Generally known only as the quadriceps, the quadriceps femoris is the largest muscle in the human body. It is located on the front of the thigh and is made up of four muscle bellies, hence its name, as is the case with the triceps or the biceps (with three and two muscle bellies respectively). Each of them originates at a different point in the anatomy and all end up inserting into the tibia through the patella where the quadriceps tendon becomes the well-known patellar ligament.
The four muscles that make up this set They are the vastus lateralis, located on the outer side of the thigh, the vastus medial, on the inner thigh, the vastus intermedia, between the two anterior ones, on the front of the femur and, covering these three, the rectus femoris, it is named for its straight line path.
The main and best known function of the quadriceps is the knee extension. Gym regulars easily recognize the machine with which this is worked muscles specifically consisting of a chair that has a roller that is placed on the ankles and that must be lifted together with a chosen weight plates joined by a system of pulleys.
However, this is not its only task as it is also involved in flexing the hip, maintaining posture or maintaining patellar stability. In addition, he continuously participates in the cycle of steps.
In addition, since it ends up inserting through the patella, it is very important to stabilize it and, therefore, the entire knee joint. Thus, the balance of the quadriceps is essential for the correct movement of the patella.
Squats: with or without weight, frontal, Bulgarian or Russian. Whatever the variable, the squat is always a work that activates the quadriceps, although depending on the type they can favor other muscles that increase or reduce their role. However, as it is a knee flexion and extension, in any case, the quadriceps will be working.
Strides: in the same way as the squat, whatever its modality, whether the tension is increased with weight or not, the quadriceps have a great role in the strides. The lateral strides favor the work of the abductors but they do not ignore the activation of quadriceps.
Upload to the drawer: This is a well-known exercise that, however, must be done with careful attention so that it becomes controlled to do true quadriceps work. It can be done free or with weight. You can also perform the normal climb or perform jumps at different heights.
By dominance of the quadriceps:
It occurs when the quadriceps and hip flexors dominate the posterior muscles, that is, the glutes and hamstrings, doing part of their work which decompensates the mechanics of the body and favors the risk of injury.
It is common among runners, especially long-distance runners, so to avoid it you have to perform specific strength work to strengthen hamstrings and glutes.
Due to quadriceps weakness:
It increases the risk of falls in the elderly, favors the onset of knee osteoarthritis and is associated with recurrent knee pain and its worsening over time.
The main risks of the weakness of the quadriceps they have to do, especially, with knee injuries and with the loss of stability in posture and, therefore, in activities as everyday as walking.