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How to Make Lower Body Workouts for Your Legs More Efficient?

By Born Tough on

When it comes to lower body workouts, a lot of people are misunderstanding the need and the way to engage in leg workouts.

While many have adopted ignorance after giving it a few attempts and finding it to be way tougher than other forms of workouts, others have never felt the need to engage in leg workouts altogether.

The latter group of people holds the idea that since the legs are almost always going to remain hidden, it really doesn’t matter as long as you have a shredded chest and six-pack abs. What’s the worst that could happen? You might not be able to rock workout shorts like these and go with track sets and workout joggers that highlight your upper body.

Your legs consist of the following muscles that you need to work out:

  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
  • Quadriceps

Designing a lower body or leg workout that works all these muscles isn’t difficult. Making sure that your plan is covering all the essential factors such as the time and the intensity of the workout, etc. can be tougher for beginners.

It’s no secret that legs aren’t emphasized as one of the most apparent muscles of the body, which is why it’s very common for people to have misunderstandings or misconceptions about how their leg muscles should be worked.

It’s also crucial to note that the equipment in the gym dedicated to lower body workouts also tends to be a bit more dangerous and thus, there’s an increased risk of injury for beginners. 

Therefore, to help you get started on designing your leg day workouts here’s an overview of how lower body workouts work and how you can go about planning your own:

Lift with Your Legs

Bench presses, squats, and other leg exercises require you to use nothing but your legs. Which means your back and the upper half of your body can’t help you in your lower body workouts.

Your quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes and adductors will be doing everything in this workout. You can choose to incorporate HIIT or superset sessions in your leg workouts with and without equipment.

If you’re looking for high-intensity exercises that don’t have a hard impact on the legs, you can try yoga and other flexibility workouts that can be equally if not more beneficial.

Don’t Skip Leg Day

The most important thing you need to understand is that you can’t skip leg day. Regardless of your fitness goals, you need to incorporate hefty amounts of lower body workouts that work all the muscles mentioned above.

Make sure that you design a workout plan with a healthy diet that supports your fitness goals. You can try different exercise routines or even unorthodox workouts like shadowboxing roadwork, dancing, or going on a hiking adventure to make things fun.

Although this won’t particularly work well with people who’re rigorously working out their entire body with calculated weights, reps and sets, it can be useful for people looking to take a break from mundane training routines.

Leg Presses Are Not Squats

Not all exercises are the same and just because some of them are more difficult than others, it doesn’t mean you can skip or try an alternative. Especially when that exercise is something crucial like a squat.

We can all agree that squats alone can comprise one of the most brutal lower body workouts possible because they get harder and more impossible every time you come back up. The idea is to take things slowly and not give up.

It’s important to understand that you’re only feeling difficulty because these are muscles that you haven’t been using that much. Which is all the more reason why you need these leg and lower body exercises.

Using Foot Positions

To make things a little easier on yourself, try moving your feet in certain angles and distance from each other to provide yourself leverage from different angles. Although this may seem like a little cheat code, it’s not defeating the purpose of the lower body workout. You will still be utilizing the same muscles and your workouts will be providing you with the same gains.

Flexibility

Don’t forget to add flexibility to your list of priorities when working out. Flexibility translates to strength in terms of developing a defense against injuries and reducing the risks of sustaining serious trauma.

Flexibility exercises are also good cardio, meaning they have even more benefits than just making your musculoskeletal system stand a better chance against collisions and impacts. Incorporating flexibility in your lower body workouts at the beginning and at the end of your workouts can be perfect for warmups and cooldowns.

Just make sure to have a hefty amount of exercise to go through on a daily basis. You can engage in flexibility-focused lower body workouts while holding weights to work your muscles against resistance as well. However, try not to do anything with weights in your warmup, at least not heavyweights.

Frequency of Leg Workouts

One of the most common questions in people’s minds is how often should I go for leg workouts? The answer given by experts is one day per muscle group and not without good reason.

Lower body workouts may seem easy because these are really strong muscles but that’s why they require all the more strength and intensity to develop.

Which is why you should go for one major muscle group, e.g. legs, chest, shoulders, arms, back, etc. each day rather than working out 2-3 muscle groups regularly. This will help you achieve better growth in all the muscle groups that you work out.

Number of Sets/Reps

What is the ideal number of sets and reps that you should engage in for leg workouts?

Although the answer mostly depends upon what kind of results you’re looking for, you can be sure that muscle growth occurs most efficiently when you engage in higher volume sessions rather than long workouts with smaller volumes.

While this doesn’t necessarily imply maximum intensity, it certainly means that you should focus on increasing the number of reps and sets rather than the weights of resistance.

Therefore, going for 3 sets of 12 reps or 4 sets of 8 reps each should be a good start. Remember to increase the intensity or the number of reps and sets only when you’re sure that you’re getting used to the current intensity.

Pay Attention to Recovery

Whether it’s the rest period in between different exercises that you perform in your leg workouts or the rest you provide your legs in between weekly leg days, recovery is paramount for training regimens.

This is especially for people who go for high-intensity workouts. Remember that you can’t engage in HIIT more than your body can take it. You run the risk of ruining your physical health by overdoing workouts and not paying attention to recovery.

Regardless of what your desires are for your physique or appearance, you must prioritize your well-being and overall health over everything, meaning it should be your main goal when working out.

Sample Leg Workout for Leg Day

Although you can take a look at several leg exercises that work different muscles, your main focus should be on the above-mentioned tips and factors that are going to determine how efficient your workout is going to be.

Once you have a comprehensive list of leg exercises to go over, you can design a workout schedule that looks something like this:

Exercise

Reps

Sets

Rest

Squats

8-12

3-4

60-90 seconds

Leg Presses

8-12

3-4

60-90 seconds

Barbell Bulgarian Split Squat

8-12

3-4

60-90 seconds

Seated Dumbbell Calf Raise

8-12

3-4

60-90 seconds

Romanian Deadlift

8-12

3-4

60-90 seconds

Barbell Lunges

8-12

3-4

60-90 seconds

Hamstring Curls

8-12

3-4

60-90 seconds

 

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