Thigh Exercises

Leg Muscle Groups

The thighs are also commonly known as the 'quads' or quadriceps. This name is derived from the four muscles of the quadriceps. These four muscles are the rectus femoris (top of thigh to knee), vastus intermedius (outer aspect, lower portion), vastus lateralis (outer aspect), and the vastus medialis (inner aspect).

You will often see those performing thigh exercises using heavy weight amounts. The reason for this is because of all the muscles in the human body, the thighs are the most powerful muscle group.

A list of thigh exercises:

Angled Leg Press (Machine) Image
Angle leg presses are a fantastic way to target the quadriceps and gluteals (primarily), as well as the hamstrings and even the inner thigh muscles. Those who cannot do squats (due to injury, discomfort, etc.) often find these to be a great alternative.
Deadlifts Barbell Image
Quite simply, deadlifts are the ultimate power exercise; they blast the majority of the body's muscles (especially the quads, glutes, lats, and traps).
Hack Squats (Machine) Image
A fantastic exercise for beginners looking to strengthen the quads and buttocks. This machine-based exercise, which particularly targets the lower quadriceps, offers additional safety precautions and guides one's movements by means of a sliding track.
Leg Extensions (Machine) Image
Leg extensions are the principal exercise for sole isolation of the quadriceps and performed on what is considered standard exercise equipment in most facilities.
Lunges (Barbell) Image
Using a barbell across the shoulders for additional weight, lunges (barbell) target the glutes and quadriceps immensely. Caution must be taken as the additional overhead weight requires more balance.
Lunges (Dumbbell) Image
Lunges are a supreme way to burn the gluteal muscles, as well as the quadriceps. Using dumbbells lessens the risk of injury compared to lunges with a barbell.
Squat Thrusts / Up-Downs Dumbbell Image
Squat thrusts / up-downs are a grueling, full-body exercise that work a large array of muscles from your chest to your calves.
Squats (Barbell) Image
Along with deadlifts, squats are the ultimate bodybuilding exercise. The single squatting motion recruits almost the entire muscular system including mainly the following muscles: the quadriceps, glutes, adductors, spinal erectors, abdominals, obliques, and hamstrings.
Squats (Dumbbell) Image
Dumbbell squats and barbell squats may target the quads and glutes but the secondary muscles involved differ greatly. The dumbbell variation has much less emphasis on the abdominals.
Standing Knee-Ups (Machine) Image
Fantastic at developing the upper thighs, standing knee-ups add resistance in a way that very few other exercises can offer; requiring the legs to lift up against the weight, as opposed to pulling or pushing against it.