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Kill Your Leg Workout with These 15 Best Leg Exercises

By Born Tough on

All of us are well aware of the importance of strong legs in building a balanced and developed overall physique. But still, a leg workout is perceived as trepidation by the majority of bodybuilders.

Strong legs have far more significance than just looking good. They are needed to perform everyday tasks comfortably and with much more efficiency.

Most people out there are more likely to skip a leg work out because of the long recovery period to get rid of sore legs. And, your legs take more time to grow than your upper body.

Here we will be discussing some of the best leg exercises backed up by facts so you can get those perfect legs you always wished for.

Read More: Best Leg Workout Exercises for Building Mass

 

What Is a Good Leg Workout for Mass?

When we are talking about an effective leg workout for building mass then it should comprise leg exercises that engage all the muscle groups in your legs.

You should be adding compound movements to impact all major muscle groups of your legs and then particularly focus on these muscles through isolating movements.

What's a good leg workout routine?

A good leg workout routine is one that incorporates simple and old-school leg exercises with the right number of sets and repetitions.

The leg workout routines along with the best leg exercises and details on how to execute them properly will be discussed below.

How many times per week should you do a leg workout?

As legs consist of big muscle groups, they take exceptionally more time for recovery than other muscles in your body.

You should be working on your legs once a week if you are a beginner or an intermediate bodybuilder.

However, if you are a professional and have been training for years then you can do a leg workout twice per week.

Benefits of Leg Workout (Backed by Facts)

Stimulates The Production of Hormones

Leg exercises are best known to effectively boost the production of healthy hormones in the human body.

Hormonal balance can be disturbed due to various reasons including stress, injury, poor nutrition, and a lot more.

Hormonal imbalance can result in weight gain, muscle weakness, fatigue, and even affect organs of your body.

A good leg workout can stimulate the production of the following hormones:

Testosterone

It is the most important sex hormone for men that plays a key role in the proper development of the male reproductive system.

It regulates the sex drive, bone density, distribution of fat in your body, and production of sperm.

Testosterone has great importance in bodybuilding due to its function of increasing neurotransmitters and protein synthesis which eventually improve muscle growth.

Cortisol

It is a hormone that is released when your mind is under stress. It allows your body to effectively respond to stress and increase fat metabolism.

It also has other functions such as regulating blood sugar levels, improving memory, and maintaining the balance of water and salts in your body.

Human Growth Hormone (HGH)

The primary focus of this hormone is to stimulate body growth.

It stimulates the pituitary gland to produce and secrete growth hormones into the bloodstream.

HGH is needed for the effective growth of your muscles and to maintain healthy bones. Most professional bodybuilders also inject HGH externally but it is never recommended by doctors.

You Burn Exceptionally High Number of Calories

As you engage large muscle groups in your body, they demand an increased supply of energy. And, to fulfill this demand a large number of calories are burned.

You know that the biggest muscle groups in your body are found in your legs. Now, you got the secret for burning up maximum calories from your body by only working out your lower body.

Improve Your Weight Lifting Power

Your legs play an important role in supporting you during heavy lifts. Especially if you are into powerlifting then building strong legs is crucial.

When you are training for the chest and doing a bench press or lifting heavy weight on a deadlift, your legs, and core support you in doing it easily.

Compliment Your Upper Body

You might have seen some bodybuilders who have a ripped and massive upper body but their lower body is not developed. Due to this reason, their wide back and big arms also fail to impress.

Seriously, you wouldn’t want to look like a chicken with tiny legs and a massive upper body. To maintain the perfect shoulder to waist ratio, you need strong legs.

Moreover, working out on your legs helps to effectively improve your upper body gains.

It’s always a good idea to hit your leg workout in some great compression pants. It increases comfortability and muscle impact.

More Benefits of Leg Workout

  • Strengthen the muscles of your core
  • Helps in reducing joint pain
  • Strengthen bones and improve bone density
  • Aids in reducing lower back pain
  • Improves your posture by developing a well-aligned and symmetrical body
  • Helps in efficient stress management

Best Leg Exercises to Add in Your Workout

Kill your leg workout with these 10 Leg Exercises

1.     Barbell Squats

How To Do It

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hold the barbell at the back of your shoulders.
  • Your head should be facing straight and keep elbows tucked in.
  • Lower your body by bending your knees.
  • The barbell should come down in a straight line without moving.
  • Lift yourself back.

Recommended Sets: 4

Recommended Reps: 12RM-10RM-8RM-8RM (Increase weight on each set)

FAQs

Are squats enough to train legs?

Squats are a compound exercise that targets the majority of leg muscles. It can give some definition to your leg muscles but squatting alone won’t be enough to effectively train your legs.

Can you be extremely nauseous from doing squats?

Doing squats at a heavy weight causes blood flow to move from your stomach due to increased heart rate. Any exercise that instantly increases your heart rate and increases the flow of oxygen to your muscles will make you feel nauseous.

Do squats stunt height growth

Squats cannot stunt your height growth; the growth is merely dependent on the growth hormone in your body. However, some researchers have shown that wrong squatting forms and extra heavy weights can cause spinal shrinkage.

2.     Bulgarian Split Squat

How To Do It

  • Hold one dumbbell using both hands.
  • Stretch out your right leg behind your body and place your right foot on the bench.
  • Lower your right leg by bending your knee.
  • Complete all reps and repeat the same with your left leg

Recommended Sets: 3

Recommended Reps: 12RM-12RM-12RM

FAQs

What makes Bulgarian split squats so hard?

In simple squats, you are using both legs at the same time to lift the weight. Whereas in Bulgarian split squats you only use one leg at a time which makes lifting harder.

3.     Barbell Hip Thrust: Build Leg Muscle

How To Do It

  • Set the equipment, first of all, put weights on a barbell and place it in front of a bench.
  • Put the barbell on your quads.
  • Your upper back will be resting on the bench.
  • Now, push your hips and legs upwards, as you reach the top position and the barbell is in a straight line with the bench, squeeze your glutes.
  • Lower your body and repeat the movement.

Recommended Sets: 4

Recommended Reps: 12RM-12 RM-10 RM-10 RM (increase the weight on each set)

4.     Romanian Deadlift

How To Do It

  • Stand between the barbell with your feet hip-width apart, keep your arms shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend your knees slightly and grab the barbell, your shoulders should be rolled back.
  • Bend your knees as much as possible.
  • Lift the barbell by straightening your back.

Recommended Sets: 3

Recommended Reps: 12RM-12 RM-10 RM-8 RM (increase the weight on each set)

5.     Deadlift: Leg Workout To Build Muscle

How To Do It

  • Stand between the barbell with your feet hip-width apart, keep your arms shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend your knees until your hips are at a 90-degree angle with the floor. and grab the barbell,
  • Your shoulders should be rolled back throughout the movements.
  • Now lift the barbell by extending your knees.
  • When you completely lift the barbell, open up your chest while looking forward.

Recommended Sets: 3

Recommended Reps: 12 RM-12 RM-10 RM-8 RM (increase the weight on each set)

FAQs

Can I do hip thrust and deadlift on the same day?

These both are compound exercises and involve major muscle groups of your body. If you are doing a heavy deadlift then you shouldn’t add hip thrust to your workout.

Can I do a deadlift with resistance bands?

You can do a deadlift with resistance bands; it allows you to target specific muscle groups and learn the correct form of doing a deadlift.

Should we bend the knees while lifting weights during deadlift?

While doing a conventional deadlift for your leg workout you need to slightly bend your knees. If you are not bending the knees then you are impacting your back.

To boost your gym performance and get the best out of your leg day workout you should hit the gym in some high-quality workout apparel.

6.     Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

How To Do It

  • Hold a dumbbell in your right hand and lift your right leg.
  • You will be standing on your left leg.
  • Slightly bend your left knee.
  • Push your hips backward and lower your upper body.
  • Keep lowering until you feel a stretch in your lower back.
  • Lift back by squeezing your hips and extending your left leg.

Recommended Sets: 3

Recommended Reps: 12 RM-12 RM-12 RM-12 RM

7.     Walking Lunges: Single-Leg Exercises

How To Do It

  • Stand straight with your shoulder width apart. Keep your hands at the sides of your waist.
  • Using your right leg, step forward and press weight into your heels.
  • Lower your body by bending the right leg and pause for a second.
  • Keep the left foot forward and stand by pressing the left foot into the floor.
  • Repeat the same movement with your other leg.

Recommended Sets: 3

Recommended Reps: 12 RM-12 RM-12 RM-12 RM

FAQs

Are lunges a decent free weight replacement for squats?

Lunges are a supplementary exercise and are needed to maximize the growth of your legs but they can’t overcome the growth and muscle development due to squats.

Is it safe to do reverse lunges every day?

Performing any exercise in excess is bad and can impede muscle growth because the muscles don’t get the proper time for recovery. So, you should not be doing reverse lunges every day.

Which muscles are used to do lunges?

All the muscles of your leg including quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes are used to do lunges. In addition, your core and back muscles are also engaged.

8.     Dumbbell Step-Up: Single Leg Exercise

How To Do It

  • Stand in front of a bench, the height should be parallel to your thigh.
  • Hold one dumbbell in each hand.
  • Step on the bench with your right leg, the left leg should be on the ground.
  • Step down from the bench and repeat this movement.
  • Complete the required number of reps for one leg and then repeat with the other one.

Recommended Sets: 3 (For each leg)

Recommended Reps: 10 RM-10 RM-10 RM-10 RM

9.     Leg Press Exercise

How To Do It

  • Firstly, adjust the seat of the machine according to your height and comfortability.
  • Place your feet at the middle of the platform with approximately shoulder-width distance.
  • Remove the safety levers and lower your knees until they are bent to a 90-degree angle.
  • Press the platform back.
  • Don’t lock your knees as you press it fully, this will cause an injury.

Recommended Sets: 3

Recommended Reps: 12 RM-10 RM-8 RM-8 RM (Increase weight on each set)

FAQs

Is leg press necessary for bigger legs?

The leg press is an effective and easy way to add volume to your leg workout. It engages the major muscle groups in your legs that make it an easy leg exercise for developing muscles.

I can easily leg press around 540 but squats only 155.?

The leg press is a relatively easier exercise than squats. You don’t have to care about balance and use compensating movements during a leg press due to which you can lift more weight on a leg press rather than squats.

Which is more effective, a leg press or a barbell squat?

The leg press and barbell squats both are extremely beneficial exercises for improving the growth of your legs. You should add both exercises in your leg workout, however, if balance is a problem, then you can do a leg press.

For More: Best Leg Workouts for Men: Look Great In Shorts

10.Leg Extension Exercise

How To Do It

  • Sit on the seat with your back straight and legs behind the padded bar.
  • Grab the levers at both sides with your hands.
  • Press the padded bar using force from your legs.
  • Lower the bar by bringing your feet back to starting position.

Recommended Sets: 3

Recommended Reps: 12 RM-10 RM-8 RM-8 RM (Increase weight on each set)

FAQs

Can isolation exercises like leg extensions build muscle?

Like all isolation exercises, leg extensions will focus on building one muscle of your legs that is quads. But it’s important that you add some isolation exercises in your leg workout to maximize the gains of each muscle group.

What do I replace leg extensions with?

You can replace leg extensions with various other leg exercises such as:

  • Reverse lunges
  • Bodyweight leg extension
  • Bulgarian split squats

 Are leg extensions better than squats for building my quads?

As we know that leg extension is an isolating exercise, it emphasizes your quads more than the squats. So, leg extensions are better for building quads than squats.

11.Hamstring Leg Curl Exercise

How To Do It

  • Firstly, adjust the ankle pad so your calves line up against the lever arms when you lie down.
  • Lie face down on the platform, your ankles should be against the pad.
  • Grab both the handgrips firmly.
  • Bend your knees to pull the lever towards your hips.
  • Keep this position for a second and then release.

Recommended Sets: 3

Recommended Reps: 12 RM-10 RM-8 RM-8 RM (Increase weight on each set)

FAQs

How can I do lying leg curls without a machine?

There are various other leg exercises to isolate your hamstrings other than the lying leg curl machine, some of them are given below:

  • Kettlebell swings
  • Stiff-leg deadlifts
  • Dumbbell leg curl
  • Single-leg hip extension

Can leg extensions and leg curl machines cause knee pain?

If you lock your knee when you fully extend your leg then it will eventually cause injury and knee pain.

12.Calf Raises: Bodyweight Leg Exercises

How To Do It

  • Stand on a slightly elevated surface with your toes on the edge of the surface.
  • Lift your body using force from your toes, squeeze your calves as you lift.
  • Now, lower your heels and return to the starting position.
  • To increase the intensity of this exercise, you can hold dumbbells in each hand.

Recommended Sets: 3

Recommended Reps: 10 RM-10 RM-12 RM-15 RM

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FAQs

Is the calf raise best done single leg at a time or two legs?

It’s better to perform calf raises using a single leg at a time, doing this can effectively impact your leg even more.

What are the different types of calf raise exercise?

The different types of calf raises are:

  • Seated calf-raise
  • Barbell calf-raise
  • Machine calf-raise
  • Dumbbell calf-raise

13. Jumping Squats: Bodyweight Leg Exercises

How To Do It

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Squat until your thighs become parallel with the floor, don’t lower your body more than that.
  • Now jump using full force as high as possible.
  • Squat as you land on the floor and jump back up.
  • Repeat this movement.

Recommended Time: 45-60 sec

14.Banded Lateral Walk: Resistance Band Leg Exercises

How To Do It

  • Take a small resistance band and place it a few inches above your ankles.
  • Stand hip-width apart, slightly bend your knees but not like in squats.
  • Step out your left foot and then follow it with your right foot.
  • Repeat the same with your other side.

Recommended Sets: 3

Recommended Reps: 12 RM-12 RM-12 RM-12 RM (For each side)

FAQs

What's the best way to use a resistance band in leg workouts?

These are some of the best ways to use a resistance band for training your legs:

  • Jump squats with bands
  • Seated banded leg extensions
  • Banded side raises
  • Banded leg lying curl

15.Fitness Ball Squeeze: Inner Thigh Exercise

How To Do It

  • Lie with your back on the mat with your knees bent.
  • Place an exercise ball between your legs, it should be touching your knees.
  • Squeeze the ball as hard as you can, then relax and repeat again.

Recommended Sets: 3

Recommended Reps: 12 RM-12 RM-12 RM-12 RM

FAQs

How do I get rid of inner thigh fat fast?

The best way to get rid of inner thigh fat is by adding inner thigh exercises to your routine leg workout. Some of the best inner thigh exercises are:

  • Lateral lunges
  • Cable hip adduction
  • Side step-ups

Takeaway

A perfect leg workout is one that comprises a variety of movements to impact all the major and minor muscle groups of your leg. We can also say that it should have some compound movements and isolating exercises.

By incorporating these leg exercises in your workout you can effectively break those muscle fibers but, to gain muscle mass you have to recover it with a nutritious diet and rest.

 

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