Monday, November 22, 2010

Barbell Squats still the best quad exercise

The debate continues on which exercise is best for quadriceps. Most people in the gym prefer to do lunges or utilize the leg extension machine. But a recent study has proven once again that the Barbell Squat is still the king when it comes to quadriceps development.

A study done by Signorile et al (1994) compared the EMG activity of the quadriceps muscles while the subjects performed barbell squats and knee extensions. The data showed that there was more electrical activity during the barbell squat exercise. In fact, the author's questioned the value of the knee extension exercise as a supplemental exercise for quad activity.

In conclusion, the barbell squat should be included at least once a week if you or your client are trying to increase leg strength. Furthermore, if you or your client choose to use the leg extension machine, make sure you are using proper technique to minimize stress on the knee ligaments. Do NOT lock out the knees and do NOT go beyond 90 degrees for optimum safety.

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