3. Lean back toward your feet while keeping your trunk braced and in line.
4. Go back as far as you can.
5. Return to starting position. You will really feel the quads work here!
6. Go weightless at first, then add resistance by holding a weight plate to your chest
7. Repeat to failure. Not so easy, was it?
I know you are fed up with squats, but the last two are great examples of a squat variation and will renew your interest in the most quad-targeted exercises.
1. Stand 2 feet away from a wall.
2. Place your legs shoulder-width apart.
3. Lean your back against the wall and bend your knees to (position one) a partial-squat position and hold for 10 seconds.
4. Lower yourself on the wall 2 inches (position two) and hold for 10 seconds.
5. Move down another 2 inches down (position three -- quads will be parallel to floor) and hold for 10 seconds.
6. Go another 2 inches (position four) for 10 seconds.
7. Finally progress the final 2 inches (position five -- as far as your legs can bend).
8. Add challenge by adding weight (hold a plate), extending the holding seconds or work your way back up the five positions on the wall with 10-second intervals.
9. Failure on this may come sooner than later.
Don't give up yet. Here's one to isolate each quad.
1. Place your front leg forward.
2. Position the other leg back on a bench.
3. Read and follow carefully: Bend your knee until your upper leg is parallel to the floor and knee is in line with front foot. Don't allow your front knee to move in front of the toes on your front leg.
4. Keep upper body erect at all times, no forward flexion.
5. Hold this posture for a minute and repeat on with other leg forward.
6. Once you can successfully hold there for a minute you may start adding weight to increase resistance.
Cindy Boggs, fitness presenter, author and Activate America director, has been an ACE-certified instructor/trainer since 1989. Send your questions about fitness, training or health to her at YMCA of Kanawha Valley, 100 YMCA Drive, Charleston, WV 25311, or e-mail cindys...@aol.com. Look for Cindy's award-winning fitness advice book, CindySays ... "You Can Find Health in Your Hectic World," on her Web site, www.cindysays.com, or contact the YMCA at 304-340-3527.