Your quadriceps or legs rarely move in isolation, a more functional approach, is to pick exercises that work the quads in conjunction with the hips, hamstrings and glutes.
For example, perform three sets of the following exercise for leaner-looking legs.
BEGINNER: LUNGE WITH DUMBBELLS
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a 5-pound dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height or hanging by your sides, palms in. Lunge right foot forward and lower left knee close to floor until it makes a 90 degree angle. Hold for 2 counts; return to starting position. Do 10 reps and switch legs.
INTERMEDIATE: BODY BAR SQUAT
Start with feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forward. Hold a body bar or barbell behind you, resting
on shoulders, palms facing forward. Squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Press through heels as you stand up, being careful not to lock your knees. Do 10 to 12 reps.
ADVANCED: SINGLE-LEG BALL LUNGE
Position an exercise ball behind you, resting left foot on top. Holding a 5-pound dumbbell in each hand, arms hanging by your sides, lower into a lunge with your right leg. Make sure your knee does not go past your toes. Rise back up and repeat 8 to 10 times; switch legs.
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