6 Best Isometric Quadriceps Exercises w/PDF

Isometric Quadriceps Exercises

Anyone looking for an easy and effective way to improve quad strength and flexibility can try isometric exercises.

Isometrics is a low-intensity exercise training that is used for strength and rehabilitation purposes.

You can do various isometric quadriceps exercises to rebuild strength and increase muscle endurance.

Doing isometric exercises for quads also bolsters strength, reduces pain, and improves mobility in the knees.

Quads and knees are involved in various activities, from walking, jumping, and running to sprinting, deadlifting, and squatting. So, strengthening them is crucial for overall performance.

Benefits of Isometric Quad Exercises

Here are some benefits you can expect from isometric exercise training:

Strengthen Muscles

The isometric exercises keep the muscles under constant tension and help increase strength and muscle endurance.

A study has shown performing isometric quadriceps exercises at low velocity improves dynamic strength, relieves pain, and helps improve muscle functionality.1 Lindh M. Increase of muscle strength from isometric quadriceps exercises at different knee angles. Scand J Rehabil Med. 1979;11(1):33-36, 2 Anwer S, Alghadir A. Effect of isometric quadriceps exercise on muscle strength, pain, and function in patients with knee osteoarthritis: a randomized controlled study. J Phys Ther Sci. 2014;26(5):745-748. doi:10.1589/jpts.26.745

Reduce Knee Pain

Research has demonstrated that quadriceps isometric exercises ease knee pain and joint stiffness and increase physical function in patients with knees.3 Sengul, Alaattin et al. “Isometric Quadriceps Exercises for Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Knee Joint Position Flexion versus Extension.” Rehabilitation research and practice vol. 2022 2690871. 23 Aug. 2022, doi:10.1155/2022/2690871, 4 Kondo Y, Yoshida Y, Iioka T, et al. Short-Term Effects of Isometric Quadriceps Muscle Exercise with Auditory and Visual Feedback on Pain, Physical Function, and Performance after Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Knee Surg. 2022;35(8):922-931. doi:10.1055/s-0040-1721035, 5 Huang L, Guo B, Xu F, Zhao J. Effects of quadriceps functional exercise with isometric contraction in the treatment of knee osteoarthritisInt J Rheum Dis. 2018;21(5):952-959. doi:10.1111/1756-185X.13082

So, you can also perform static exercises to improve knee joint function, reduce knee pain, and improve physical performance where the lower body is primarily involved.

Isometric Quadriceps Exercises to Regain Strength

  1. Lying Prone isometric Quad Contraction
  2. Half Seated Isometric Quad Contraction
  3. Short Arc Quad
  4. Bodyweight Leg Extension
  5. Wall Sit
  6. Standing Wall Supported Quad Contraction

Note: If you’ve knee/quad injuries, consult your doctor before performing any exercise mentioned in this article.

1. Seated Isometric Quad Contraction

Static quad contraction is a low-pact exercise that can help you rebuild the strength of your quadriceps.

You can also perform this exercise to stretch your quad before resistance exercises.

Steps to do it:

  • Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you.
  • You can roll a towel and put it under your lower leg (injured one), between the calf and ankle.
  • Slightly lean back and place your hands on the floor with your arms straight and fingers pointing back. That’s the starting position.
  • Flex your right knee slightly and then extend it until you feel the contraction in your quad.
  • Pause for five seconds, then repeat. Do it ten times.

You can also perform this exercise by sitting on the floor and resting your back on the wall for support.

2. Lying Prone Isometric Quad Contraction

The lying quad set is another way to activate quadriceps muscles. It isolates the quad from a different angle and helps recover your strength.

Steps to do it:

  • Lie prone on the floor with your face down and legs straight. You can place a folded towel below your shin. That’s the start.
  • Contracting your quad, extend your feet until you feel the stretch in your front thigh.
  • Pause for five seconds, then repeat. Do it as many times as you like. You can train each side or only the injured one.

3. Short Arc Quad

The short arc quad helps stretch the quadriceps and treat minor pain. You can also use it to rebuild your quad strength.

Steps to do it:

  • Sit on the floor with your legs straight and your back resting on the wall.
  • Roll a towel or bedsheet and place it below your knee (the one you want to strengthen). That’s the starting position.
  • Flex your knee, then extend it fully to get the full contraction in your quad.
  • Pause for five to ten seconds, then repeat. Do it ten times.

4. Bodyweight Leg Extension

Doing leg extensions without weight also helps in recovering from quads injury. It is also known as a long arc quad. You can pair it with other static quad exercises to improve your thigh health.

Steps to do it:

  • Sit on the bench with your feet flat on the ground.
  • Keep your torso upright and grip the sides of the bench for support.
  • Extend your leg until your quad is activated.
  • Pause for three to five seconds, then bring your leg to the start.
  • Do it as many times as needed.

5. Standing Wall Supported Quad Contraction

How to do it:

  1. Stand in the hip-width stance with your back resting on the wall.
  2. Keep your feet flat on the ground, a few inches away from the wall.
  3. Place your hands on your hips and lift your toes off the floor until your quad muscles are fully engaged.
  4. Pause for three to five seconds, then lower your toes on the ground and repeat for the desired times.

6. Wall Sit

Wall sit is one of the excellent isometric quad strengthening exercises that keep your muscles under constant tension and help increase strength and muscle endurance.

Depending on your quadricep’s condition, you can integrate wall sit exercise into your rehabilitation program.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Stand against the wall with your back resting on it.
  • Lower into a squat until your knees and hips are in a straight line.
  • Keep your chest up and arms bent across in front of your chest.
  • Stay in the squat position for five seconds, then return to the start.
  • Repeat as many times as you like.

How Often Can You Do Isometric Exercises?

Isometric is a low-intensity exercise training you can do every alternate day. However, be careful with how much you do. If you feel sore, decrease the frequency or discontinue.

Isometric Quad Exercises PDF

Related Exercises:

References

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Murshid Akram

I’m a personal trainer, fitness blogger, and founder of thefitnessphantom.com. I help people achieve their best shape through my science-based and practical workout programs.
Picture of Murshid Akram

Murshid Akram

I’m a personal trainer, fitness blogger, and founder of thefitnessphantom.com. I help people achieve their best shape through my science-based and practical workout programs.

About Me

I’m Murshid Akram, a personal trainer, fitness blogger, and founder of thefitnessphantom.com. I primarily design workout plans and share science-based and practical information that can help you become stronger, functional, and healthier.

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