Do you do enough leg exercises?
Do you know that legs have the biggest muscles in your body?
I am talking about upper leg muscles:
- Quadriceps (quads)
even though there are two more muscles below your knees, lower leg muscles:
Leg workouts are known to be very challenging and hard, from a physical and mental point of view, such that very often it's better to dedicate a whole workout session just to legs without training any other muscle group.
Personally sometimes I do bicep exercises or tricep exercises together with legs, just because they're small muscles and don't take too much energy.
But this is just what works for me, I know many people that don't like that.
I want to give you a tip:
When You Train Legs Do High Reps (15-20)
Legs are used to endurance, we can run or walk for a very long time every day (well, for running we need training right?). The best way to train your legs is to do high reps.
For the rest of the body you can build muscle doing sets of 6-8 reps, but when it comes to legs, high reps is your best bet.
I'd say at least 15 reps, 15 to 25.
Have you ever heard of the 20 rep squat? It's a specific legs workout that has been known for some decades and proven to be the best of all the leg exercises.
Quads is one of the biggest and most powerful muscle groups in our body.
Quads workouts include compound exercises like:
that are basic leg exercises to develop strength and volume in all the areas of the quadriceps.
Beside compound movements, your workout should include some isolation exercises like
where you can also focus the work on the internal or external quads, depending on how you orientate your toes.
Hamstrings are not as big as quads, and especially not as powerful.
Try doing leg extensions with 100 lbs. and leg curls with the same weight.
Crazy harder right?
I my opinion the best way to train them is doing isolation exercises like:
- Lying leg curls
- Standing leg curls
- Seated leg curls
but It's also always good idea to do compound exercises for hamstrings too:
- Barbell goodmornings
- Stiff legged deadlifts
Then there are other leg exercises that work hamstrings as secondary muscles:
I am sure that women will be more interested in glutes exercises, isn't developing a nice butt one of the main goals for girls.
I would say so, and they have really good reasons!
Men, instead, train their glutes mostly as secondary muscles in their leg exercises routines.
The thing is, there are not many isolation exercises for glutes, except:
- Glute kickbacks
- Flutter kicks
Generally speaking glutes are complementary muscles that are used when you do other compound exercises like:
As you can see there are several exercises that work your glutes, that is why bodybuilders don't usually train their glutes specifically.
Calves are composed of two muscles, don't ask me the scientific names (Wikipedia will certainly answer that). Just so we are on the same page, let's say that there is one internal and one external, and together they form the calf muscle.
Calves are used a lot in our daily life every time we walk. Calf exercises are all very similar and do the same thing: calf raises.
Then you can do this from a seated or standing position, with a machine or with dumbbells:
- Standing calf raise at the machine
- Seated calf raise at the machine
- Dumbbell calf raise
- Toe press on leg press
It's Extremely Important to Do Leg Exercises
Unfortunately, most people don't care for their leg muscles as mush as they care for the upper body muscles.
I am talking about the average Joe that goes to the gym, the type of guy that spends more time texting with his iPhone than exercising.
I was watching a guy the other day, he was lifting probably 60% of what he should. No fatigue on his face, curling with one arm and holding his phone with the other hand...
Oh my goodness!
I've seen the guy many times. Have you ever seen him doing legs? No really, tell me because apparently when he did legs he did 3 sets of leg extensions and some dumbbell calf raises.
I don't need to mention that this guy looks the same as six months ago.
I guess he goes to the gym just to "stay in shape" as building muscle must not be his goal for sure.
If you want to build muscle, please do leg exercises and do them well
I mean with effort and passion, the same that you dedicate to the bench press.
Beside the fact that a bodybuilder with skinny legs looks ugly, working your legs can be beneficial to build muscle in other parts of your body.
Remember that when you train big muscles you stimulate your body to produce more testosterone and HGH, and with more of these anabolic hormones in your body you can make bigger gains in the rest of your body.
Dedicate one day to leg exercises, I agree that perhaps it can feel like a boring day, but it's well worth it.
As I always say though, the form is very important, especially when you train big muscles like legs. An incorrect squat form, for example, can be dangerous and cause other issues like hemorrhoids.
What are your favorite leg exercises? Would you recommend intense legs workout to make overall big gains?
Leave a comment, I am always curious to hear your opinion...
Best Leg Exercises