Leg exercises are a very important part of your path to a fitness body. Of course, it will depend a lot on your ultimate goal, if you want to have particularly muscular or thin legs for example.
Regular leg training will give you a firmer posture, improve your balance, and give you more power for everyday movements, such as walking, running, jumping, climbing stairs, and getting up.
If you add the lower legs, thighs, and buttocks, the legs form the largest muscle group in your body. This means that it burns many calories during leg training and that is what makes it so effective in losing body fat.
At the same time, intensive weight training for legs also produces growth hormones in your body, which supports muscle growth.
You should not forget that to get maximum performance, your body needs the right nutrients. These are healthy carbohydrates and fats as sources of energy for your training and proteins as basic components for your muscles.
A protein shake helps you quickly provide your muscles with enough energy and protein after training.
The best leg exercises
The common denominator in all the leg exercises I show is that they are easy to do and very effective. If you constantly incorporate these exercises into your daily routine, you will see results in weeks.
I leave a list with 10 exercises but you should not do them all the same day, the routine varies from week to week or every other day and the training will be more effective.
Leg exercises are very important no matter what your training purpose. These can help you get rid of extra fat in your legs or simply help you improve your overall strength training.
Some of the exercises require you to have exercise equipment available while others can be done without weights or tools. But the common denominator is that all are easy and effective.
Anyone familiar with a gym knows this exercise or at least has heard it once in a while. The lunges are known for their effectiveness. This exercise mainly trains the lower body, thighs, quadriceps, and buttocks.
Lunges provide better coordination and balance. Due to its many additional benefits, it is a well-known strength training exercise that can be performed with both weights and barbells.
Also, they are suitable for all levels as there are many different variants. Taking a short step can increase the focus on the thigh while if you take a long step it will focus more on the buttocks.
The more you keep your upper body upright, the greater the focus on the thigh. The more you lean your upper body forward, the greater the focus on the buttocks.
Technique: It is important that you focus on balance. You should not lift your toes or heels. Usually, it is said that just over half the weight should be placed on the heels, the rest should be in the front of the foot. If you have trouble keeping your balance, stay close to some foothold.
Procedure (standing lunges): Stand with your weights or barbell. Step forward flexing the knee and lower the knee of the back foot until it almost touches the ground. Squeeze the buttocks and rise back to the starting position. Lower each time with one leg.
2. Bulgarian squat
Bulgarian squats train your quadriceps, legs, calf, and buttocks. This is a good exercise for the lower train, as it strengthens your flexibility in the hip and ankle. You could say that the exercise is a more advanced version of lunges.
When doing Bulgarian squats, step length is crucial. The shorter the step, the stronger the quadriceps, while the larger the step, the stronger the quadriceps and buttocks.
They can be done with both bar and dumbbells.
Technique: You must stand straight and some distance from the bank. Place one leg on the bench. It involves lowering the knee down so that it is close to touching the ground. The range of exercise is best used if you lower your knee as much as possible.
Be sure to keep your knees pointing all the way in the same direction as your toes. Also, remember that stride length determines if your focus is on buttocks or quadriceps.
Procedure (with weights): Keep a certain distance from the exercise bench (a hip-width distance). The weights should only hang on your hands, you don’t need to make any movement with them. Place your right or left leg on the bench. Hold your chest upright and start the exercise by bending your knee down.
3. Back lunges
If you want to have firm thighs and maybe lose a few pounds, this is one of the leg exercises you must have at the top of your list. Lunges can be done anywhere, so whether you are at home or outside, there is no possible excuse to exercise the buttocks and legs.
Even only using your own body weight, this exercise can produce really good results. This exercise is really simple just like its normal version. It often does not take more than 10 minutes and if you do, you will see results after a few weeks.
Technique: Make sure that the legs flex when lowering if possible to form a 90-degree angle. In addition, it is a good idea to lean your upper body slightly forward.
Procedure: To begin, stand with your feet together. Now move your left foot back while bending the knee. Your left knee should preferably form a 90-degree angle. Squeeze your thighs and buttocks while doing this. Slide your left foot up to stand with your feet together.
Repeat the exercise 20 times and do 3 sets of breaks between each series.
You’ve probably heard of squats before. It is by far the most popular of the leg exercises, especially when training buttocks and quadriceps. This exercise can be done both with body weight (which is better at the beginning) and with weights (which is better after learning the exercise and getting fit).
It is an incredibly effective exercise, but it is very important to master the technique behind the exercise.
Technique: When doing squats it is a good idea to extend your hands forward to achieve an easier balance. It is important that the knees do not advance more than the toes. Therefore, you should push the backside back and use your heels to push up. Also, be sure to keep your chest and head up during exercise.
Procedure: Place the feet at shoulder width. Begin the exercise by pushing your hip back and down to a 90-degree angle with your knees, although if you are able to lower more the exercise will be more effective. Then press the heels to return to the starting position.
5. Buttock kick with pulley
Buttock kicks are an isolation exercise (= an exercise that affects only a few muscles) that can be done after squats and lunges. You must have access to a pulley machine to do so. Each gym has one, but it may not be possible to do it at home.
Technique: The technique is extremely simple. You should adjust the cable a little above the ankle and stretch your foot back, as high as you can while always your leg straight. When exercising, be sure to keep your hip at rest. You can lean on the machine to maintain balance.
If you lift your leg with a slight outward inclination, the greater the focus on the inside of the thigh, and if you lift it with an incline inward, the greater the focus on the outside of the thigh. If you lift your leg up, you will focus more on the middle and upper thighs.
Procedure: Tilt the body forward and hold the mast of the kicking machine. The next thing you should do is push your leg back as high as you can. Keep returning to the starting position again.
6. Side lunges
Lateral lunges are an extremely easy and effective exercise that requires nothing more than your own body weight. Therefore, you do not need weights or machines to do this exercise.
Technique: When bending the leg, the toes should not pass with the knee while the other leg is fully stretched.
Procedure: The exercise consists of lowering with one of the legs stretched to one side while flexing the other. While bending the knee, touch the ground with your hand or act as if you were catching a ball. Now you change your leg. That is, if you started bending your left knee, you are now doing the same exercise with your right knee. Repeat the exercise about 20 times before stopping.
Ideally, do 3 sets of 20 repetitions (with pauses between each series).
7. jumping lunges
The jumping lunges are the same as normal lunges but the transition from one leg to the other is done by a jump. This exercise intensely and specifically trains the buttocks and thighs, so this exercise is especially good for addressing such problematic areas of the legs.
Technique: Stand at hip-width, your body should be upright, your abdominal muscles tense. Take a big step forward so that the angle between the thigh and the lower leg is about 90 degrees. The knee should not go through the tip of the toe.
Procedure: Now guide the rear knee toward the floor until the lower leg is parallel to the floor. When the lowest point is reached, jump up and change the legs in the air so that the back leg is now in the front. Repeat this a total of ten times, then gradually increase until you do 30 repetitions.
During the exercise, make sure that the abdomen is always tense, that the back is straight, and that the arms hang loose or that they are on the hips.
8. Squats with step
When you train with one step the upper body should always be kept in an upright position. Shoulders are pulled back and the lower back is in a slightly hollow back position throughout the exercise.
The difficulty level of the step-ups can be adjusted with the height of the bench. The lower the level, the higher the tension in the quadriceps, and the higher it is, the more the hamstrings and buttocks will work.
Technique: Beginners should start at a low level and gradually increase the height of the step to approximately knee height. Anyone who dominates the movement correctly, even at this height, can further increase the step, to exercise the thighs and buttocks even more intensely.
To get the maximum result in training, it is also important not to distort the exercise. This means that when climbing, the force comes only from the leg in the step. The stretched leg remains passive and does not interfere with the exercise.
You must not swing and the movement must be slow and controlled. Avoid getting on and off too fast and putting your foot on the ground with too much force.
Procedure: Stand straight in front of a bench/step with your feet shoulder-width apart. You can hold a medicine ball in front of your body to make it more demanding. Place your right foot on the bench, your left foot remains on the floor with your leg straight. Push with your right foot until the left leg is also on the bench. Keep your upper body straight while you bend your right leg and place it slowly and in a controlled manner on the floor. Now also descends with the left leg
Repeat the exercise now with your left foot.
9. The bridge
This is a very simple exercise, but it will work the buttocks very efficiently. In addition, you also train your lower back and legs. All you have to do is push the lower back towards the floor while lifting your hips.
Procedure: Lie on your back, bend your knees, and place your arms next to your body. Now slowly lift the pelvis from the floor until your body forms a straight line. Tense the buttocks and stomach and go down and up again after 10 seconds, but when going down do not let the buttocks touch the ground. Move your waist up and down until you have done all possible repetitions.
Try to do the exercise with one leg lifted off the floor to increase the intensity.
10. Squat on one leg or Pistol squat
Pistols are one of the best and most difficult leg exercises. There are several variants, they can be performed supported on the wall (beginners), sitting on a chair, bench or even the sofa (medium level) or without any support (God level).
Procedure: Support your back against the wall or if you are advanced you can do it without supporting yourself. Your feet should be half a meter in front of your body. Extend your arms forward at shoulder height with your palms facing down, lift your right foot off the floor and stretch your leg slightly forward.
Bend your elbows and press your arms against the wall. The right leg remains stretched forward. Extend your arms again and repeat this process until the knee bends at approximately a 90-degree angle.
Change legs at the end.