Do you want to achieve slimmer and more toned legs?
If you’re tired of people making fun of your chicken legs, or if you’ve been skipping leg day because it’s too much work, there’s good news. You can achieve the legs you’ve always wanted with the right exercises. Goodbye to skinny legs – your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves are about to get a permanent makeover.
When it comes to lower body development, many of us are hesitant to start. There are plenty of tips and tricks for building massive legs, but you’ll never see results unless you put them into practice.
There are a few things you can do to build more muscular legs. You can go to the gym for leg days, do heavy compound lifts, or be overweight your whole life, so your legs are used to carrying a load.
No matter if you are new to the gym or have been lifting weights for years, this article will provide a few tips and include a bonus leg workout to help you start making progress.
Tip #1 – Squats and Deadlifts
Unless your doctor advises against it, incorporating squats and deadlifts into your workout routine can benefit you significantly. Proper form is key to avoiding injury and maximizing results.
Though you’ll be lifting heavier weights for most of your lower-body exercises, moving with lighter weights and more volume can help spur growth.
When we squat and deadlift, we put heavy loads on our spines. This forces our nervous system to perform better.
The quads respond best to high volume, so exercises like leg extensions and presses in the three to five-rep range won’t be practical.
Lifting heavy weights is a great way to build muscle and strength, but focusing on slow-twitch dominant quads with low reps won’t be effective. That’s why athletes who require much time under tension on their legs usually have massive legs.
Many activities can lead to large quads, including speed skating, hockey, downhill skiing, and cycling.
When performing squats and deadlifts, learn proper form before adding weight. Squats and deadlifts are best trained in the five to eight-rep range. Aim for 8 to 12 reps with a lighter weight for more volume.
Tip #2 – Train Your Glutes
It is widely known that the key to bigger arms largely depends on the triceps. The same can be said for the glutes and hamstrings, as they largely determine leg size.
Squats and deadlifts are great exercises, but additional work needs to be done for the glutes to achieve desired results.
If you’re looking to build your posterior chain, you’ll need serious work. However, the athletic benefits you’ll see from doing so will make it all worth it. Here are a few exercises that many people overlook when working on their posterior chain:
- Reverse Lunges
- Reverse Hyperextensions
- Romanian Deadlifts
- Single Leg Deadlifts
- Glute Kicks
- Barbell Hip Thrusts
- Good Mornings
When training your posterior chain, it is essential to maintain perfect form. Though any individual can force a barbell upwards with a large amount of weight, proper technique is key to performing the exercise correctly.
Tip #3 – Train Outside of the Sagittal Plane
Most leg training programs involve working in the sagittal plane.
Without diving into the science, we are moving in the sagittal plane on every exercise mentioned in this article. When we walk, we move in the sagittal plane, but if we were to walk sideways, where our legs cross, that would be movement in the lateral plane.
Start incorporating lateral movements into your workout routine to improve knee stability and build more giant legs. You don’t need to lift heavy weights to see results; even light weights will do the trick. So don’t overstrain your body; a little lateral movement will go a long way.
A few lateral movements can help build stronger, more significant, and more stable legs. Some of these movements include lunges, side steps, and monster walks. Performing these exercises regularly can help improve your leg strength and stability.
You can use several machines and exercises to work your adductors and abductors. Adding a few sets of these exercises to your leg day routine can make a big difference.
Tip #4 – Train More Than Just Squats and Deadlifts
Now that you have the basics of leg day down, doing squats or deadlifts, glute work, adding in some quad volume and training a little in the lateral plane, you can add a few bodybuilding exercises.
Choose two to three exercises to add to your leg day routine. These additional exercises will help your lagging body parts, increase your overall strength, and help you break some personal records.
Adding single-leg training will improve knee stability, balance, mobility, and coordination. This all adds up to bigger and heavier squats and deadlifts.
Pick a few bodybuilder exercises and add them to your arsenal to get the most out of your workouts.
- Leg Extensions
- Leg Curls
- Hack Squats
- Goblet Squats
- Leg Presses
- Single-Leg Dumbbell Deadlifts
- Pistol Squats