You’ve been doing a ton of squats and deadlifts, but the only leg muscles that seem to be growing are your glutes. That is nothing to be scoffed at, but you also want your quadriceps to pop. What approach do you take to get there and how do you do it?

Back squats
While you can’t isolate the quadriceps when doing squats, they are still an integral exercise to building bigger legs overall. You can, however, shift the focus to the quads by closing your stance by an inch on either side and pointing your feet straight ahead. You will have to decrease the weight that you usually put on the barbell for your back squat, but you will feel the difference when you come down in your squat. You’ll also notice that you won’t be able to squat as deeply, especially the first few times that you try this modification.

Front squats
This move can be tricky and requires some practice to get it right. You will position the barbell across the front of your shoulders and below your chin, but there are two ways to hold the barbell there. Choose whichever position is more comfortable and easier for you throughout the movement. The first method is to hold the barbell on your shoulders, elbows parallel to the floor with your wrists back and fingers holding the position of the barbell across your shoulders. For the other approach, hold the barbell there by crossing your forearms and gripping the bar, elbows raised and parallel to the floor to keep the barbell in place. For both methods, keep the bar across your shoulders as you descend, performing a squat. You’ll feel more quad activation throughout the movement.

Partial squats
It may seem odd when you first do them, but only descending a few inches into your back squat and then pressing up focuses more on your quadriceps because they are active over the top part of the normal back squat. While this exercise will not help build your glutes and hamstrings, you will definitely feel it in your quads.  

Drop-set finisher
Head to the leg extension machine and start with the weight that you would normally work up to. Go to failure, then drop ten pounds, stand up and walk around for ten seconds and then go to failure on the lighter weight. Keep dropping weight for 5-6 sets. Your quads should feel pretty pumped up at this point.

Include these moves in your weekly leg workout and you should see improved quad strength and definition.