Leg Workouts That Give You Insane Muscle Growth

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leg workouts

7 Top Leg Workouts Designed To Give Maximum Results In The Shortest Time Possible

7 leg workouts. That’s a lot. You may be wondering why we’ve opted to give you that much variety and the reason is simple. There’s no single exercise or workout that works for everybody. You need to pick a workout that works for you!

When you think of going to the gym for your regular leg day routine, you probably think ahead to the oncoming nausea, the stiff legs for the next few days and not being able to walk properly.

Although these symptoms of leg training are the same for just about everyone out there, when it comes to finding ways to destroy your legs there are so many ways you can achieve that.

Any time you come across a workout online, you’ll be told that the squat is the king of all exercises and the best exercise for the lower body. While this may be true, you can take virtually any other leg exercise and use it to enhance different areas of your leg by simply modifying the way you position your feet or by using other advanced exercise techniques.

All of this is good news for you because you have the choice to either pack on slabs of solid muscle in your glutes, quads or your hamstrings or you can focus on a specific area for a period to fix any areas of weakness you may have.

Coming back to the 7 leg workouts, you’ll find that they each have their own specific goal in mind. Simply pick a leg workout that meets your own needs, follow it for 4-8 weeks and then make the change to another workout.

If you’re not sure which one to follow, I recommend using the first one which has an overall goal of maximizing the mass you gain from these leg routines.

Workout Objective 1 – Increase Overall Muscle Mass In Your Legs

There is a specific way to go about gaining leg mass. There’s nothing random about training for size. Gaining leg mass means beginning workouts with the most difficult and heaviest exercises first and using a high amount of reps and sets while hitting your legs from every angle and ultimately training to the point of failure.

When it comes to the leg press for example, shifting your feet up or down, wider or narrower all make a difference in the way your legs get stressed. If you put your feet high up on the sled you’ll be putting more emphasis on the hamstrings and buttocks.

Another important point is to not go so heavy on your sets that you’re unable to complete a full range of motion which means your knees forming a 90 degree angle. Not going through a full ROM will limit that amount of work your hamstrings and glutes end up doing which ultimately means less growth potential for those areas.

Pyramids aren’t just structures in Egypt. They’re the protocol of the most of the leg workouts that follow. Reverse pyramids in fact.

The reason for using reverse pyramids is to allow your legs to handle more sets that you can push to failure. Keep in mind that you need to lighten the weights you’ll be using as the target number of reps increases.

You’ll be hitting all four major parts of your legs with this routine. Namely, the quads, hamstrings, calves and glutes. If you need to keep your workouts shorter, you can simply perform the exercises for your hamstrings and calves on another day, for example.

Notes

  1. Select a weight that lets you reach failure at the target rep indicated.
  2. Always warm up sufficiently as much as needed but not to the point of muscular failure.
  3. If you’re fortunate enough to train with a partner, you could do a couple forced repetitions on the first 1 or 2 sets of your heaviest sets for each exercise.

Leg Routine For Mass

Barbell Squat

Perform 2 sets of 6-8 repetitions, lower the weight and then do 2 more sets of 8-10 repetitions.

Leg Press

Do 2 sets of 8-10 repetitions. Change your foot position and then do another 2 sets of 10-12 repetitions.

Dumbbell Walking Lunge

Perform 3 sets of 10, 12 and 14 repetitions per leg.

Leg Extensions

Perform 3 sets of 8, 10 and then 12 repetitions.

Lying Leg Curls

Perform 3 sets of 8, 10 and then 12 repetitions.

Standing Calf Raises

Perform 2 sets of 12 repetitions and then 2 more sets of 20 repetitions.

Workout Objective 2 – Increased Muscle Definition

A lot of people would say that in order to increase muscle definition you need to use light weights and do high numbers of reps for each set in your leg workouts. The truth is, that isn’t enough. It’s necessary to maintain a high metabolism which will facilitate a muscle building stimulus and ensure you continue to burn a lot of calories long after your workout is over.

To achieve this goal, the primary exercise in this workout is done in regular straight sets. In other words, you do your reps, rest a bit and then repeat until all your sets are done.

All the other exercises will then be done in a superset fashion performing compound exercises. Your resting time will be decreased and the volume of reps and sets will also be high.

Notes

  1. Select a weight that lets you reach failure at the target rep indicated.
  2. Always warm up sufficiently as much as needed but not to the point of muscular failure.
  3. The primary exercise (number 1) is still a heavy exercise to maintain a high metabolism and muscle mass.
  4. As hard as it is, minimize your rest between sets and keep your heart pumping. This needs to be cardio intense just as much as it’s a weight workout.

The High Definition Routine

Smith Machine Squat

Perform 2 sets of 8-10 repetitions with your feet in front and then another 2 sets of 8-10 repetitions with your feet underneath yourself.

Superset 1

Leg Press + Goblet Squat

Perform 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions of the leg press and without resting, perform another 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions of the goblet squat.

Superset 2

Reverse Barbell Lunge + Leg Extensions

Perform 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions of the reverse barbell lunge and without resting, perform another 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions of leg extensions.

Superset 3

Lying Leg Curls + Donkey Calf Raises

Perform 4 sets of 10-12 repetitions of the reverse barbell lunge and without resting, perform another 4 sets of 12-15 repetitions of leg extensions.

Workout Objective 3 – Form First

The point of this particular objective is to help beginners learn the correct movements of the big compound movements first and then graduate onto actually doing heavier lifts without using machines.

For example, a squat is a very technical exercise and although it’s challenging, it can be replaced with the goblet squat instead until you master your coordination.

This is another reason this particular workout objective makes use of a lot of machines. Machines have their place in the gym and in this particular workout because the movements of each exercise is better controlled and makes for a great starting point in your muscle building journey.

Notes

  1. Select a weight that lets you reach failure at the target rep indicated.
  2. Always warm up sufficiently as much as needed but not to the point of muscular failure.
  3. Start each workout with by doing a difficult compound movement. Since this uses more muscle you’ll need to rest more between sets.

The Best Beginner Leg Workout Routine

Goblet Squat

Perform 4 sets of 10-12 repetitions and rest 90 seconds between each set.

Leg Press

Perform 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions and rest 90 seconds between each set.

Leg Extensions

Perform 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions and rest 60 seconds between each set.

Seated Leg Curl

Perform 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions and rest 60 seconds between each set.

Standing Calf Raises

Perform 3 sets of 15 repetitions and rest 60 seconds between each set.

Workout Objective 4 – Enhance The Quadriceps

It’s physically impossible to isolate any one muscle or part of the leg when doing compound exercises but it is possible to enhance one part versus another.

With this workout routine the plan is to simultaneously increase the ROM (range of motion) of the knee and minimize the hip joint ROM. This is achieved by using different foot placement in a machine exercise for example.

Another way to enhance the quads would be to perform front squats instead or regular squats with a bar on your back simply because the load is shifted forwards.

Using partial reps you can also load up the weight by as much as 30 percent because you won’t be going as low as you normally would. Just remember to not go all the way down.

Much like the first Workout Objective, this workout routine also uses a reverse pyramid method. Remember to keep the weight lighter as the repetitions are higher.

You will need to add exercises for your calves and hamstrings if you want to since this workout plan only includes exercises for the quads and buttocks. Keep reading to learn more about these epic leg workouts.

Notes

  1. Select a weight that lets you reach failure at the target rep indicated.
  2. Always warm up sufficiently as much as needed but not to the point of muscular failure.
  3. This routine follows a reverse pyramid method so decrease the weights after your first 2 sets of each exercise to allow for more repetitions.
  4. If you’re fortunate enough to train with a partner, you could do a couple forced repetitions on the first 1 or 2 sets of your heaviest sets for each exercise.

The Quadricep Enhancing Workout Plan

Front Barbell Squat

Perform 2 sets of 6-8 repetitions followed by 1 set of 8-10 repetitions and 1 set of 12 repetitions.

Hack Squat

Perform 3 sets of 8, 10 and 12 repetitions by keeping your feet the same width as your hips.

Perform another 3 sets of heavier partial repetitions but only go down halfway.

Leg Press

Perform 3 sets of 8, 10 and 12 repetitions and make sure your feet are placed low on the platform.

Leg Extensions

Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions followed by a single set of 12 repetitions. Sets 2 and 3 are drop sets which mean you drop the weight by a small percentage and continue the next set without any rest, drop the weight again and do the last set without resting between any set.

Workout Objective 5 – Enhance The Glutes

In the previous Workout Object we were trying to decrease the amount of glute involvement in each exercise. This time, we’re trying to maximize its involvement.

This will be achieved by using glute enhancing exercises and changing foot placement during those exercises. It’s important to go as deep as possible in each rep as this will really get the glutes involved in each movement.

Once again we’re using the the same reverse pyramid strategy that was used in the previous leg workouts. Keep in mind that you need to lighten the weights you’ll be using as the target number of reps increases.

Although the final exercise, the Romanian deadlift, is a hamstring exercise, it does also target the glutes so it’s been included in this workout plan.

If you so desire, you can complement this workout with additional calf and hamstring exercises.

Notes

  1. Select a weight that lets you reach failure at the target rep indicated.
  2. Always warm up sufficiently as much as needed but not to the point of muscular failure.
  3. This routine follows a reverse pyramid method so decrease the weights after your first 2 sets of each exercise to allow for more repetitions.
  4. If you’re fortunate enough to train with a partner, you could do a couple forced repetitions on the first 1 or 2 sets of your heaviest sets for each exercise.

The Glute Enhancing Workout Plan

Wide Stance Barbell Squat

Perform 2 sets of 6-8 repetitions followed by 1 set of 8-10 repetitions and 1 set of 12 repetitions. Decrease the load for the third and fourth sets.

Leg Press

Perform 3 sets of 8, 10 and 12 repetitions while keeping your foot placement high on the sled.

Barbell Reverse Lunge

Perform 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions for each leg without resting at all during this exercise.

One Legged Cable Kickback

Perform 3 sets of 8, 10 and 12 repetitions.

Romanian Deadlift

Perform 2 sets of 8 repetitions followed by 2 sets of 12 repetitions.

Workout Objective 6 – Enhance The Hamstrings

Hamstring development is very important as it maintains the integrity of your knee joint so they shouldn’t be neglected. Their place in leg workouts isn’t just for aesthetic appeal.

Most people dedicated to leg day training are very familiar with the host of leg curling movements in all their variety such as standing, seated and lying.

But hamstring work should also include hip movement and this ultimately means you need to do your Romanian deadlifts.

Don’t get this exercise mixed up with the similar stiff legged deadlift or a regular deadlift for that matter. The weight should never reach the ground when you perform a Romanian deadlift.

This exercise has the added benefit of hitting the upper hamstring area as well as the glutes.

Always, always, always keep perfect form by never allowing your back to round at any point during this movement. Only go as far down as you can while maintaining correct form.

You may be aware of the fact that your hamstrings are activated every time you do deep squats or when you’re controlling the way you descend in any squat variation but this hamstring involvement isn’t enough to completely omit exercises that specifically target these muscles.

If you don’t want to train your quads and hamstrings in the same session and instead, do them on separate workout sessions you’ll need to ensure that you give yourself at least 48 hours between those leg workouts to allow for sufficient recovery of your muscles.

If you decide to do everything in one hardcore session, you can do it after training your quads or glute muscles. On a rare occasion, for muscle shock, you can do it before all your other leg work.

This workout routine also uses a reverse pyramid method. Remember to keep the weight lighter as the repetitions are higher.

Notes

  1. Select a weight that lets you reach failure at the target rep indicated.
  2. Always warm up sufficiently as much as needed but not to the point of muscular failure.
  3. This routine follows a reverse pyramid method so decrease the weights after your first 2 sets of each exercise to allow for more repetitions.
  4. If you find it difficult to complete the glute-ham raise exercise at the end of your training session, rather do it as an earlier exercise when you have more energy.
  5. Each week, replace the standing single leg curl with the seated leg curl and the following week do the lying leg curl. This means that every third workout you’ll be doing all three types of leg curls.

The Hamstring Enhancing Workout Plan

Romanian Deadlift

Perform 2 sets of 6-8 repetitions followed by a third set of 8-10 repetitions and a final set of 12 repetitions. Make sure to use less weight on the last 2 sets.

Standing Leg Curl

Perform 3 sets of 8, 10 and 12 repetitions.

Floor Glute-Ham Raise

Perform 3 sets using only your bodyweight until muscular failure.

Workout Objective 7 – Pre-Exhaustion

To begin this workout you’ll be doing a single-joint exercise aimed at working the quadriceps. Once you move on to the compound movements you’ll already have drained your quads but your hamstrings and glute muscles will still be ready for action.

In each compound exercise, your hamstrings and glutes will be strong enough for the exercise but your quads will be begging for mercy.

This intense training protocol is excellent for when you’re trying to break out of a training plateau.

Although you’ll be stronger on the leg extension exercise which is typically done as a finishing move in your leg routine, make sure to keep repetitions nice and high so you aren’t killing your knees.

Everything in this workout is going to be difficult after you pre-exhaust your quads so it’s a good idea to use less weight on the leg extensions too.

Notes

  1. Select a weight that lets you reach failure at the target rep indicated.
  2. Always warm up sufficiently as much as needed but not to the point of muscular failure.
  3. Because you’re starting out with a single joint exercise and then performing all your compound movements, you’ll be stronger in the beginner and weaker than usual during your compound lifts so use an appropriate amount of weight.

The Best Pre-Exhaust Routine

Leg Extensions

Perform 5 sets of 8-10 repetitions.

Smith Machine Squat

Perform 2 sets of 8-10 repetitions followed by 1 set of 10-12 repetitions and a final set of 12 repetitions. Use less weight on the last 2 sets.

Hack Squat

Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Dumbbell Lunges

Perform 3 sets of 12 repetitions for each leg.

That covers pretty much everything you need to know when it comes to leg workouts and the multiple training objectives you could want to achieve. Stay consistent in your workout sessions and you’ll consistently get the results you want.

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