A nice pair of legs can be really eye catching, don’t you agree? They may not be every male’s first choice in the exercise realm, but it’s good to balance out a big upper body with a strong pair of legs. Here are five great leg exercises that will strength, tone and build all of your individual leg muscles.
Universally known as one of the best compound movements, squats will serve you well if you do them correctly. Performing squats with a barbell requires you to engage every leg muscle, as well as your core and back. Lower your booty to the ground as much as possible while keeping a flat back and progress with weights as you become stronger. Try different variations of this movement to keep things exciting, such as the hack and reverse squat, smith machine and squats using dumbbells.
2. Romanian Deadlifts
If you’re looking to improve your hamstrings, the Romanian deadlift will easily get the job done. We often focus solely on the glutes and quads, neglecting a huge body part that serves a crucial function, the hamstrings. To perform this exercise, you only need to lower your upper body down to your knees, and then back up, all while keeping a flat back and stiff legs. Keep the bar as close to your legs as possible and do not bend your knees as you lower yourself. The hamstrings should be on fire by the time you’re done completing your last rep!
3. Calf Raises
Calf raises, sometimes referred to as heel raises, are great for growing the knee and ankle stability muscles in your legs. Perform standing, seated or leg press calf raises to create sexy, defined calves as well as improve your athletic endurance. This body part is fairly small so one or two sets of these per week will suffice.
4. Lying Leg Curls
Targeting the hamstrings, glutes and calves, lying leg curls could be considered an all-in-one exercise for lower body definition. Lying face down on the leg curl machine, place your legs underneath the machine’s pads and bend your knees so that your heels travel to your glutes. The most important thing you need to remember is to keep your hips on the machine. Do not lift your bum but instead keep it firmly attached to the pad and squeeze once you reach the top. Lower the legs back down slowly and repeat 10 times to complete one set.
5. Leg Extensions
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to lift excruciatingly heavy weight on the leg extension machine in order to get great quadriceps. By simply repeating each repetition slowly, you can strengthen and tone your legs impressively. Just like with the lying leg curl, keep your booty glued to the chair and squeeze your legs once you reach the full extension. Lower your legs back down, without any momentum or swinging, and rise again to the full extension. Repeat this movement 10 times to complete one full set.