In a world of upper body fitness, we often forget to think about our legs, don’t we? But working on our legs is one of the most important fitness aspects that we cannot skip out on.
Building strength in your legs not only gives you an edge in your performance as an athlete but also enhances healthy movements in your body. It also reduces your risk of getting heart disease, arthritis, or diabetes.
So without wasting much time, let us get into our hand-curated list of 15 amazing leg workouts that will change the game for your daily workout regime.
The Most Effective Leg workouts
To get a great leg exercise, strictly adhere to the set, rep, and rest guidelines listed below and then you can take a seat and relax.
1. Bodyweight Squats
Let us start with an easy exercise that you can do within the comforts of your home.
- Remember to stand with your feet apart according to your hip length. This resting position is to be followed for most exercises.
- Rest your arms at your sides.
- You then slowly shift your body weight on your hips engaging your core and pushing out your chest while you bend your knees and push your hips outward.
- You can then hold your hands in front of your chest in a straight position.
- Push your hips upward as you stand back up and engage your glutes at the top.
2. Reverse Lunges with Knee Lifts
This is another easy exercise that if done properly, can strengthen your leg muscles in no time.
You don’t need any fancy equipment for this exercise and it can be done easily at your home itself.
- Take the usual position on a yoga mat preferably and put your hands behind your head.
- Bend forward and stop when your chest parallels the ground while engaging your core.
- Make sure that the weight is placed on the ball of your feet.
- Make sure that your hip reaches outward while you bend forward.
3. Calf Raises
The next exercise we have requires you to engage your calves to make them stronger and bulkier.
Let us look at how to do the exercises properly.
For this exercise, you can do it both ways, either sitting or standing.
- Put your weight on the balls of your feet while you raise yourself along with your heels.
- Make sure that your heels are raised as much as you can and you will feel the tightening on your calves.
- Hold the position for a while and then relax back to your original position.
- Repeat this motion a couple of times.
4. Leg press
One of the most famous and popular leg exercises is the leg press which you can find in any gym.
- First, you need to adjust the weights according to your ability before jumping forward. Start with lesser weights as you gradually increase them later.
- Lay down on the seat with arms beside you and clutch the handles properly while putting your legs on the press.
- Remove the stand and bend your knees straight to your chest so that you can push the press forward.
- Repeat the motion for a few reps.
5. Warrior Balance
Want to learn how to balance like a warrior while strengthening your legs?
That’s probably why they named this exercise the warrior balance, right?
- Firstly, make sure you stand in a comfortable position with both hands behind your ears.
- Lift your right leg and bend forward with your chest parallel to the floor and extend your hands out forward while your right leg pushes back.
- Make sure you engage your core muscles while repeating the exercise.
6. Weighted Walking Lunge
This one is one of the leg exercises that require you to work with dumbbells in both hands.
This weight will help your muscles to resist more.
Choose weights according to what suits you best and gradually you can increase the weights.
- Put one of your feet forward and bend your knee so that your hips can lower themselves.
- Do this until your knee meets the floor.
- Then slowly get up from the position and move backwards.
- Repeat the same with your other foot.
7. Stiff Leg Deadlifts
This exercise is meant to build the muscle of your dominant hamstring. Let’s see how to do it!
- You have to pick a deadlift of your choice according to the weight you can handle.
- And this cannot be said enough that you must start from a lower weight and then you can gradually increase it over time.
- Keep your legs and knees apart and straight while you bend your back and pull up the deadlift and hold it for a while.
- You then lower it to the ground while engaging your core.
- Make sure that your hips are engaged during the process as well as they can be.
8. Barbell squats
The barbell squat is another very important exercise that you must add to your regime to build strong leg muscles.
It can get quite dangerous so make sure you are trained well first to handle the weight alone.
- Stand in the usual stance with your legs apart from the width of your hips.
- Lift the barbell and put it in your hands trapping it behind your head while keeping your face forward and chest up.
- Bend down with your knees with the weight and make sure that you are keeping your back straight.
- By putting the weight on your hips, stand back up to your original point and do it again.
9. Machine Leg Extensions
This is another addition to our list that you have to have the proper equipment for and is usually readily available at the gym to use. Let’s see how-
- You have to first sit in an upright position and position your legs to be at a right angle.
- Adjust the weights according to how much you can lift.
- If you are a beginner, set it lower and you can gradually get to higher weights later.
- Your feet beneath the foot pad and make sure it’s over your ankles.
- Lift the weight with your legs and hold for a while before coming down to your original position.
- Repeat the same steps a few times according to the sets you are going for.
10. Hip thrusts
You can easily do this exercise at your nearest gym with the right equipment or at home on your yoga mat.
Let’s look at the steps to do it, shall we?
- Lie down on the floor and rest your back on a bench.
- Put the barbell with the required weight and wrap the middle portion of the barbell with something foamy and put it on your pelvis area.
- Lift your pelvis almost hanging your body in the air while resting your hands on the floor.
- Rest your back on the bench
- And start slowly thrusting upwards
11. Bulgarian Split Squats
The Bulgarian Spilt squats are integral in building your leg’s quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calf muscles.
- For this, you need to stand at least 2 feet away from any tool or bench.
- Put your left leg behind you on top of the tool or bench
- Put your hands on your hips while positioning yourself straight.
- Bend down on your right knee and hold the position for a while.
- Then get back up to your original position and do the rep a few more times before changing positions.
12. Lateral Lunges
Adding a lot of lunges to your workout routine is vital for your leg muscles to develop and strengthen over time.
So let’s look at how to make the lateral lunges.
- Stand in the starting position as usual with your legs apart the length of your hips while putting your hands on your hips
- Stretch your right leg by extending it in its direction and then hinge your hips to bend down with your knees.
- Stand up and get back to your original position while you do the same motion with your other leg as well.
13. Lying Leg Curls
This is one of the best exercises that you can do at the gym.
- You have to lie on the seat of the machine so that you can grab the handle below by your hand while placing your legs comfortably behind the foot pads.
- Make sure that it is placed below your calves.
- Start bringing your heels to your waist while pulling the pad and curling your leg and pause for a moment.
- Go back with an exhale while you pull back with an inhale.
14. Simple Exercise Right After You Wake Up
Let’s prepare you to have a very good morning (pun intended) with this next exercise.
- First, stand back in the usual position with feet apart from each other at your hips length.
- Put both your hands behind your head while your bend forward with your chest parallel to the ground and your hips outward.
- Remember to engage your core while doing this exercise.
- Repeat it in reps and sets of your preference.
15. Curtsy Lunge with Kicks
This intense workout needs you to follow a few steps.
- Start by engaging your core and standing with your feet apart(hip length).
- You then have to put your right foot behind your other leg, diagonally and bend both your knees into the formation of a lunge.
- You have to push your heel next so that you can stand and then put your other leg to your left side with a kick. By extending your right foot away from your body you then bring it back to position.
- Make sure you lower your right foot next by putting it behind your other leg and get ready for the next rep.
Building your muscles for your legs gives you added strength to the glutes, hamstrings, and calves while also making them chiselled. But exercise is not the only thing that can help you with your task.
You can add a rich diet of carbohydrates, protein, and fats to increase your chances of getting the perfect legs you aspire to!
1. Is diet important to build leg muscles?
Nutritious food with fat, proteins, and carbohydrates is very important for building leg muscles along with proper exercise.
2. Do we need to go to the gym to build leg muscles?
Not at all. You can do home workouts like good morning and lunges among others to build your leg muscles.
3. How many days does it take to see progress while building leg muscles?
You can begin to see results within a month.
4. Do leg exercises reduce the risk of arthritis?
Yes, leg exercises reduce the risk of many health diseases including arthritis.
5. How to strengthen calf muscles?
You can go running, walking, or hiking to strengthen your calf.