioritize technique, it's the key to not only getting it right but also laying the foundation for a stronger you.”

Banded Squat Walk

The Set Up:
  1. Grab your resistance band and place it above your knees.
  2. With your feet hip-width apart and your hands clasped together in front of your chest, lower into a squat.
  3. Begin taking small steps forward in the squat position while keeping tension on the band.
  4. Take 6-8 steps forward, then reverse the movement by taking small steps backward.
  5. Do two rounds of this.
Remember: To intensify the burn in your quads, maintain a squat position with your chest up, back straight, core engaged, and keep tension on the resistance band.

Banded Jump Squat

The Set Up:
  1. Grab your resistance band and place it just above your knees.
  2. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and lower into a squat.
  3. Bring your hands in front of your chest and clasp them together.
  4. Jump up and push your knees out against the resistance band to activate your quads, then land softly back in a squat.
  5. Do two sets of 12 reps.
The Modification: For a low-impact modification, you’ll do this move without jumping.
Remember: Focus on expanding through your band at the base of your squat to activate your quad and glute muscles.

Step-Ups with Dumbbell

The Set Up:
  1. Grab your dumbbells and stand in front of a box that’s at least 12” tall.
  2. With an engaged core, a straight back and a dumbbell in each hand, step your left foot up onto the box.
  3. Push through your left heel, lifting yourself up to stand on the box.
  4. Then step down with the same leg, slow and controlled.
  5. Do two sets of 12 reps on each leg.
Remember: As you lift yourself up, focus on your mind to muscle connection and imagine your quads doing all the work. This will intensify the burn in your quad muscles.  Keep in mind that the larger the box, the more challenging this move will be.

Bulgarian Split Squat

The Set Up:
  1. Stand about 2 feet in front of a box, chair, or bench with your back to it.
  2. Lift your right leg and place it behind you on the box.
  3. Bend your left knee to lower your thigh until it’s parallel to the floor.
  4. Push through your left foot to stand back up.
  5. Do two sets of 12 reps on each leg.
The Modification: Place your back foot on the ground and do a standing split squat. Feel free to hold on to a wall or chair for added support.
Remember: If you allow your knee to travel forward past your toes during the bulgarian split squat, you’ll get more quad activation.

Wall Sit

The Set Up:
  1. Find a sturdy wall and lean against it with your feet shoulder-width apart. If using a dumbbell, hold it at chest level.
  2. Begin to slide down the wall until your knees form a 90-degree angle.
  3. Engage your quads and hold the position for 30 seconds and then stand up.
  4. Do two sets of 30 second holds.
The Modification: For those looking for a modification or if you're new to this move, try the wall sit without the dumbbell. It’s the same setup just without the weight.
Remember: Wall sits are more about form and less about hold times. If 30 seconds is too long, aim for 15-20 seconds and work your way up.

Single-Leg Lift

The Set Up:
  1. Begin by lying down on your mat with your arms resting at your sides.
  2. Place one foot flat on the floor with your knee bent, while extending your other leg straight out.
  3. Engage your core muscles, and with control, raise your extended leg until it meets the top of your knee.
  4. Slowly lower it to the floor, paying attention to the intensity in your quad and hip flexor.
Remember: Focus on lifting your leg with control and keeping your toes up to enhance quad activation. As you lower your leg, imagine you’re moving through concrete to really feel the full effect in your quads.

Leg Day Love

No matter the activity, if you're using your legs, you're using your quads. Whether you’re performing quad exercises at home or in the gym, remember to stay focused, consistent and to take your time.

"It’s really important to build on small habits first instead of taking on the mountain,” said Holloway Bridge.

Don’t feel the need to add all of these moves into your leg day routine at once. Start by adding in one or two of these quad exercises and go from there. Leg day is about empowering, enhancing, and tuning in with your body so you can move and perform at your best.
adidas / January 2024
5 Minute Read