With all of the exercise equipment being marketed and gym promotions available, you may tend to forget that you can strengthen your muscles without special weights in the comfort of your home. No more technically complicated machines or a gym audience, just you and your own body weight are sufficient to get solid quads.
Master the body-weight squat. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes slightly turned outward. Tighten your abdominals to keep your spine straight. Your arms can go wherever is most comfortable since you do not use your arms during the body-weight squat. Start bending your knees and lowering your hips as if trying to sit in an invisible chair. Your knees should not bend past your toes. Lower yourself until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor. Exhale and press your feet into the floor as you raise to the starting position. Perform three sets of eight.
Perform frog jumps. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lower your buttocks toward the ground while bending your knees outward. Keep your back straight and tighten your abdominal muscles as you extend your arms and touch the floor between your legs. Exhale as you forcefully push off the floor with your feet and extend your body as you jump up and forward. Land with both feet on the ground and resume the starting position. Perform three sets of eight jumps.
Do forward lunges. Stand with your feet facing forward, your back straight and your arms hanging to your sides. Tighten your abdominals and step 2 feet forward with your right foot. Simultaneously bend both knees so your left knee is about 2 inches from the floor and your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Your left heel will come off the floor. Maintain a straight spine and use slow and controlled movements. Push off the ground with your right foot to return to the standing position. Perform three sets of eight on both sides.
- You might also try skipping. While keeping close contact with the ground and moving quickly, use a step-hop pattern of right-right-step to left-left-step, according to BodyBuilding.com.
- These workouts can be done without equipment, but you can add free weights if you desire. Choose a weight heavy enough that the 12 repetitions are difficult to complete. One set is sufficient if weights are used.
- Consult with a doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have underlying health conditions.
- Using improper exercise techniques increases your risk for injury. Consult with a licensed personal train to ensure the exercises are done correctly.
Melissa McNamara is a certified personal trainer who holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and communication studies from the University of Iowa. She writes for various health and fitness publications while working toward a Bachelor of Science in nursing.