T Nation

Thicker Lower Quads

Simple Question that I would think have a simple answer.

How can I get more Quadricep thickness on my lower Quad right above my knee?

Don’t tell me “Squats.” I’m Squatting. Don’t worry.

Is it toes in extensions? Close Stance Squats? Front Squats? Lunges?
Step-ups? Or do I just need to get bigger and it’ll come? I feel like almost all the size gains I see in my legs are happening up top. Maybe that’s from box squatting.

Hammer strength leg press (ballistic) and overloading top portion of squat movement (heavy partials or high box squat) or band work and weighted sissy squats on the hack machine = GOLD.

Squats and leg presses with feet together and parallel to each other, heavy leg extensions with feet outward can also help.

That said, quad sweep is mostly genetic. Good luck.

How deep do you squat ?

Back squats are great don’t get me wrong, but for quad size they don’t seem to work that well for me. Front squats have worked very well for quad size, once I got the hang of it and it was not awkward. Leg press probably work well also, but I stopped using that since its usually crowded and takes too long for me to set up.

I feel the same OP. I squat to rock-fucking-bottom and I have definitely seen more development higher up the leg. However, my legs are still pretty scrawny so once I’m in the 30’s and I still have this problem, then I’ll worry.

If you go into the archives, find Ian Kings “Limping into ______” program. The first month focuses right on the VMO in the quad training.
So maybe you can steal some of the exercises from that! I’ve found that your VMO gets hit hardest:

  1. During the acceleration portion of a top speed sprint.
  2. During the top part/partial of a leg press or squat.

[quote]PHGN wrote:
How deep do you squat ?[/quote]

To a 16’ Box. That’s Parallel for me.

[quote]tribunaldude wrote:
Hammer strength leg press (ballistic) and overloading top portion of squat movement (heavy partials or high box squat) or band work and weighted sissy squats on the hack machine = GOLD.

Squats and leg presses with feet together and parallel to each other, heavy leg extensions with feet outward can also help.

That said, quad sweep is mostly genetic. Good luck.[/quote]

I’m talking more about tear drop than outer sweep.

Deep front squats, and leg presses.

narrow foot stance leg presses. nothing complicated or fancy.

I believe the ‘Teardrop’ is best developed on the leg press. Feet should be placed low(balls of the feet in contact only) & almost together. Light enough to work the full ROM @ 12reps minimum. These should be ‘pumping’ reps without pausing or lock-out. This should follow your heavy squat work or be the last station on your leg day.

Full knee extension at the top of the squat, lunge, and even deadlift.

I agree with the calf raise position on the leg press (with full ROM for quads). Frank Zane advocates these, but I think this shd be trained like any other squatting movement.

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:
I believe the ‘Teardrop’ is best developed on the leg press. Feet should be placed low(balls of the feet in contact only) & almost together. Light enough to work the full ROM @ 12reps minimum. These should be ‘pumping’ reps without pausing or lock-out. This should follow your heavy squat work or be the last station on your leg day. [/quote]

So what’s the verdict?

Does a thick measurement above the knee come from Leg Presses, Strong Band Squats, and other heavy movements?

Or Does it come from Deep Front Squats, Leg Extensions, and other moves where the Quads are stretched almost to their fullest?

Single leg work and deep squatting for the VMO.

When I used to care about bodybuilding stuff I always used sissy squats leaning way back and throw the knees way forward to fry the lower quads

[quote]FightingScott wrote:
So what’s the verdict?

Does a thick measurement above the knee come from Leg Presses, Strong Band Squats, and other heavy movements?

Or Does it come from Deep Front Squats, Leg Extensions, and other moves where the Quads are stretched almost to their fullest?[/quote]

Yes.

I’ve always heard that 1-1/4 front squats are good for the VMO. Like others have mentioned I think the trick is just going really deep (ie: much deeper than parallel).

The downside is that many people lack the flexibility to get in such a position without having their tail tuck in. If you have a history of lower back problems and notice your tail tucks in I’d avoid going so deep (maybe opt for Bulgarian split squats with the rear foot elevated high enough to give you the depth you need), but if not than you can give it a try.

[quote]Doug Adams wrote:
FightingScott wrote:
So what’s the verdict?

Does a thick measurement above the knee come from Leg Presses, Strong Band Squats, and other heavy movements?

Or Does it come from Deep Front Squats, Leg Extensions, and other moves where the Quads are stretched almost to their fullest?

Yes.[/quote]

Good Answer. I’ll just cover all the bases and see what happens.

VMO activates most at full extension and full flexion, for myself, deep narrow squats, front squats and narrow legpresses…basically are all doing the same thing…focussing more on knee flexion (particularily in a very great range of motion) rather than hip extension (like parrallel box squats for a good example)