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Best Leg Workout Routines

Updated on March 24, 2015

Training The Leg Muscles

For optimal muscularity you need to build both the upper and lower body. Unfortunately, there are many men who tend to focus almost entirely on building up their upper bodies when they weight, at the expense of leg training. When they do work out their leg muscles they may not go all out to get the best muscle growth response. However, following the best leg workout routines is extremely important when you want to build muscle mass. In fact, intense leg workouts can actually help you gain size in your upper body.

The best leg workout routines should include training for all of the major muscle groups of the legs - the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. To build these muscles you need to go as hard as you would while training the upper body. It's also best to train them during the same workout so you get enough recovery time for them.

If you haven't done intense leg weight training before you need to be prepared for a lot of soreness. Eventually your legs will get used to this and they'll be much bigger.

Quadriceps Exercise Routines

The best leg workout routines should be started off with quadriceps training. The quadriceps are the large muscles on the fronts of the thighs. These muscles make of most of the muscle size on the legs and must be trained with a lot intensity to induce growth.

The best exercise for the quadriceps is the squat. In fact, the squat is probably the best weight training exercise there is. Because of this, you should do squats to start off your quadriceps exercise routines. Squats will not only work your quads, but also your hamstrings, lower back, and many other muscles to a smaller degree. Intense squatting will also give you a nice natural testosterone boost. The only problem with squatting is that it may be tough to do them if you have knee or lower back problems. to squat properly you should keep the feet at shoulder width apart or a little more and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor before returning to a standing position. Avoid rounding the back when you squat to avoid injury.

Some exercises you can do after you squat or as alternatives to the exercise are hack squats and leg presses. Both of will have you lifting a weight with your legs like you would while squatting. The difference is that your back will be supported while doing them.

Walking lunges are another exercise that should be included in the best leg workout routines. They'll allow you to build the teardrop of the quads. These can be done with a barbell on your back or a dumbbell in each hand.

To finish off a quadriceps workout in your best leg exercise routine you should do some drop sets of leg extensions. Go to failure with whatever weight you use, then immediately place the pin further up the weight stack once or twice. This will give a deep burn in the muscles and allow you to finish with a pump in your quadriceps.

Hamstring Exercise Routines

Hamstring exercises also need to be a part of the best leg workout routines. The hamstrings are the muscles on the backs of the thighs. While they aren't near as big as the quadriceps, they still need to be built to keep a balance between the two muscles groups. The hamstrings do get some work when you do most major quad exercises so you don't have to do very many direct exercises for them.

The best exercises to target the hamstrings during the best leg workout routines are stiff-legged deadlifts, good mornings, and leg curls. You need to try to get a good stretch in the hamstrings when you do stiff-legged deadlifts or good mornings. Leg curls make a great finisher to a hamstrings workout. When you do them try for a strong contraction in the hamstrings during every rep.

Calf Workout Routines

None of the best leg workout routines would be complete without training the calf muscles of the lower legs. These muscles are constantly being used when you walk so they need very intense training to get a response in muscle growth. When you train your calves you should do all of your sets for high reps. On each rep, try for a deep stretch at the bottom and a strong contraction at the top. Once you get to the point where you can't get any more full reps, do some "bouncing" reps to completely burn the calves out. Drop sets also work great on calf exercises.

To fully develop your calves during the best leg workout routines you need to do both straight-legged and bent-legged exercises. This will ensure that both of the major calf muscles get worked for full development. The best straight-legged calf exercises are standing calf raises or leg press calf raises. Seated calf raises are the top bent-legged calf movement.

Sample Leg Workout Routine

Here's one of the best leg workout routines for a natural weight trainer. It has a light weight - high rep workout, a medium weight - medium rep workout, and a heavy weight - low rep workout.

Light leg workout

Quadriceps workout (all sets done for 15-20 reps)

2-3 sets of squats

2-3 sets of hack squats or leg presses

1-2 sets of walking lunges

1-2 drop sets of leg extensions

Hamstrings workout (15-20 reps per set)

1-2 sets of stiff legged deadlifts or good mornings

1-2 drop sets of leg curls

Calf workout (25+ reps per set)

1-2 sets of standing or leg press calf raises

1-2 sets of seated calf raises

Medium leg workout

Quadriceps workout (10-15 seps per set)

3-4 sets of squats

2-3 sets of hack squats or leg presses

2-3 sets of walking lunges

1-2 drop sets of leg extensions

Hamstrings workout (10-15 reps per set)

2-3 sets of stiff legged deadlifts or good mornings

1-2 drop sets of leg curls

Calf workout (15-25 reps per set)

2-3 sets of standing or leg press calf raises

2-3 sets of seated calf raises

Heavy leg workout

Quadriceps workout (5-10 reps per set)

4-5 sets of squats

3-4 sets of hack squats or leg presses

2-3 sets of lunges

1-2 leg extension drop sets

Hamstrings workout (5-10 reps per set)

3-4 sets of stiff legged deadlifts or good mornings

1-2 leg curl drop sets

Calf workout (10-15 reps per set)

3-4 sets of standing or leg press calf raises

3-4 sets of seated calf raises

Proper Squat Form

Comments

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    • profile image

      Taue 

      6 years ago

      Good

    • profile image

      Devin Mitchell 

      7 years ago

      Great workout. Thanks because my legs got 20lbs stronger and 2 inches biggers. Thanks A lot.!

    • Deborah Donados profile image

      Deborah Donados 

      8 years ago from Portland

      Nice Hub! I'm going to print out the page. Thanks.

    • Sophia Heresford profile image

      Sophia Heresford 

      8 years ago from Ohio

      Very complete workout! Thanks!

      Sophia

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