Here are reliable strength tests for the quadriceps if twitching muscles have you scared.
As a former personal trainer, I’ve come up with excellent ways to test the strength of your quadriceps muscles.
Strength test # 1
Get up from a sturdy, non-rocking, non-deep chair — or weightlifting bench — with just one leg.
This will not be possible for many healthy people, but if you can do it without using your hands, this should be really reassuring.
Don’t despair if you can’t do this; again, it’s inherently difficult, and should not be attempted from a low chair.
This quadriceps strength test is basically for athletes or well-conditioned gym enthusiasts, but feel free to give it a try.
If you can’t do this, you can still use it as a strength test in terms of progress over the next few weeks.
Progress is reassuring, because it means that the muscle is healthy and getting stronger with repeated attempts.
Strength test # 2
Hop up a flight of stairs with both feet at the same time.
At the top, expect to be winded if you’re able to bound up nonstop. This is a strength test for your quadriceps, not a test of cardiovascular stamina.
Begin slowly at first, as agility is required, and non-athletic people risk stumbling. Go one slow step at a time. With both feet, jump to the next step and collect your balance.
Proceed at a comfortable pace. If both quadriceps are normal, you will feel an equality in your legs, rather than one noticeably deficient relative to the other.
If you’re sloppy doing this, the thing to look for is equality or bilateral ability.
Non-athletes will struggle with this, but if their muscles are healthy, the struggling will be equal in both legs, or bilateral.
Practice this daily; a person with healthy muscles will experience progress.
Strength test # 3
Dash up and down a staircase or outdoor steps.
Did one quad’s “weakness” cause you to stumble and fall?
Athletes or exercise enthusiasts can try all sorts of things for quadriceps strength tests, such as jumping up and down exercise stools; performing barbell and dumbbell squats; deadlifts; leg presses and leg extensions.
If you can perform these with the same amount of weight you’ve always used, and especially if you’re making gains as far as mount of weight lifted, this should be extremely reassuring.
Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.