Tired of being the guy or gal with chicken legs? Explore five of our favorite leg day workouts, right here.
In today’s world of perfect abs and beefy biceps, it’s surprisingly common for people to skip leg day—the day of the week you spend completely focused on your leg muscles—to focus on their upper bodies. Aside from the fact that it’s far healthier to have a balanced physique, there’s just one problem: chicken legs. Yep—assuming you don’t want to look like Johnny Bravo, you’re going to have to spend a little bit of time focusing on your legs.
Of course, it’s not just about aesthetics. Training your leg muscles can have some seriously impressive benefits for your overall health, increasing your strength and helping to enhance your overall muscle mass, including your arms, chest, and abdominal muscles. We’ve put together a list of our favorite leg-day workouts, so you can boost your glutes, adductors, hamstrings, and quads and enjoy all the benefits of a well-developed lower body. Read on to find out more.
As one of the most effective leg workouts, barbell squats are a must. Engaging virtually every muscle group —with the exception of your chest—this total-body exercise is simple to learn, so you don’t need to be a lower body whiz to see results.
- Place your feet hip-width apart.
- Raise your chest and face forward.
- Place the barbell on top of the traps.
- Bend your knees, keeping them aligned with your feet.
- Move all the way down.
- When your lower legs touch your lower legs, drive upward.
Dumbbell split jump
Adding dumbbells to your leg-day workouts is a great way to push the burn a little bit further, making dumbbell split jumps an ideal addition to your routine. To strengthen your quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, and hip flexors, this dumbbell leg workout is a great choice.
- Hold a pair of dumbbells by your sides with your palms facing each other.
- Place your body in a staggered stance, with your left foot in front of your right.
- Lower yourself into a split squat.
- Push your body up from the ground.
- Switch feet while you’re in the air, landing with your right foot in front of your left.
- Repeat, alternating your leg position after every rep.
One of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s favorite leg-day workouts, the hip thrust is a fantastic way to boost your glutes. To give this workout even more of a kick, wrap a mini-band around your knees and hold the last set for about 15 seconds, squeezing your glutes as you do so. For a dumbbell leg workout that also helps to stabilize your core, hold a dumbbell in each hand while you complete your set.
- Lie on your back.
- Place your feet hip-width apart.
- Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips up.
- Hold for a couple of seconds, and return to your starting position.
Ideal for developing your quads and glutes, as well as for extending your hip flexors, a woodchop lunge is a fantastic addition to your leg-day workout.
- Place your feet shoulder-length apart.
- Hold a dumbbell with both hands.
- Drop back into a lunge.
- At the same time, lower your knee until it almost touches the ground.
- Return to your starting position.
- Repeat with your other leg.
- Continue to alternate your legs until you finish your set.
Seated calf raise
Calves always seem to be one of those bottom-of-the-barrel body parts, falling by the wayside as people focus on the more glamorous muscle groups. No longer! For a real calf-builder that’s easy for beginners to come to grips with, seated calf raises are a great option.
- Sit on the machine, placing the balls of your feet on the lower portion of the platform.
- Place your quads under the knee pad.
- Release the safety bar, extending your ankles as you do so.
- Lower your heels until your calves are stretched to the max, inhaling at the same time.
- Raise your knees, extending your ankles as high as you can.
- Contract your calves and exhale.
We hope these leg-tactular workouts have given you a few ideas for exercises that you can use on leg day! Of course, there are tons of other options, but as long as you’re paying serious attention to your lower body, you should find it relatively easy to start building muscle.