Exercises for Improvement of Quadricep Strength

*Rest as long as necessary between exercises and repetitions. Alternate strength workout with cardio workout for six days per week.

Seated Leg Lifts

Seated Leg Lifts

Seated on the edge of a straight back chair, place both feet flat on the floor. Unbend right knee and bring foot up with leg perpendicular to the floor. Hold this for 10 seconds, rest for 2 seconds, and repeat for as long as you are able increasing the number of reps as you are able to do so.
Two to five pound ankle weights can be used to add tension to the muscles.

Quad Sets

Quad sets

Sit on the floor with knees flexed. Contract the quads as tightly as you can, trying to straighten out the knee as much as possible. Hold this for 10 seconds, rest for 2 seconds, and repeat for as long as you are able increasing the number of reps as you are able to do so.

Straight Leg Raises

Straight leg raises

Start like you do for the quad sets, but in addition to straightening the leg, raise it off the ground about 2 to 3 inches. Hold for 6 seconds, rest for 2 seconds, and do 3 sets of as many reps as you are able to do.

Squats

Squats

This is the most important, and most difficult, of the exercises. If you do these properly, your quads will really begin to burn. {no pain – no gain :)}

Position 1:

Stand up with your feet placed slightly wider than your shoulders. Stick out your butt, and squat down until your knees are almost at a 90 degree angle. Keep your butt back and down. Put most of your weight on your heels. Hold that position for 30 seconds or as long as you are able. At the end of each hold, do 5-10 shallow knee bends flexing and extending your knee while keeping your butt back and your back straight. Repeat 3 times. *It is alright to hold on to something to balance yourself if needed, but do not engage your arms in the exercise.

Squat Position 2

Position 2:

Start like position 1, but bend forward with your arms extending out, flex at the hip so your chest is parallel to the floor, and keep your butt back and knees flexed about 90 degrees. Hold for 30 seconds or as long as you are able. At the end of each hold, do 5-10 repetitions of shallow knee bends.

Wall Holds

4.Wall holds

Stand up, put your back against a wall, and squat down until your knees are almost at 90 degrees. Hold for 5-10 seconds or as long as you are able with 3 sets of three reps.

Lunges

Lunges

Extend your left leg forward, and drop down so your right knee almost touches the ground. Then rise up and extend your right leg forward and drop your left knee. Do 5-10 lunges or as many as you are able in one direction, and turn around and do another 5-10 in the opposite direction. Repeat each set 3 times with a 1 minute or more if necessary rest between sets. You may add 5 to 10 pound hand weights after you develop enough strength.

Hamstring Bridges

Hamstring bridges

Lie on the floor with your knees slightly flexed and heels on the floor. Raise your pelvis off the floor by contracting your hamstrings, the muscles in the back of the thigh. Hold for 20 seconds or as long as you are able, and do 3 sets of 5-10 reps. When this becomes too easy, raise your pelvis with only 1 leg, keeping the other leg elevated off the floor.

All of these exercises can be done at home with no machines or other equipment. Most of them are isometric, which helps prevent wear and tear on the joint cartilage but allows you to build up strength in the muscles around the knee, particularly the quads.

*All reps and sets may be increased over time if they become too easy.


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