One often overlooked area of training is leg day. Looking good in the gym is often thought to consist of arm workouts, chest workouts, and a broader back with a six pack of abs. However, training legs can be one of the most effective full-body workout that improves hormonal response as well as helps to re-composition the body.
Leg training can be dreaded for some that have failed to keep up their legs in accordance with the rest of their body parts; however, if trained correctly with the right amount of resistance and the correct amount of variety, leg exercises can be looked forward to and really provide a sense of accomplishment after leaving the gym.
These four leg exercises will give you an awesome workout help develop your legs into a killer set of wheels. Here is the list:
Squats are probably the king of all leg exercises and most widely recognized as bringing one of the most well-rounded leg workouts and full body workouts to the novice trainee all the way to the most advanced. They can also be dreaded sometimes. However, if starting at a manageable amount of weight and focusing on the proper form and resistance, squats can be developed to be felt and really tear at the hamstrings on the back of the leg while at the same time giving the glutes a tissue-tearing run for their money.
2. Leg Presses
Using the leg press machine has many similarities to the squat rack: it is an upward pressing motion in a controlled movement that focuses on the glute muscles. However, the leg press machine also brings even more control than a free-standing squat rack (while more similar to a smith machine) because it runs on tracks. This can be better for preventing injury and saving the knees: especially in the learning stages of leg development. Try additional leg presses when first starting out training legs to help build development and also help build up your squat capability.
3. Dumbbell Lunges
Dumbbell lunges are about the best “finisher” exercise there is for leg training. Lunges not only royally tear the glutes, but they can also leave the hamstrings burner and can be felt even more-so than actual squats in some cases. In fact, there have been times where I have taken time off from lunges to focus on the squat rack only to return to dumbbell lungs and be absolutely maimed and unable to walk the next day! Try lunges with a lighter dumbbell weight on a leg day as your last exercise of the day. Don’t be surprised if the next day you wake up with your leg muscles absolutely screaming in lactic acid glory while they recover from what you put them through!
Finally, deadlifts, although primarily used for the lower lumbar and lat muscles of the back, also give a strong contribution to both the quadriceps and also the hamstrings depending on the form that is used to perform them. With certain grips and certain widths of the stance, deadlifts can effectively target either the hamstrings or the quadriceps in supplementation to the back muscles that you are working while performing the lifts. Try heavy deadlifts on a non-squat day to really reap the benefit of additional heavy leg-training benefits.
That’s my list on the four effective leg exercises for an awesome workout. Of course I do not purport this to be an all-encompassing list; nor am I suggesting that my word is final and that I may not be correct here. In fact, I’d like you to weigh-in to the conversation by leaving your thoughts, comments, questions, and additions below. I look forward to the feedback and I thank you for reading! 🙂