How to Get Teardrop Quads? (Ideal Workouts for Leg Muscles)

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers | Senior Coach
Last updated: March 20, 2024
FACT CHECKED by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
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As a fitness coach with profound knowledge of physical fitness and personal training, I've seen firsthand how challenging it can be for both amateur and professional bodybuilders to sculpt those teardrop muscles, emphasizing the mental and physical dedication required.

However, getting those perfectly shaped quad muscles all comes down to putting more emphasis on certain exercises.

So, our team decided to pull in a few colleagues from the fitness industry to come up with and test out the ideal routine to make those teardrops pop.

Here’s what’s involved.

Quick Summary

  • To develop teardrop quads or vastus medialis muscles (VMO), focus on exercises like leg extensions and leg presses with low reps, heavy weights, and slow movements.
  • Key exercises for shaping teardrop quads include squats, wall sits, leg extensions, and leg presses, each targeting the VMO with specific techniques.
  • A 2019 study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health highlights the effectiveness of wall sits for achieving maximum tension and hypertrophy in leg muscles.
  • In my professional experience, balanced training across all quadriceps muscles is crucial to prevent imbalances and ensure both aesthetic and functional strength in leg development.

How Do You Get Teardrop Quads?

A person flexing his teardrop quads

The best way to get teardrop quads or vastus medialis muscle (VMO) is to focus on a great exercise routine that includes leg extensions and leg presses. As stated in the study published in The Journal of Physiology, it all comes down to low reps, heavy weights, and a slow movement to improve time under tension [1].

You activate the teardrop muscle by doing exercises that involve stretching the knee joint as if you're going to kick a ball.

There are several ways to do this, including using a quality Smith machine or other dedicated leg machines for overall quad development. Let’s dive into those exercises.

Exercises For Teardrop Quads

A person doing squats for teardrop quads

Here are four ways to exercise those quads and achieve great muscle shape:

1. Squat Exercise

Head to the squat rack and load up the bar with weights that will allow you to do a maximum of eight reps.

In my coaching sessions, I recommend clients choose between back or front squats based on their comfort and body mechanics, a strategy that has proven effective in my practice. It’s also important to make sure that you do the reps with a full range of motion.

Lastly, consider the position of your feet—either a neutral or externally rotated foot position can significantly enhance the activation of the VMO.

If you’re doing this at home without equipment, then modify it to single-leg movements by doing one-leg squats.

Read More: Various Squats

2. Wall Sit

A woman doing wall sit squats

This is one of the easiest bodyweight exercises you can do, but it’s great for achieving maximum tension and hypertrophy, per a 2019 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health [2].

Imagine sitting down on a chair by squatting down and pushing your buttocks against the wall.

Make sure you don’t end up with your feet pointing outward and maintain a right angle in your knees and hip joints.

3. Leg Extension

Head over to the recommended leg extension machine and set it up with a significant weight load.

With a greater load, you’ll find that your quads start to burn after just four or five reps, and that will mean you struggle with the eighth rep.

It's important to avoid applying excessive pressure to the knees and prevent knee hyperextension, where the knee bends backward, to reduce the risk of joint stress and injury.

4. Leg Press

A buff male doing leg presses

The leg press is a good alternative to squats for those who struggle with the confidence to maintain a good balance with heavy loads.

Based on my coaching experience, I've observed that most individuals greatly benefit from the leg press machine, significantly impacting the development of a well-shaped teardrop quad.

Try setting up with a wide stance to get a deeper range of motion from this exercise.

Benefits Of Strengthening The Vastus Medialis Muscle 

A person doing leg presses on a machine

The main benefit of strengthening the vastus medialis is the visual impact that it will provide. You don’t want to end up with a big outer quad move from a lighter weight to a more impressive load in a squat exercise.

Drawing from a study in the Clinical Biomechanics journal and my coaching experiences, I've found that increased vastus medialis strength not only enhances aesthetics but also crucially improves knee stability, aiding in injury prevention and harder training [3].

“Knee strengthening exercises do not affect the knee joint directly, but they strengthen the muscles surrounding it. Strong muscles in the legs can help provide support for the knees.“

- Gregory Minnis, DPT

Focus on balancing your quad training. Overworking the VMO can cause muscle imbalances. Include exercises that strengthen all parts of the quadriceps for both looks and functionality.

Get More Out Of Your Leg Workout

If you start adding the above exercises to your leg workout days, you’ll find significant improvements in the growth of muscle fibers.

It's all about enhancing the inner quadriceps and defining those less prominent teardrop muscles.

You’ll also find that as your overall muscle size increases in your upper thighs, it will allow you to burn your thighs by the end of your training session.

And to get a lot more out of your training, I suggest adding a high-quality pre-workout supplement.

These won’t give you superpowers overnight, but they can improve your strength and stamina enough to make a difference in your physique over the coming months.


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About The Author

Senior Coach
Connor Sellers holds a degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science from Rutgers University He is an author and personal trainer with the mission to inspire people to relentlessly pursue their fitness and lifestyle goals. He mantra is that staying fit has an overall positive effect on one’s body, mind, and spirit.
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James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
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Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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