6 Best Leg Exercises for Tree Trunk Size Leg Development


Your Quadriceps are the largest muscle group in your legs, and many exercises develop these muscles. Here is a list of must-do lifts to build massive quads and all around defined legs.

Performing quadriceps exercises often is essential in building and maintaining your legs strong. These exercises will allow you to maintain the highest level of flexibility and if done correctly prevent injury. Consequently, developing your quadriceps not only helps to guard against muscle injuries but will also support your knee joint additionally protecting you from injuries.

The following exercises are the top and most effective le exercises for developing strong and powerful quads:

Top Most Effective Quadriceps Exercises


Squats are undeniably the ruler of all quadriceps exercises and top the list as the Most Effective Quadriceps Exercise. The Squat involves more than 256 of your muscles in one movement!

Squats will not only build your quadriceps, but Squats will also help develop your lower back and hamstrings as they are two of the critical secondary muscles groups utilized. Besides strengthening your quadriceps, you will get a massive testosterone boost after an intense set of squats. Accordingly, this increase and release of testosterone will give promote muscle growth in other parts of your body as well, including your upper body.

The target muscle while performing Squats are your Quadriceps. The secondary muscles (Synergists/Stabilizers) are your Hamstrings, Gluteus Maximus, Adductor Magnus, Rectus Abdominis, Soleus, Gastrocnemius, Erector Spinae, and Obliques.

Hack Squat

When doing a hack squat with free weights, the placement of the barbell makes balance and form essential on every repetition. Although, the bar placement takes the pressure off the lower back and putting all the focus on your quadriceps. If it weren’t for Squats being best overall weight training lift, the Hack Squat would slide into the number one exercise for developing your quadriceps. Tip, unless you are flat-footed, consider putting two 5, or 10-pound plates under your heals to help you maintain balance.

Primary muscles targeted when performing Hack Squats are your Quadriceps. Secondary muscles (Synergists/Stabilizers) targeted are Gluteus Maximus, Adductor Magnus, Hamstrings, Soleus, Gastrocnemius, Erector Spinae, Levator Scapulae, Rectus Abdominis, Trapezius Middle, Trapezius Upper, and Obliques.

Leg Press

Although the amount of weight that you can lift for a Leg Press may seem to be artificially high, the Leg Press stands alone as the quadriceps exercise that allows lifting of thousands of pounds without excessive strain on the back, neck or shoulders. Many individuals can leg press 1,000 pounds or more through the full range of motion. Accordingly, the Leg Press becomes one of the best quadriceps exercises because of intensity triggering of absolute maximum muscle growth. Performing an intense leg press routine can help stimulate muscle growth throughout your entire body along with developing well-defined quadriceps. 

Obviously, the Primary Muscles targeted while performing Leg Press are the Quadriceps. Additionally, the secondary muscles (Synergists/Stabilizers) used are your Gluteus Maximus, Adductor Magnus, Soleus, Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius.

Front Squat

The Front Squat is another great alternative or compliment quadriceps exercise to squatting. The Front Squat is a useful exercise in strength training to fatigue your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, lower back, and gluteus maximus muscles. Specifically, the Front Squats is a single exercise that hits all of those areas in one movement. Because the placement of the barbell adds more emphasis on your quadriceps muscle, Front Squats are one of the Most Effective Quadriceps Exercises. 

Muscles targeted while performing Front Squats are the Quadriceps. Secondary muscles (Synergists/Stabilizers) used while performing Front Squats are Gluteus Maximus, Adductor Magnus, Soleus, Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius, Erector Spinae, Trapezius Middle, Trapezius Upper, Trapezius Lower, Levator Scapulae, Serratus Anterior, Deltoid Lateral, Deltoid Anterior, Supraspinatus, Pectoralis Major Clavicular, Rectus Abdominis, and Obliques.

Barbell Lunge

Barbell Lunges are an intense quadriceps exercise that you can use to tone and shape your legs. Barbell Lunges focuses on the quadriceps muscles and also works the hamstrings and gluteus maximus muscles in the process.

While we all strive to develop our quadriceps, some are known to overlook the less obvious muscle groups. The hip adductors and abductors are prime examples of overlooked muscle groups. Although they are relatively small and barely visible, when compared to the overall quadriceps, they add to the hip stability and total thigh mass and are critical to athletic performance.

Barbell Lunges are known as an excellent quadriceps exercise. Additionally, lunges contribute significantly to the development of your hips adductors and abductors. For those reasons, the Barbell Lunges are considered one of the Most Effective Legs Exercises. 

Muscles targeted while performing Barbell Lunges are your Quadriceps. Secondary muscles (Synergists/Stabilizers) used while performing Barbell Lunges are Gluteus Maximus, Adductor Magnus, Soleus, Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius, Erector Spinae, Tibialis Anterior, Gluteus Medius, and Gluteus Minimus.

Leg Extensions

Leg Extensions are also an excellent quadriceps exercise to perform drop sets. Even though Leg Extensions are not a prominent mass builder, they are an isolation exercise and should be included in your quadriceps workout to develop your quads fully. Because the Leg Extensions is a great finisher and isolation exercise for your quadriceps workout, we included it as one of the must-do quadriceps exercises. 

Muscles targeted while performing Leg Extensions are the Quadriceps. Secondary muscles (Stabilizers) used while performing Leg Extensions are Trapezius Middle, Trapezius Upper, Levator Scapulae, Brachioradialis, Brachialis and Biceps Brachii.

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