Calorie and Energy Expenditure Information
What are the Quadriceps?
Often called "quads", the quadriceps is a large muscle group, stretching from hip to knee, which makes up the front of the thigh. As the name suggests, it comprises four muscles: rectus femoris (the big muscle that runs down the center of the thigh), vastus lateralis (a large muscle running down the outer thigh), vastus intermedius (inner thigh) and vastus medialis (a smaller muscle just above the knee). The quads are connected by a common tendon close to the knee.
What is the Function of the Quadriceps?
The main function of these muscles is to extend and straighten the leg, so the quadriceps are important for cycling, swimming, running, jumping, sprinting, throwing - in fact, virtually every athletic movement that involves the coordination of upper and lower body muscles.
Quadriceps Strengthening Exercise
Working the quadriceps muscles is an important feature of most strength training programs. Most exercise routines that involve extending or straightening the leg will work the quads - the three most common quadriceps exercises being the squat, the leg press and the knee extension. Most exercises that work the quads develop all four muscles equally. Cycling and jumping are also effective workouts for developing thigh-strength, including the quadriceps muscles.
How to Work the Quadriceps?
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