Leg Workouts For Bigger Legs: Ultimate Beginners Guide!

Our legs have various muscle groups, which consist of multiple individual muscles. Although these muscle groups can function independently for particular exercises, they share the functions with multiple leg muscles to accomplish movements like compound leg exercises.

The Leg Anatomy

When you execute different compound leg exercises there is an overlap of muscle groups that are being activated during these exercises. For example, when you do a squat it does not only target your quads but also your hamstrings and glutes.

I'm going to elaborate on the different muscle groups and the individual muscles to give you a better understanding of what muscles are being activated and where the muscles of the leg anatomy are located.

Identifying Muscles:

The quadriceps consist of four large muscles that make up the front of the thighs.

The Quadriceps Include:

  • Rectus Femoris
  • Vastus Lateralis
  • Vastus Intermedius
  • Vastus Medialis

Quadriceps Functions:

  • Knee Extension (main function)
  • Hip Flexion

Identifying Muscles:

The hamstrings consists of three muscles that make up the backside of thighs.

The Hamstrings Include:

  • Biceps Femoris (Long Head & Short Head)
  • Semitendinosus
  • Semimembranosus

Hamstrings Functions:

  • Knee Flexion (main function)
  • Internal Knee Rotation
  • External Rotation
  • Hip Extension

Identifying Muscles:

The glutes are made up by three individual muscles that are situated at the backside of the upper leg above the hamstrings.

The Gluteus Include:

  • Gluteus Maximus
  • Gluteus Medius
  • Gluteus Minimus

Gluteus Functions:

  • Hip Extension (main function)
  • Hip Abduction

Identifying Muscles:

The hip abductors have three individual muscles which are found by the outer thigh area.

The Hip Abductor Muscles Include:

  • Abductor Brevis
  • Abductor Longus
  • Abductor Magnus

Hip Abductors Functions:

  • Hip Abduction (main function)
  • External Rotation
  • Hip Extension
  • Hip Flexion

Identifying Muscles:

The Iliopsoas consists of two muscles which are the main hip flexor muscles that play a main role in stabilizing the lower back. These hip flexor muscles are found on the front of the leg by the inner hip area.  

The Iliopsoas Includes:

  • Iliacus​​​​
  • Psoas (Major and Minor)

Hip Flexors Function:

  • Hip Flexion

Identifying Muscles:

The calf is comprised of two muscles, which is the gastrocnemius and beneath that the soleus.

The Calf Muscles Include:

  • Gastrocnemius
  • Soleus

Calf Muscle Function:

  • Plantar Flexion

Knowing the movements of the lower limb will help you understand which exercises are associated with the movements.

Lower Limb Movements

Some of the smaller leg muscles that are  located under the main muscles can't be directly targeted , but they do get activated with specific exercises which will improve stabilization and increase performance.

Lets dive into the techniques and exercises that will help you to accomplish your goals!

How Do You Build Bigger Legs?

When you are trying to build a good symmetrical physique, you should dedicate more time and focus to your leg workouts. Legs are one of the most neglected muscle groups, which is quite ironic since you reap the most benefits from training this muscle group.

There are many different exercises you can do to train your legs but for increasing strength and size you need to focus on a specific exercises that activate the right type of muscle fibres.

When it comes to building bigger and stronger legs, it is recommended to focus on free weights and your workout should consist of mostly strength exercises.

Knowing the techniques and types of training will help you achieve your goals faster.

The resistance training is used to achieve your goals. This type of training is executed against an opposing force which is caused by resistance.

There are 2 different phases that are used.

Hypertrophy Phase:

The hypertrophy training phase focuses on high volume and moderate intensity, which means a higher number of repetitions and a lower amount of sets.

This phase increases hormonal response and production the most out of all training phases.  

Strength Phase:

The strength training phase focuses more on intramuscular and neural adaptations. 

This phase focuses on lower volume and higher intensity,  which consists of a lower amount repetitions and a higher number of sets. Good stability is essential for strength.

How Do Our Muscles Respond To This Training?

In response to this form of training the muscle fibres breakdown which is called catabolism. After the muscles fibres breakdown the body repairs and regrows the muscles to recover and get stronger which is known as anabolism.

To be in a anabolic state means you are in a growing phase. The muscles are provided with testosterone, growth hormone, IGF-1, protein and amino acids to recover. Ensuring you get enough time to recover will improve your performance during your next workout.

How Do Our Hormones Respond To This Training?

Hormones are substances that regulates functions of our organs, tissues and cells, which is secreted by endocrine glands in the body.

Before you start your workout two specific hormones, epinephrine and norepinephrine rise which increase blood glucose to improve muscle contractions as well as increasing energy and force production.

The increase of these hormones is to prepare the body for the exercises. Resistance training also increases testosterone production which is one of the main hormones for building muscle and strength. 

Testosterone levels in men usually peak at the ages of 20-22. It has been said that testosterone levels with decrease at about 1% per year after the age of about 30.

Benefits Of Testosterone:

Symptoms Of Low Testosterone Levels:

  • Improve Mood
  • Increase Libido
  • Improve Spatial Memory
  • Good Heart Health
  • Retain Less Fat 
  • Retain More Muscle 
  • Improve Bone Health 
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Low Libido
  • Osteoporosis
  • Increased Body Fat 

Machine Or Free Weight Exercises?

Many people focus on machine exercises because you can contract and isolate the muscles more. Isolation/machine exercises only work specific muscles which is not beneficial when your are trying to get increase strength and build muscle. Machine exercises can be used at the end of your training session but should not be the core of your leg workout.

To increase overall strength all your leg muscles need to be trained regularly to ensure that they grow and get stronger. Unlike isolation exercises strength exercises work multiple muscle groups and muscles that isolation exercises can't.

Your workout should mostly be comprised of strength and free weight exercises but should not make up the whole workout as it will increase the risk of injury when you are tired and fatigued. It is recommended to change up your workout regularly so your body doesn't get use to the workout as the this will decrease the effectiveness of the workout.

Technique

When it comes to resistance training, technique is crucial for a workout to be effective and successful. Ensure that you are using the correct form and techniques for all the exercises before increasing the weight. Using the correct techniques will ensure the benefits of the exercises as well as minimizing the risk of injury.

Intensity Levels

Intensity refers to the amount of physical power used by a person during exercise which is compared to their maximum effort. Intensity is measured by the amount of resistance that is used.

The body adapts differently according to the level of intensity that is used. To increase strength the level of intensity must be sufficient to overload the muscles current adaptation levels.

Repetition Range

Repetitions refer to the number of times the muscles are under tension during a set. The amount of repetitions will determine the type of muscle fibers and energy systems that is worked.

The idea is to train until the point of muscle failure. Rep range will depend on the intensity and the exercises you are doing. The higher the intensity level is the lower the rep range will be. You can do 1-5 reps with high intensity, which focuses more on increasing strength.

Training with moderate intensity, moderate reps can be used. You can do 6-12 repetitions and moderate intensity, which will  focus on increasing muscle mass and hormone production.

You can alternate with the intensity levels and repetitions in workout to maximize muscle growth as well as increasing strength.

Strength Training Guidelines

Sets

Repetitions

Rest

Intensity

 Exercises

Frequency

4-6

1-5

3-5 Minutes

85-100%

1-3 strength exercises

2-4 times per week

Hypertrophy Training Guidelines

Sets

Repetitions

Rest

Intensity

 Exercises

Frequency

3-5

6-12

0-60 Seconds

75-85%

2-4 strength exercises

3-6 times per week

Recovery Time

Allowing enough time to rest is crucial for recovery, building muscle and increasing performance. Recovery time is determined by the intensity, volume and the muscle fiber type that is used during the training session.

There are many factors that determine how long it takes for your muscles to recover. The size and type of muscle fibers used will affect the time it takes for them to recover. Your smaller muscle groups will generally recover faster than the bigger muscle groups and your fast twitch muscles take longer than your slow twitch muscles to recover.

Another factor is over-training which leads to hormonal imbalances and has an impact on the immune system. A weak immune system can cause you to constantly feel mentally and physically fatigued.

It can take between 2-10 days for tissue to repair completely. Protein is synthesized by muscle tissue to recover, so ensure your protein intake is sufficient.

Training Muscles In Sequence

When it comes to training a muscle group you should begin with the larger muscles and end with the smaller muscles.

This is done so you have more energy to do the demanding exercises first which require more effort.  You should change the sequence regularly so that muscles are in proportion and your physique is symmetrical. 

Guidelines For Weight Training

What To Do?

Warm up:

Warm up with 5-10 minutes of cardiovascular exercise to increase blood flow to your muscles to warm them up.

Stretch:

Stretching should be done before and after every weight training session to prevent injuries and improve recovery.

Use Correct Form:

Using the right form and technique will ensure an effective workout, improve performance and minimize the risk of injury.

Control Breathing:

Breathe while doing exercises to ensure that you are supplying your body with enough oxygen.

Use Suitable Weight:

Begin with a comfortable weight and increase a safe amount of weight each time. To prevent injury avoid trying to do heavier weights then what you normally do without someone spotting you.

What Not To Do?

Over Train:

Over training is caused from an overload of strenuous exercise, which prevents your muscles from recovering properly before your next workout. This puts the body and muscles under extra stress which weakens the immune system and make you more prone to flu. Rest days are just as important as training days are.

Train Through The Pain:

If exercises are causing pain other than muscle pains avoid trying train through the pain as is it could result in an injury. 

Rush Exercises:  

Rushing the movement of the exercise will decrease control of the movement and the contraction of the muscles. When you perform exercises ensure that the movement is controlled and that you are contracting your muscles for the exercise to be effective.  

What Are The Benefits Of Training Legs?

  • Increase Testosterone
  • Increase Metabolic Function
  • Increase Physical Capacity 
  • Increase Overall Strength 
  • Improve Physical Appearance 
  • Increase energy and Improve Mood
  • Less Risk Of Injury

What Factors Affect Strength?

  • Muscle Fiber Type
  • Age
  • Limb And Muscle Length
  • Gender

How Should You Incorporate These Exercises?

You should incorporate these exercises into your leg workout routine by switching some of the old exercises for some new ones or you can make a new leg workout routine with the exercises that have been included.

It is recommended to change up your training routine regularly so your body doesn't get accustomed to the training routine. The muscles get used to the exercises when you use  the same workout routine for a long period of time which makes the exercise less effective.

Switching up your training routine regularly allows all the muscles in a muscle group to be trained so that the muscles are symmetrical.

To ensure you are getting the most out of your workouts you should have a proper diet with an sufficient amount of protein. Incorporating supplements into your diet will help you achieve results faster and will also increase performance during your workout.

The Best Leg Exercises To Build Muscle:

Lets have a look at the most effective leg exercises to build muscle. We have listed the exercises and techniques, which also provides a brief explanation of why the exercise is important.

#1: Barbell Squat

Why It’s Effective:

Barbell squats is a great exercise because it activates several muscle groups. This exercise requires you to stabilize the weight unlike smith machine squats which provides stability for the exercise. Free weighted squats allow for a better range of motion which improves flexibility as well as strengthening your core, bones, joints and ligaments.

Movement: 

To ensure the correct stance your hands and feet should be shoulder width apart with the barbell resting on your shoulders near the center of your trapezius muscles.

Descend with the weight by flexing your hips and knees by lowering hamstrings towards your heels until you reach a 90 degree angle. After achieving a 90 degree angle extend your hips and knees to push the weight in a upwards direction to complete and return to the starting point of the exercise.

How to Incorporate it:

Incorporate barbell squats into the beginning of your workout routine and perform the exercise with more weight, moderate sets and fewer repetitions. For the exercise to be effective use a full range of motion.

Tips:

  • Maintain a natural arch in the lumbar spine.
  • Chin must be elevated with your head facing forwards.
  • Monitor the motion of your ankles, hips and knees.
  • Spotting an individual must be done below the rib cage.

Barbell Squats

#2: Barbell Front Squat

Why It’s Effective:

This exercise is really effective to build powerful quads but also works several muscle groups. Barbell front squats develop a strong lower back and core which will prevent the risk of injuries. Performing this exercise works your stabilizing muscles to improve your posture. Using a full range of motion will increase flexibility as well as strengthening joints, bones and ligaments. The technique for the exercise is simple and easy learn. 

Movement:

The positioning of your feet should be shoulder width apart with your knees and toes pointing 10-15 degrees outwards. From this position you can adjust your stance to be narrower or wider apart.

To perform this exercise the barbell must rest on the front of your shoulders just above your chest. To ensure the barbell is positioned correctly and secured your arms should be parallel to the floor.

There are two different ways to grip the barbell with your hands to secure it. You can cross your arms to grip the barbell with your hands and your elbows elevated so that your arms are parallel to the floor, which is known as the cross grip. 

An alternative to the cross grip is the clean grip which is done by folding your arms backwards and placing your fingers under the barbell just outside of where the  barbell is resting on your shoulders. Like the clean grip your elbows must be pushed up so that your arms are parallel to the floor to secure the barbells positioning. Maintain the parallel positioning of your arms throughout the exercise.

Flex your hips and knees to lower into the squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor and your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. While maintaining a natural arch in your lumbar spine push into your quads to lift the weight upwards until you return to the starting position of the exercise.

The upwards and downwards phase of the squat should be executed slowly and in a controlled manner. Barbell front squats is a simple exercise and the techniques are easy to learn and perfect. 

How to Incorporate it:

Barbell front squats is a great exercise which can be used an alternative to barbell squats when you change up your workout routine. You can incorporate front and back barbell squats if you prefer to instead of just incorporating one or the other. Front squats should be one of your core exercises for quads. For this exercise you want to aim for more weight, while performing fewer reps with a moderate amount of sets.

To prevent the risk of injury, avoid doing this exercise at the end of your workout routine or when you are fatigued.

Tips:

  • Arms must remain parallel to the floor throughout the performance of the exercise.
  • Ensure knees and toes are pointing in the same direction.
  • Maintain a tight core.
  • Spot individual under the rib cage.
  • A natural arch in the lumbar spine must be maintained.
  • Keep head up with your chin pointing forwards.

Barbell Front Squats

#3: Leg Press

Why It’s Effective:

Leg press has a set path for the movement of the exercise which allows you to safely lift heavier weights to maximize muscle growth. Its a great exercise for adding volume to your workout routine with less risk of injuries. 

Leg press is beneficial for isolating the muscles and because the exercise has a short range of motion it stimulates the quads, hamstrings and glutes to their maximum potential. It is ideal for beginners or someone recovering from an injury, that are trying to correct or master the movement techniques.

Movement: 

Start by positioning your feet shoulder width apart in the center of the foot pad, with your toes pointing slightly outwards. If you want to focus on targeting your quads you should position your feet at the bottom of the foot pad. If you want to focus more on your hamstrings and glutes, do the opposite by positioning your feet at the top of the foot pad.

Support the weight by straightening your legs and unhook the safety stopper handles. Ensure that your whole back, especially your lower back remains against the seat to minimize the strain on your lower back and to keep the strain on your glutes which will ensure the effectiveness of the exercise.

Keep the position of your feet set, lower the weight slowly by bringing your legs towards your chest until your knees reach a 90 degree angle. After reaching a 90 degree angle at your knees push into your heels to the lift the weight back to the starting position but don't lock your knees to keep the tension on your quads and to prevent the risk of knee injury.

How to Incorporate it:

It is best to incorporate leg press into the middle or near to the end of your quad workout as it is an isolation exercise and does not require the use of stabilizer muscles. It is a safe exercise to do which allows you to safely push your yourself when you are in the early stages of feeling fatigued.

You want to aim for higher reps and moderate weight since you don't have to focus on form as much, like you have to do with squats.

Tips:

  • Don't lock your knees
  • Keep your lower back firmly against the seat.
  • Avoid bending your knees to far past  90 degrees.

Leg Press

#4: Hack Squat

Why It’s Effective:

Hack squats is a great exercise for developing your quads, glutes and hamstrings. This exercise does not require any upper-body muscles which allows more depth for the movement. 

Hack squats has a fixed range of motion that allows for you to lift a heavier load of weight. Its also excellent to do this exercise if you have muscle imbalances as your can train your legs individually on the hack squat.

Stability is provided for this exercise and which allows for you to easily change your stance to target the desired muscle group/s. If you want to target your quads position your feet lower on the foot pad and positioning your feet higher up on the foot pad will focus on working your glutes.

Movement:

Stand on the foot pad and position your feet shoulder width apart and with your toes pointing slightly outwards. Changing your stance will change the muscle group that is being targeted.

Position your against the back padding and maintain your torso firmly against the padding throughout the whole movement. Shoulders should be placed at the back part of the shoulder padding where it meets with the back padding, to ensure the correct posture for the exercise. Rest your arms by holding the stopper handles of the squat rack. Support the weight by slightly straightening your legs and unhook the safety stopper handles.

While maintaining a straight posture, start lowering the weight slowly by bending your knees until your thighs are parallel to the foot platform or when your knees are bend slightly more than  a 90 degree angle. From this position, push against the foot platform with the heels of your feet to lift the weight until you reach a upright position but not fully extending your body to prevent from locking your knees and so you can keep the tension on your muscles.

How to Incorporate it:

Machine hack squats are best to do at end of your workout, after you have finished with free weighted exercises as the machine has a fixed range of motion to provide stability, which makes the exercise easier and safer to do, after several previously done exercises. It allows you to lift heavier weight safely to help you progress with weight faster.

Aim for about 12-15 reps with moderate to high weight for 4- 6 sets.

Tips:

  • Maintain a good posture by keeping your back straight and against the machine padding.
  • Monitor the motion for your knees,hips and ankles.
  • Keep your head facing forwards.

Hack Squats

#5: Barbell Lunges

Why It’s Effective:

Its a excellent exercise as it is not strenuous on the spinal cord, like squats which are. It you want to give your spine a rest lunges. Lunges is a great alternative to several leg exercises to give your spine a rest from all the strain it gets put under.

Barbell lunges require you to stabilize the weight, which will increase core strength as well as working your stabilizer muscles to improve stability. You will develop and/or improve symmetry of your physique from doing lunges regularly.

Movement:

Start by ensuring that the barbell is set at the right height to allow you to take the weight of the rack. Step under the bar to rest the weight on your shoulders close to the bottom of your neck. 

Grab the barbell with your hands and push into the ground with your heels to straighten your legs and torso, and to lift the weight off the rack. Step back to allow for enough space for you to do the exercise. There are a few variations of ways you can do barbell lunges. Which are the alternating leg lunges, static lunges or walking lunges.

Begin by taking a step forwards with your right leg and lower the weight by bending your right knee and squatting into your hips until your reach a 90 degree angle at the right or when the right thigh is parallel to the floor and the left legs knee just touching the ground but not resting on it, while keeping a upright torso.

Push against the floor with your right foot to complete the repetition and to return to the starting position of the lunge. Repeat with the left leg if chose not to alternate legs.

How to Incorporate it:

Lunges can be done at the beginning of your workout as a warm up or it could also be a core exercise for your workout.

If your prefer to finish off with lunges it is recommended to go lighter as your stabilizer muscles tend to fatigue before the main leg muscles do. Its best to do higher reps (12-15) and with a low to moderate amount of weight.

Tips:

  • Inhale when you are lowering into the lunge.
  • Keep your head facing forwards.
  • Focus on maintaining good balance.
  • Knee should not go beyond the line of your toes.

 Barbell Lunges

#6: Leg Extension

Why It’s Effective:

Leg extensions is an isolation exercise that focuses on your quads. If you are recovering from an injury or even if you just have weak quads, this exercise will build and strengthen your quads to improve your workout performance. 

Leg extensions is not just beneficial for your quads, it also strengthens your patella ligament which can reduce the risk of an injury.

Movement:

Sit on the seat with your back firmly against the back pad and adjust the seat so that your knees are at the edge of the seat, with the foot-pad roller resting on the lower part of the shins just above your ankles. Grab the handles on both sides of the seat and in a controlled manner extend your legs slowly until your legs are fully extended and you are contracting your quads.

Once you have reached the top of the movement, lower the weight slowly until you reach a 90° degree bend at the knees to return back to the starting position, remember to keep the tension on yours quads during this part of the movement as well.

How to Incorporate it:

It best to do leg extension at the beginning or at the end of your workout either to warm up or cool down. It is a isolation exercise for your quads and it does work your stabilizer muscles which makes the exercise safe to do when you are tired and fatigued. You should aim to go for higher reps (15-20) and about 4-6 sets with this exercise.

Tips:

  • Keep upper body upright during the exercise
  • Stay firmly seated by holding the side handles.
  • Keep tension on your quads throughout the movement

Leg Extension 

#7: Barbell Deadlift

Why It’s Effective:

Barbell lifts are where you generate the most power. Dead-lifts is the most important and most effective exercise to do to increase all round strength and this exercise also improves your cardiovascular health as well.

Dead-lifts aren't just great for building strength and muscle its also an excellent exercise for increasing testosterone and growth hormone production which is essential for building muscle, it also prevents the risk of an injury by strengthening the muscles around the important tendons and ligaments.

Barbell dead-lifts is the best exercise for building a strong and symmetrical physique as it works more muscles than any other exercise does.

Movement:

Step towards the bar so the barbell is in the middle of your stance with your feet positioned shoulder-width apart. Maintain a natural arch in your back and bend down to grab the barbell with your hands which should also be shoulder-width apart and with an alternating grip. Once you have found the correct stance and grip, lower your hips so that your knees come into contact with the bar. Your head should be kept facing forwards with your chest pushed out to ensure an arch in your back, then push into your heels to lift the weight

Then pull the barbell back, once it has reached your knees to allow you to push your hips forwards and for your shoulders blades to come together. After you have reached the top of the movement, flex your hips to bend down and in a controlled manner lower the weight back onto the floor. Pull the bar back once the bar has reached your knees to allow you to push your hips forwards and so your shoulder blades can come together.

When you have reached the top of the movement, flex your hips and in a slow and controlled manner lower the weight back onto the ground.

How to Incorporate it:

It is recommended to do dead-lifts after you have warmed up and it should be a core exercise for your workout as it requires a lot of effort to perform this exercise.

Aim for more weight, fewer reps and a moderate amount sets while maintaining a good posture to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the exercise.

Tips:

  • Maintain an ached back throughout the movement.
  • Keep your head facing forwards.
  • Use alternating grip to secure the bar

Barbell Dead-lift 

#8: Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift

Why It’s Effective:

This variation of dead-lifts focuses on building your glutes and hamstrings. Stiff legged dead-lifts will improve flexibility which will allow for a better range of motion. This will boost your squat performance as you will be able to get more depth when performing squats.

Being more flexible will lessen the risk of an injury. Practicing stiff legged dead-lifts will strengthen your posterior chain as well as your core which will lead to better stability. Good stability will make it easy to control the movement of the exercise and will help you progress quicker.

Movement:

While standing position your feet shoulder width apart on the floor. Grab the bar with an over hand grip which should be shoulder width or just passed shoulder width mark apart. Maintain an arch in your back , with your core tightly contracted, and keeping your legs straight, bend down and lower the weight down to floor to reach the bottom of the movement. Pause in the position to get a good contraction, and then return to the starting point of the exercise to complete the movement. 

How to Incorporate it:

Stiff leg dead-lifts can be done as one of the first or last hamstring exercises, but should be a core exercise for your workout. Aim to do this movement with moderate weight, moderate amount of repetitions (30-70%) and more sets.

Tips:

  • Head should be kept up straight.
  • Maintain an arch in your back.
  • Keep core contracted.
  • Control breathing. 

Leg Extensions

#9: Lying Leg Curl

Why It’s Effective:

Lying leg curls is excellent for isolating the hamstrings which will drive more blood to the muscles to increase the hamstring muscle pump. Doing leg extension will help develop bigger hamstrings to give the leg a fuller look to them.

It will also improve the performance for doing squats as it warm the correct muscles and joints as well as providing more stability to control the movement better. Performing this exercise will add more volume to your workout.

Movement:

Lay face down on the bench so that your body is flush with the bench. Your knees should be resting just of the edge of the bench and the foot roller pad resting on the back of the lower leg just above the Achilles tendons. 

Hold the side handles to control the weight,  and flex your knees to lift the weight towards your glutes to contract your hamstrings. Pause at the top of the movement to get a good contraction, then slowly lower your legs back down to return to the starting position of the movement.

How to Incorporate it:

Lying leg curls can be done at any time of the workout and it is also best to do this exercise before doing squats as it will give you more control over the weight. Perform the exercise with more reps and sets as it is great for adding volume to your workout. You can do seated leg curls if you prefer as it is just as effective.

Tips:

  • Keep body flush with bench
  • Control breathing
  • Keep tension on hamstrings
  • Pause for a good contraction

Lying Leg Curl 

#10: Standing Calf Raises

Why It’s Effective:

Calf raises work target your gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. Its also great for rehabilitating and preventing Achilles tendons injuries. Training calf's regularly will build them which will give yours legs better shape and it will also provide more stability by strengthening your ankles as well.

Calf raises is a isolation exercise but it will still increase muscle hypertrophy since calf's is not one of the bigger muscles groups.

Movement:

While standing position your shoulders on the center of the shoulder pads so that you are vertical to the floor  so the weight is focused on the calves. Step onto the machine a position the balls of your feet at the edge of the foot pad to allow for a good range of motion. Legs should be slightly bend at knee but enough so your knees are not locked. In the starting position your heels should hang close to the ground to get a good stretch on them.

Begin by raising your heels until you are on just the balls of your feet to contract your calf muscles. Pause at the top of the movement for a second and then slowly lower your feet back down to the starting position with your heels close to the floor. 

How to Incorporate it:

Calf raises can be done at the beginning or  at the end of your workout. Its great to do when you are fatigued as the movement is controlled which helps to push yourself for last bit of your session. Its best to do calf raises with higher reps and moderate weight to increase blood flow to them for a better pump. 

Tips:

  • Keep your body straight
  • Stand with the balls of your feet on the edge of the foot pad.
  • Stretch calf's at the bottom of the movement.

Standing Calf Raises

Mass Building Leg Workouts:

Here are some of our leg workouts you can use for building stronger legs. The following workouts are based on the exercises listed above.

Leg Workout #1

Exercise:

Sets:

Reps:

Leg Extensions

3

12-15

Barbell Squats

4

8-12

Leg-Press

4

12-5

Dead-lifts

4

8-12

Leg Curls

4

12-15

Leg Workout #2

Exercise:

Enter your text here...

Reps:

Barbell Lunges

4

12-15

Front Squats

4

8-12

Leg Press

4

12-15

Stiff Legged Dead-lifts 

4

8-12

Leg Curls

6

12-15

Leg Workout #3

Exercise:

Sets:

Reps:

Lying Leg Curls

5

12-15

Stiff legged Dead-lifts

4

8-12

Hack Squats

4

12-15

Barbell Lunges

4

8-12

Leg Extensions

5

12-15

In Summary

Now that you know what exercises to do and how to do them you can incorporate them into your workout routine. Keep in mind that you should regularly switch up your routine and diversify exercises to ensure that all your workout are effective.

It is important to warm up before your training session to increase blood flow and prevent the risk of an injury. Your workout routine should consist of mostly strength exercises. Machine exercises can be used at the end of your workout but should not be the core exercises of your workout. For the exercise to be effective the repetitions should be controlled and performed slowly.

Although all these exercises are effective you will just want to pick a few of them for each workout. You can create multiple different workouts with the exercises that have been listed above. Incorporating all of these exercises into a workout can result in over training and doing the same exercises for a long period of time will cause the exercises to be less effective.

When it comes to building muscle a proper diet is just as important as a good workout. In order to build muscle and recover your protein intake must be sufficient.

Remember: To make sure you're getting enough protein in after each workout! 

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