Have you ever heard of the "Quad Blaster"? No? Me either. This is why I love the internet so much. With so many websites, you just never know what you are going to find.
I just happened to be surfing around and came upon Carlos Dejesus website. He makes some of the finest WOODEN gym equipment I've ever seen!
One of his inventions is the homemade quad blaster. He actually invented this 1974. By 1979, he had the plans copyrighted, and then in 2000, he had the device patented. Here's a youtube video of the quad blaster:
The closest commercial exercise machine to the quad blaster is this sissy squat machine:
Whatever you want to call it, the quad blaster or sissy squat, this exercise hits the quads like no other!
Carlos is selling the plans to make the quad blaster on his website. I was just about to click the add to cart button when I realized I had already indirectly made my own quad blaster.
All I needed were the chains from my homemade dumbbell spotting system, the 3/4" x 36" pipe conduit from my homemade calf machine, and my Olympic bar and pad, all attached to the lat tower on my powertec rack:
The ends of the chain with the 3/8" spring link go over the piece of conduit; then the chain just goes behind the lat tower support and connects to the other chain with a 7/16" spring link. You then just place the conduit with the bar pad behind your knees and slip your feet under the Olympic bar and your ready for your first rep!
If you feel the need for more support on top of your feet, just place some 45lb plates on top of the olympic bar. I have not needed this so far.
The pad behind your knee is held in place by your bodyweight and moves with you in a perfect arc of your thigh movement.
You need a narrow stance, feet together. When your feet are together and you squat you are hitting the quads directly, unlike the wider stance of a barbell squat that decreases the isolation of the quads.
Correct form for this exercise is as follows: squat until your thighs are below parallel. When rising up keep your upper body slightly tilted backward. If you lean forward the stress will come off of the quads.
Rise up but do not go all of the way up! Only do 2/3's of a rep. By not locking out at the top of the rep, you keep tension on the quads. The best way to tell if you are doing the exercise right is whether you feel it. If your thighs don't ache even just a little bit after one set, you are doing the movement wrong.
Do you need added weight? Most of us will struggle with just bodyweight at first, IF YOUR FORM IS PERFECT. In testing out different configurations of my homemade quad blaster, I must have done 40-50 reps one night. I could hardly walk the following day.
When you get to the point of needing additional weight, you can hold a dumbbell on the front of your shoulder like a front squat; hold a barbell behind your legs like a hack squat; or wear a homemade weight vest. You don't need much weight because this exercise utilizes a leverage system that causes any weight you are using to be compounded. A light dumbbell will feel like 100 pounds!
When done correctly, this exercise works. Superset this with regular barbell squats and your hitting the quads, hamstrings and glutes equally. Try and walk the next day!
If you can't do regular barbell squats because of lower back problems, this exercise places zero strain on the lower back because there's no downward pressure from holding a heavy barbell.
This exercise is a keeper on leg day.
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