Leg muscles are the strongest part of human body. As you can guess they are located below the belt and are often referred as a ‘lower body’. Legs are probably the one of the most important muscle groups. Without them we couldn’t walk, never mind run or kick.
Unfortunately, lower body training is usually neglected especially by beginning bodybuilders, what leads to funny disproportion – bigger upper body with small (chicken) legs. This is the most common mistake of young weight-lifters.
Because leg muscles are very strong we are able train them with really heavy weigh. Training lower body increases the production of testosterone and human growth hormone by our bodies – hormones that make us stronger, bigger and more masculine.
Anatomy of leg muscles
This body part contains 4 main muscles:
- Quadriceps (quads) – in front of our legs, above the knee. They are responsible for straightening the leg (kicking motion);
- Hamstrings (hams) are opposite muscle on the other side of leg. They also have an opposite function – flexing legs (curling);
- Glutes (butt muscles) are extremely strong and powerful body part. Their main function is to extending the hips (straightening from sitting position for example);
- Calves are located below the knee – back side of your shin. You use them to stand on your toes (flexing the foot).
Together we have the strongest, most powerful muscle group of human body. Leg muscles are crucial in walking, running, jumping, kicking, squatting and of course standing.
Exercises for legs
Most effective exercises for leg muscles are:
- Barbell Squat (back of front),
- Lunges (barbell or dumbbell; stationary or walking),
- Leg press.
We have also additional exercises: stiff-leg deadlift, hack squat, GHD raises…
There are also few isolation exercises to hit directly each part of leg muscles:
- Leg extensions – quads,
- Leg curls – hamstrings,
- Calf raises – calves,
- Glute bridges for glutes.
Example of workout for leg muscles
Below are few lower body workout examples depending from experience.
- Squat 15/15 or Leg Press 15/15
Add another set of 12 repetitions after week or two.
- Squat 12/10/8,
- Walking Lunges 10/8/6,
- Seated Calf Raises 15/12/10.
- Front Squat 10/8/6,
- Stiff-leg Deadlift 12/10/8,
- Leg Press 10/8/6,
- Standing Calf Raises 15/12/10/8.
- Squat 12/10/8/6,
- Barbell Lunges 10/8/6/6,
- Hack Squat (machine) 12/10/8/6,
- Seated Calf Raises 15/12/10/8,
- Single Leg Calf Raises 12/10/8.
Generally, build your legs workout around squat. This is the best exercise for leg muscles and works pretty much the whole body. Add to it few additional exercises for the complete lower body development. Build up your volume slowly like in above examples – the more advanced you are, the more sets and exercises you need.
Leg training is extremely important in building strong and aesthetic physique. Your whole body is growing when you train leg muscles and it’s growing much faster than without it.
People who avoid training lower body end up weaker than the rest and usually with a funny disproportion which is very difficult to fix. Besides when you have bigger legs you look far stronger and better. Believe me or not but women pay very much attention to men’s legs, as much as we do to theirs.