Quad squats, commonly called cyclist squats or cycle squats, are a great squat variation to add to your "toolbox" especially if you've never tried them. The quad squat traditionally uses a very narrow stance with your heels elevated.
I use it for a variety of applications:
1. To grow the size of the quads. It is a great way to get hypertrophy in those quads of yours due to the greater recruitment on the quads becasue elevating the heels limits the posterior chain (your backside).
2. To help someone who lacks the mobility to perform a squat. I didn't say "full squat" - because I think that's redundant - a squat is SUPPOSED to be performed through a full range of motion. Or, as they say nowadays ATG. Some folks lack the ability to properly flex their ankle through the range of motion of a squat - called dorsiflexion - so elevating the heels works around this problem.
3. To improve VMO recruitment. Any time you get your knees out past your toes - and, yes, they can, and should, be worked out past your toes - it increases the recruitment of the VMO muscle - vastus lateralis obliques. This is an important muscle for joint integrity of the knee. It's the tear-drop-shaped muscle you see hanging just above your kneecap - if you can see yours, that is. DOH!
Here's an example of a quad squat along with some tips in execution:
Many times we get caught up in the same old routine or same old movement patterns. While this does build proficiency, to maximize strength and competency make sure to work through different angles, stances and movement patterns. This can only increase your body's functional ability to move and improve performance!
That's all for now. Until next time,
Be healthy. Be mindful. Be strong.