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The quadriceps, also known as the quadriceps femoris, is a four-headed muscle group. Those four heads, or parts, are the rectus femoris, vastus intermedius, vastus lateralis and vastus medialis. The latter muscle is the only of the four heads that is located in the inner-thigh region, hence the medialis annotation, which means close to the midline of the body. All four quadriceps heads function to extend the knee. Thus, anytime you perform a knee-extending exercise, you will be working the entire muscle group. However, you can emphasize the vastus lateralis and vastus medialis by using a close stance and a wide stance, respectively, while doing the knee-extending exercises. Two of the main exercises you can do to target the quadriceps are the barbell squat and the barbell deadlift. By doing these exercises with a wide stance, you will emphasize the vastus medialis of the inner quadriceps.
Barbell Wide-Stance Squat
Place the barbell on your upper back and hold it with both hands using an overhand grip.
Stand with your body upright and with your feet at a distance wider than shoulder-width apart.
Keep your back as straight as possible throughout the range of motion. Do not round your spine at any point during the motion.
Bend your knees and hips until your thighs are close to a parallel position to the floor.
Straighten your knees and hips to return up to the upright starting position.
Barbell Wide-Stance Deadlift
Place the barbell on the floor and grasp the barbell with each hand in an overhand grip.
Bend your hips and knees a bit.
Straighten your back and keep it in this position during the entire movement, making sure not to round your spine.
Lift the barbell off the floor by straightening your hips and knees until you are in the upright position.
Lower the barbell down to the initial point on the floor by bending your hips and knees.
- Perform three to five sets of eight to 12 repetitions for each of the two aforementioned exercises. The reps should be done to muscular failure, or close to it.