I've recently become acquainted with my new favourite quad exercise. It's called deadman quad raises.
Lately, I've been very unsatisfied with my own quad development. Of course I've been working on the standard leg exercises for years -- squats, lunges, leg press, isometric holds, you name it. I'm still making progress but I rarely get that can't-get-on-and-off-the-toilet sensation I long for after leg day. The DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is not an indication of progress, muscle growth or having worked hard enough -- but I still like it because I'm sick like that.
To perform the deadman quad raise, kneel down forming a straight plank from your knees to your shoulders. Be sure the knees are stacked under the hips and the shins laying parallel on the floor. Chose a surface that isn't to hard nor cushy. Lean backwards as far as you can. Once you reach this point pull back to upright with your quads -- you won't have to think about this too much, the quads are the only muscle in position to do this and they should fire on command. Be sure to maintain a straight body without any bend at the hips. Feel that? That's your quads ripping. But that's a good thing.
For starters, perform this exercise with bodyweight only. It should be enough. It was for me. The first time I did it I did 3 sets of 10 reps and let me tell you, I felt the muscle tearing right away. It was worse the next day and I finally got that fear of sitting down I longed for so much. I'll be incorporating these into my usual leg day routine right at the end as a kind of finisher.
As the exercise gets a bit easier, add a small weight and hold it against your chest.
I love this exercise for its sheer simplicity but brutal effectiveness.
Try it out and let me know what you think!