The greatest thing to have is a solid arsenal of workouts that help us work certain functions, sections, or aspects of a muscle, but if we have to choose one, there is always an all-terrain choice.
The quadriceps are our knee extensors and the driving force behind activities like the squat and its variations.
However, the difficulty with using squats as a quadriceps exercise is that multiple things occur, most notably two:
The quadriceps are one of the muscles participating in a squat, but it is not the only muscle group that participates; therefore, the stimulus is diluted.
The strength-resistance profile of a squat is not tailored to provide the quadriceps with the tension it requires in each phase of the movement; it is tough to get out of the lowest section of the movement, but once there, the quadriceps barely have to strive.
In this way, better exercises can solve these two things, and one of those exercises, perhaps the best, is the hack squat on a machine with a pendulum design.
Exercises for quadriceps with greater activation
To select the exercises for our routine, it is necessary to assess some subjective points (personal tastes and sensations, individualized biomechanical analysis, etc.), but also some more objective ones, such as muscle location and electromyographic activity (how much is a muscle-activated with an exercise?). Therefore, considering the data in the literature regarding electromyographic (EMG) activity, the exercises that stimulate the quadriceps most completely are the different squat variants, including unilateral ones, such as the high bar Bulgarian squat.
If we talk about the stimulus-fatigue ratio, the jackhammer squat, the pendulum machine squat, and the Belt Squat are the most exciting variants. The arrangement of the load and the position we adopt on the machine allow the mechanical work on the quadriceps to be very high. At the same time, we can apply an extraordinary effort with less fatigue and risk of injury. If our goal is to achieve the maximum possible muscle development and we have access to these variations, performing them often will give us notable results.
Considering the stimulus-fatigue ratio of the exercises, the jackhammer squat, pendulum machine squat, and Belt Squat are the most exciting variants for quadriceps training. In general, all squat variants, including unilateral, will be beneficial. So, let’s talk about the most hyped one, “pendulum machine squat” and Pendulum Squat Quadriceps Activation.
What exactly is a Pendulum Squat?
What is a pendulum squat, exactly? The pendulum-style squat is a one-of-a-kind variation of the conventional squat exercise performed on a specific machine with a counterweight mechanism. Squats are performed in a smooth, arc-like manner in this unique approach. Pendulum squats provide an unrivaled exercise experience for improving leg growth by activating your quadriceps muscles, glutes, adductors, and calves. They are simple to learn, focus on spinal health, and produce excellent results in sculpting robust, well-defined quadriceps. Feel what’s different with pendulum squats and train your leg to new heights.
How do you perform the squat on a pendulum machine?
- Adjust the machine to your height and sit on the seat with your feet shoulder-width apart on the platform.
- Rest your back against the cushion while holding the handles on each side of the seat.
- Lower the weight by pushing your feet down and bending your knees while keeping your back straight and your head up.
- Lift the weight with your legs until straight but not locked, and repeat the movement for three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.
Suggestions for performing the squat on a pendulum machine:
- Before beginning the exercise, adjust the machine to your height and position.
- When fully extending your legs, do not lock your knees.
- Throughout the workout, keep your back straight and your head up.
- Control your emotions at all times, and avoid unexpected movements.
- If you are a beginner, start with a small weight and gradually raise it as your strength and confidence grow.
Pendulum Squat: Focus on the quadriceps rather than the glutes.
The Pendulum Squat Machine has a significantly longer moment arm towards the knee than the hip, and its force application is more perpendicular to the tibia, allowing for more emphasis on the quadriceps and less involvement of the glutes in workout. This makes it an excellent machine for advanced users or bodybuilders.
The Pendulum Squat Machine, may be better ideal for you if you are seeking for a machine that is more focused on exercising the quadriceps and less on the glutes.
In any case, it is critical to select a high-quality machine that provides the safety and stability required to do the exercise correctly.