Leg Workout: Using the 15 Best Exercises

leg workout

Solid limbs provide a purpose beyond aesthetics. It needs leg power to do even the most basic everyday tasks like walking. As a result, it is critical that you include leg workout in your fitness regimen.

However, you may be unsure about where to begin.

Creating an efficient leg workout doesn’t have to be difficult, whether you’re working out in the comfort of your own house like a yogi or in the heat of the gym. There is no time to waste, so let’s get started.

leg workout

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Leg workout movement patterns

Simplifying the design of a leg workout is preferable to more complex ones. Squats, hip hinges (deadlifts), and lunges should make up the bulk of your lower-body workouts.

Glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves are the primary leg muscular groups targeted by these exercises.

There are many variants and methods to advance after you’ve mastered basic moves.

Here’s a simple method to split your leg workout: Single-leg motions may be added to your squat and hip-hinge exercises.

leg workout

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How many sets and reps should I do for my legs?

Do 3–5 leg movements every session as a beginner trying to build overall fitness and keep things simple.

It’s important to complete three sets of 8–12 repetitions of each exercise, straining your muscles to exhaustion but not failure.

What’s the deal with just doing five exercises?

You’ll be able to concentrate on the basic motions and provide your best effort. Your exercises might become ineffective if they last too long.

Do your legs need to be worked out how many times a week?

There seems to be no difference between exercising the main muscle parts once a week and three times a week to maximize muscular development.

Resistance training volume, or the number of sets and repetitions you do, is the most important factor in muscle building.

To get the most out of your workouts, focus on increasing the volume of your workouts, such as doing 3 sets of 12 repetitions or 4 sets of 8 reps.

SUMMARY: Leg exercises benefit from a more straightforward approach. Squats, hip hinges, and lunges should be the foundation of your workout, with three sets of 12 repetitions each exercise.

When and how to properly warm up and cool down

Warm-up and cool-down exercises are essential components of every workout.

Your warm-up aims to get your heart rate up and blood flow for at least five minutes with gentle exercise. If you have a few minutes to spare, take a few minutes to roll on the foam roller.

When you’re done with the warm-up, begin a dynamic stretching program with leg swings, hip openers, bodyweight squats, and lunges.

Stretching should always be done after an exercise, especially if you worked out hard.

SUMMARY: Do some mild cardio, foam rolling, and dynamic stretching to get your heart rate up and your limbs lose. Stretching is a great way to end the day.

Leg workout exercises

Choose from 15 of the greatest leg exercises when planning your next workout.

1. Back squat

A back squat is a great way to target your posterior chain, including your glutes and hamstrings.

How to do:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and load a barbell on your traps. Your toes should be pointing slightly out, and your chest should be proud as you walk.
  2. Bring your hips back to your thighs, bend your knees, and lower yourself to the floor. To keep your knees from collapsing inside, move them slightly outward.
  3. Push yourself back up to the beginning position after lowering your thighs until they are parallel to the ground or as low as your mobility will allow.

2. Front squat

A front squat is a great way to focus on the front of your body, particularly your quads.

How to do:

  1. Hook your fingers in an underhand hold on each side of your shoulders to support the barbell as you load it onto your shoulders. Keep your elbows tucked in and your eyes focused forward.
  2. Lie on your back, bend your knees, and drop yourself to the ground. Your knees should track out, and your chest should not droop forward.
  3. Push yourself back up to the beginning position after lowering your thighs until they are parallel to the ground or as low as your mobility will allow.

3. Romanian deadlift

The Romanian deadlift is an effective way to strengthen your glutes, hamstrings, and calves while also increasing hip mobility.

How to do:

  1. With one barbell or dumbbell in each hand, begin. Throughout the action, keep your back straight and your eyes straight.
  2. To reduce your weight on the ground, bend your knees slightly while tilting forward at the hips. You’ve done it correctly when you feel a stretch in your hamstrings while lowering the weights.
  3. Your glutes will fuel the action as you pause and thrust your hips forward to stand.

4. Good mornings

Good morning. A hip-hinge action can help you tone your hamstrings.

How to do:

  1. As you stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, place a barbell on top of your traps.
  2. Slowly lower your body to the ground, sending your butt backward as you do so with soft knees. Proudly flex your biceps and maintain your eyes level throughout the exercise.
  3. Return to the beginning posture by lowering yourself until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings.

5. Walking lunges

Walking lunges will test your legs’ stability and strength, including your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.

How to do:

  1. Begin by placing both feet firmly on the floor. Keep one dumbbell in each hand and walk with the weight of the dumbbells on your shoulders.
  2. Then, extend your right leg till your thigh is parallel to the ground while maintaining a refined look forward. Return to the beginning posture by pushing up through your right heel.
  3. Use your left leg to push yourself forward.

6. Reverse lunge

A more approachable variation of the forward lunge, the reverse lunge is an excellent exercise for achieving optimal lunge placement.

How to do:

  1. Put your hands at your sides and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. When your left leg makes a 90-degree angle, step back with your right foot and lunge backward. Keep your shoulders back and your torso erect.
  3. Return to the beginning posture by pushing up through your left heel.

7. Lateral lunge

Humans are primarily a front-to-back-moving species. Stability and strength may be improved by making lateral lunges.

How to do:

  1. As a first step, stand with your feet hip-width apart or wider.
  2. Keep your body straight while bending your left knee and leaning back into your left hip. Keep your right leg as straight as possible while lowering your left leg until your knee makes a 90-degree angle, and then return to the starting position.
  3. Repeat this process until you get back to the beginning position. Do the number of repetitions specified in the workout plan on each side.

8. Stepup

A step-up will help you gain more power, strength, and stability.

How to do:

  1. Place a seat or other raised surface about a foot in front of you. 2. Sit down on the bench or surface. To do a weighted step up, hold two dumbbells in each hand.
  2. You may either elevate your left knee or step onto the bench with the full right foot, pushing up through your heel to put the left foot in line with the right.
  3. Using your left foot, lower yourself back to the starting point.

9. Glute bridge

All you need is your bodyweight for this workout.

How to do:

  1. With your knees bent at a 90-degree angle, keep your feet on the floor, and place both hands beside you.
  2. Using your core, glutes, and hamstrings, drive your hips toward the ceiling as you inhale and push through the four corners of your feet.
  3. Pause at the peak, then gently return to the starting position.

10. Hip thrust

The hip thrust is a great way to build strength and growth in your glutes.

How to do:

  1. Place a barbell, dumbbell, or plate on your hips while sitting on a raised platform, such as a bench or couch. Throughout the action, you’ll be supporting the weight with your hands.
  2. With your knees bent and feet flat on the ground shoulder-width apart, sit down with your back against a bench. At the same time, the bench should be placed just below your shoulder blade.
  3. Keep your chin tucked in and lower your butt toward the ground while you do this exercise. Lower yourself until your torso is at a 45-degree angle with the ground, then stop.
  4. Regain parallel thighs by pressing up through your heels. Return to the beginning posture by squeezing your glutes at the peak of the exercise.

11. Goblet squat

This exercise is less taxing on your back than a traditional back squat, but it still targets your quadriceps and glutes.

How to do:

  1. As shown in the illustration, a dumbbell should be held upright and gripped with both hands beneath the weight’s top. Keep the dumbbell in contact with your chest the whole time the exercise is performed.
  2. Sit back into your hips and bend your knees as you lower yourself into a squat position. If you can, raise and drop your torso as far as possible.
  3. Return to the beginning posture by pushing up through your heels.

12. Leg press

More readily than free-weight workouts, machines like the leg press enable you to isolate certain muscles, such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.

How to do:

  1. Place your back and head flat on the pad of the leg press machine. The hip-width distance between the two of your feet should be maintained. Your knees should form a 90-degree angle.
  2. Extend your legs and engage your core in this step. Take a breather when you reach the peak, but avoid locking your knees.
  3. Bend your knees as you slowly restore the plate to its original position.

13. Leg curl

Leg curl machines are great for targeting the hamstrings and calves.

How to do:

  1. Lie on your stomach with the roller pad slightly above your heels on the leg curl machine. Grab hold of the machine’s side support bars.
  2. Engage your core and raise your feet, bringing the pad closer to your buttocks.
  3. When you reach the top, pause before returning to the starting position.

14. Bulgarian split squat

The Bulgarian split squat is a great exercise for your legs and core.

How to do:

  1. Step away from a knee-high bench or step approximately 2 feet before you, looking away. Take a step back and set your right foot on the bench.
  2. Bend your left knee as you drop yourself down on your left leg, leaning slightly forward at the waist. Your left thigh should be perpendicular to the ground at this point in the exercise.
  3. Return to a standing posture by pushing up with your left foot.

15. Single-leg deadlift

Perform a single-leg deadlift to strengthen your hamstrings and improve your balance.

How to do:

  1. Holding a pair of dumbbells is a good way to start. Throughout the action, keep your back straight and your eyes straight.
  2. Be sure that the left knee remains flexible as you begin to bend at the waist.
  3. A straight line from head to toe is formed as you bend forward and elevate your right leg back and forth. Keep your hips square to the ground at all times.
  4. Take a breather, then go back to where you started and do it again. Count how many repetitions you want to do on each leg.

leg workout

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Final Word

Less is more when it comes to creating a leg exercise, particularly true for those just starting. Your leg strength will grow if you do 3–5 exercises correctly.

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