When looking to grow your hamstrings, quads, glutes, and calves, you want to incorporate moves that engage these muscles and allow you to use heavy weight with a fitness bar, barbell, or dumbbell. Here are five mass-building leg workouts that go beyond shaping and toning your lower body and add on some serious bulk.
1. Barbell Squats
If looking for the best exercise to quickly build your quadriceps while still hitting the rest of your legs, barbell squats are the go-to workout for building noticeable mass. To safely complete this exercise, you should have a squat rack or power cage. Start by adjusting the bar to a comfortable position. Stand shoulder-width apart and lift the bar onto your shoulders. Sitting your hips back, squat down low to the ground. Keep your back straight while you do this, and make sure your knees do not push out past your feet. Slowly stand back up to the starting position.
2. Romanian Deadlifts
The Romanian deadlift is a variation of the deadlift exercise that places greater emphasis on the hamstrings and glutes. You can also use power racks to put you in the proper standing position. As opposed to the regular deadlift that begins with a starting position near the ground, the Romanian deadlight begins in a standing position with the bar resting near the thighs. Next, lower the bar until you reach your shins or the ground, making sure to keep your back straight the entire time. Stand back up and repeat.
3. Walking Lunges
For a walking lunge, you are essentially reaping all the benefits a regular lunge, such as strengthening and building mass in all the leg muscles, while also stretching out the hip flexors. To complete this exercise, you’ll need plenty of room to walk back and forth. First, transition from a standing position with your feet together and step forward and lower your hips until you create a 90-degree angle. Push up and step out to complete a lunge on the other side.
4. Seated Calf Raises
For a well-balanced structure, you need to make sure you include your calves into your leg workout routine. This muscle is also used in many endurance-activities, such as running, jumping, and walking. For this exercise, a seated calf machine or a bench with some dumbbells can do the trick. Places the weight onto your knees and lift onto your toes with your heels up. Lower slowly all the way down.
5. Leg Presses
Leg presses are similar to squats in the way they work out all the muscles in your legs, especially your quads. However, they are performed in a seated position and isolate the legs rather than engage the rest of the body. Before starting, add the desired about of weight and adjust the machine so your legs are in a crouched position. Remove the support system and push the pad with your feet so your knees are at a 90-degree angle. From this starting position, push forward until there is only a very slight bend in the knees. Bring your knees back and repeat.
Combine these exercises together to target all of your leg muscles in a single routine. Shop for the best fitness equipment to get the most out of your workout.