March 14


The 12 Best Bodyweight Exercises Targeting Quads

Are you tired of using weights or not having access to a gym? Don’t worry as the good news is that there are a few Bodyweight exercises for quadriceps you can do anytime, anywhere.

The quadriceps muscles are crucial for daily activities like walking and running. Therefore, stick around as we will go through the best quad exercises that you can do without having any gym equipment.

Quadriceps Anatomy 

Located in the front of your thigh, the quadriceps consists of four muscles:

  • Rectus femoris
  • Vastus lateralis
  • Vastus medialis (which includes the Vastus Medialis oblique, or VMO)
  • Vastus Intermedius

Using these muscles, you can extend your knee and straighten your leg. It is essential to have these muscles to walk, run, and jump on a regular basis. 

Exercises such as squats and lunges improve balance, stability, and overall athletic performance by strengthening your quadriceps.

Benefits of Bodyweight Exercises for Quadriceps

There are several benefits to bodyweight exercises for quadriceps. In addition to improving your balance and stability, they can give you strong, toned quadriceps.

Additionally, bodyweight exercises require no equipment and can be done anywhere, making them a convenient and accessible option for those who may not have access to a gym or weights. 

Exercises that use your own body weight are great for strengthening your quadriceps without equipment.

Table: Bodyweight Quadriceps Exercises Tips 

Gradually increase the number of sets and reps as you gain strength and endurance.
To target different parts of your quadriceps, try jump squats, single-leg squats, and wall sits.
Be aware of how your body feels and take breaks when necessary. Injury and setbacks can result from overexertion.

The Best 12 Bodyweight Exercises For Building Quad Strength

1. Bodyweight Squat


Bodyweight squat is one of the most effective Quad-focused exercises.


  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing outward. It is possible to keep your arms at your sides, place your hands on your hips, or clasp your hands in front of you.
  • As you sit back in a chair, keep your core tight and chest up.
  • Pause for a moment when your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  • Return to your starting position by pushing through your heels.

Safety tips 

  • The lowest you can go without rounding your back is the best.
  • Keep your feet and knees in a straight line.
  • Don’t let your knees collapse inward.

2. Walking Lunge Bodyweight Exercises for Quadriceps

Walking Lunge


  • Place your feet shoulder-width apart and stand tall. As you breathe out, place your hands on your hips, at your chest, or – if you’re holding dumbbells – at your sides.
  • Sink down with one foot until your front knee is 90 degrees and your back shin is parallel to the ground.
  • Take a step forward with your opposite foot after pausing for a moment.
  • As you lunge forward, alternate sides. 

Safety tips 

  • Keep your back knee from touching the ground.
  • Make sure your knees don’t extend beyond your toes. Ensure that they are parallel.
  • Stop if you feel knee pain.

3. Step-up Bodyweight Exercises for Quadriceps

Step Up


  • You can use anything that is roughly knee-high to perform this task, such as a box, step, or any other solid surface.
  • Try to keep your knee in line with your ankle as you step up while placing one foot on the object.
  • As you step up, maintain a tall posture while lifting your opposing knee to hip level while pushing through your heel.
  • Taking the other foot up, retrace your steps. Alternate throughout your set.

Safety tips 

  • All of the items should be away from you.
  • The things you’re stepping on should not shift and be stable.
  • If you’re using a weight, leave at least one hand free.

4. Bulgarian Split Squat Bodyweight Exercises for Quadriceps

Bulgarian Split Squat


  • With your feet shoulder-width apart, stand about two steps away from a bench, box, or another knee-high surface.
  • Squat without crossing your toes by placing your front foot forward far enough. Grasp the object behind you with the top of one foot.
  • Lean forward slightly while lowering your front thigh to nearly parallel with the floor.
  • Count the reps on your chosen side.

Safety tips 

  • Don’t cross your toes with your knee.
  • Stop if you have knee pain.
  • Look for a sturdy and substantial object behind you.

5. Lateral Lunge Bodyweight Exercises for Quadriceps

Lateral Lunge


  • Stand shoulder-width apart with your arms out in front of you to maintain balance.
  • Take a big step to the right and start pushing your hips back as you kneel down by bending your right knee.
  • Squat until your thigh is parallel to the ground, or as far as is comfortable for you.
  • Repeat on the other side, then go back to your starting position.

Safety tips 

  • Steer clear of doing steps that make your groyne hurt
  • When squatting, keep your knee positioned over your second and third toes.
  • When going back to the beginning posture, try to avoid twisting.

6. Squat Jump Bodyweight Exercises for Quadriceps

Squat Jump Bodyweight exercises for quadriceps


  • Your hands should be in front of you as you squat down with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • When your thighs are nearly parallel to the floor, squat down until you are ready to jump up with force.
  • Before repeating, softly land with your knees slightly bent.

Safety tips 

  • By bending at the knees, try to make your landing as light as possible.
  • Don’t allow your knees to touch your toes when you land.
  • If you have knee problems, stay away from squat jumps.

7. Box Jump Bodyweight Exercises for Quadriceps

Box Jump Bodyweight exercises for quadriceps


  • With your feet shoulder-width apart, stand about a foot away from a sturdy box or another firm surface.
  • You should now be in a quarter squat after bending your knees and lowering your arms behind you.
  • Extend your hips, swing your arms forward with force, and jump up onto the box.
  • Knees should be slightly bent as you land. Lower yourself and repeat.

Safety tips 

  • If you’re a newbie, it’s preferable to pick a box that is too low than one that is too high.
  • If you have knee problems, stay away from box jumps.
  • Remember to bend your knees to cushion your jumps.

8. Reverse Lunge Bodyweight Exercises for Quadriceps

Reverse Lunge Bodyweight exercises for quadriceps


  • Holding dumbbells at your sides or placing your hands on your hips, stand tall.
  • On one foot, take a large stride backward. Your lead thigh should be parallel to the floor when you crouch down. Almost touch the ground with your rear knee.
  • As you take a step back to the starting position, push through your front heel.
  • Repeat while switching sides every time for the specified amount of reps.

Safety tips 

  • You should stop if you feel any discomfort in your knees.
  • Do not touch the floor with your back knee.

9. Single-leg raises Bodyweight Exercises for Quadriceps

Single Leg Raises Bodyweight exercises for quadriceps


  • Legs should be extended straight in front of you while you lay on your back. Your knee should be at a 90-degree angle when you place one foot flat on the ground.
  • Raising your straight leg till your thigh equals the angle of your opposing leg while maintaining a tight core and straight leg.
  • After completing your desired number of repetitions, switch legs and return to the starting position.

Safety tips 

  • Keep your abdominals tight.
  • Try not to lock your straight leg’s knee.

10. Single-leg Squat (pistol squat) Bodyweight Exercises for Quadriceps

Pistol Squat


  • Put your feet together, stand tall, and extend your arms in front of you.
  • A foot should be raised off the ground and kept in front of you with the leg straight.
  • As soon as your thigh is parallel to the floor, squat down on the other leg.
  • Repeat with the opposite leg, then get back to the beginning position.

Safety tips 

  • Just descend as far as you can without getting uncomfortable.
  • If your knee hurts, stop.
  • Only descend as far as you can while keeping control of your knee.

11. Single-leg Squat Bodyweight Exercises for Quadriceps

Single Leg Squat


  • Stand on one leg with your other leg lifted off the ground
  • Lower your body until your knee is bent to a 90-degree angle
  • Push through your heel to stand back up
  • Repeat for 10-12 reps on each leg

Safety tips 

  • Keep your knee in line with your toes to avoid injury
  • Use a chair or wall for support if needed

12. Levitation Squat Bodyweight Exercises for Quadriceps

Levitation Squat


  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and arms straight out in front of you
  • Lower your body into a squat position
  • Pause, then jump up explosively, reaching your arms overhead
  • Land softly and repeat for 10-12 reps

Safety tips 

  • Start with small jumps and gradually increase height to avoid injury
  • Avoid locking your knees when landing to prevent strain on your joints.


Is It Possible To Build Big Legs Using Bodyweight Only?

Yes, it’s possible to build big legs using bodyweight exercises, but it may take longer than using weighted exercises.

    Get the latest exercise types, equipment reviews, fitness tips and exclusive offers to help you on your fitness journey.

    What Are The Most Effective Bodyweight Quad Exercises? 

    Some of the most effective bodyweight Quad exercises include squats, lunges, and jump squats.


    There you go, the best bodyweight quad exercises that you can do. Also, you know how to perform these exercises safely. That’s it. I hope this article is helpful to you.