The Best Exercises For Legs – 5 KILLER exercises to build up your legs!
Building a big and strong lower body will have a profound efect on your overall body strength! There is a reason why football coaches pick the guys with the best squat and deadlift. When you get strong in two of these exercises you get strong ALL OVER your body.
The strength people gain from deadlifting and squatting heavy ass weights is highly functional and produces better performance for every single sport.
So let’s get into the best exercises for legs so you can build a strong solid foundation of muscle and strength!
The king of all leg exercises. Barbell squat has been the corner stone of all the succesfull strong mans, football players, wrestlers, judokas, bodybuilders, and the list goes on and on.
The thing with squats is that they are not just a lower body exercise. In order to have a strong squat you have to actually have a strong upper-, middle- and lower back!
This is easy to understand once you try to crank out heavy squat sets of three to five repetitions per set. Just picking up the weight from the rack and taking your stance you can feel the bar crushing your legs to the hard floor! And by this point you should already know that squat is a lower body exercise which demands a lot of strength in the whole body and not just the legs!
I really think that Barbell Squats are the best movement for developing your legs. Once I started to incorporate barbell squats to my routines my legs started growing in an outstanding pace!
Rep ranges should vary between 3-15 repetitions per set. Ideally you should aim for 1-3 sets for your actualy work sets.
Lunges are usually considered a bit more “girlish” movements which is quite ridiculous in my opinion. These are a great exercise to develop strong and big legs. Lunges demand not just only strength but a lot of stabilizers to be executed correctly.
I’ve seen even strong squatters and deadlifters to struggle with mediocore weight on lunges! Because they’ve been training too much the primary movers in absence of stabilizers! It is important to execute also a bit “uncomfortable” movement patterns to your routines to give your body a better sense of how to function as a whole unit.
The nice thing with lunges is that you can have a lot of variety with them. It is a good idea to do lunges to every direction not just in the fron of you. You could do them to front, to sides, to back, to anywhere to target a bit different muscles in your legs.
With exercise as demanding as lunges it is a good idea to start with really light weights since even though you might be strong squatting if you’ve never done lunges you might be surprised how difficult they might be.
I’d advice to keep your lunges between the 8-15 rep range with 1-3 sets.
If you’ve never been through a drop sets on leg press you have truly missed some of the most grueling leg exercises routines known to man kind. Imagine first doing an easy set of 15 reps on leg press then drop two 45’s from the press and crank out another 15 reps and after that drop off another pair of 45’s and push yourself for max reps, then again drop 45’s…
After that set I’ll guarantee it for you, your whole legs will be totally destroyed by lactic acid and you’re on the verge of puking or maybe even puke’d.
Leg press is a great additional exercise for building mass for all around your legs. It takes your upper body out of the picture and you can really concentrate on contracting every muscle fiber in your legs.
For the rep range I tend to move between 12-15 reps per set.
These two variations of deadlift are absolute killers for building your glutes and hamstrings. These movements on top of being magnificent muscle builders in the back side of your legs, also will put a nice strain on your back muscles.
It is absolutely crucial to maintain strong form and neutral spine when performing these movements. Start with light weights and really hammer the correct technique down so you don’t end up hurting yourself. Minimizing the risk of injury is as important as training hard!
Rep range should be somwhere between 8-15 repetitions per set for maximizing that hypertrophy response. Also when working with higher rep sets you’ll have much more success to really stretch those hamstrings and thus maximizing your time under tension!
#5 LYING LEG CURLS / LEG EXTENSIONS
Both of these are good “icing on the cakes” for really contracting those quads and hamstrings. I’d advice that never build your leg routines around these exercises.
Instead throw these in after your heavy squats or other basic compound exercises to really isolate and pump the muscles.
Keep the intensity quite low on these and just concentrate on really squeezing and contracting the muscle!
Good rep range would be around 12-15 reps.
So here we have it. The best exercises for legs! When you incorporate these movements into your routine I can guarantee that you will see results! But rememeber, as important as the correct exercises are the correct diet and rest and right intensity is absolutely crucial also to building muscle.
Start your leg workout with the most demanding exercise which in this case would be squat or leg press. After that do lunges or romanian deadlifts and lastly the curls and extensions. You can alternate a bit between the exercises for example this week do squats and next week do leg press but don’t push them both in on every workout.
For an example your leg workout routine could look something like this:
Squat 1-3 sets for 8-15 reps
Lunges 1-3 sets for 12-15 reps
Romanian Deadlifts 1-3 sets for 12-15 reps
Lying leg curls 1-3 sets for 12-15 reps
Leg extensions 1-3 sets for 12-15 reps
This is just a scratch on the surfcase of building muscle but if you want to know more check out my review on Sean Nalewanyj’s The Body Transformation Blueprint HERE This program got EVERYTHING you need to build muscle and strength as fast as humanly possible.
Did you find this article helpful? Got questions or suggestions in mind? Drop a comment below and share your ideas!
– Jesse 🙂