Leg day is very famous among gym-goers, not only because they get bigger legs but for trepidation as well. Legs are the roots and you can say the foundation of your body. Building a strong foundation makes your build stronger.
However, leg day is an essential part of any good workout routine. So, never skip leg day. Leg day workouts can help you build lower body muscles. Moreover, provide more speed, strength, and power. It will help in keeping your body in proportion and balance, contributing to more calories being burned for weight loss.
Compound exercises like lunges, squats, and deadlifts are the key moves for building a powerhouse of the body. Some of the compound lifts are beneficial to recruit multiple muscles at once, resulting in a greater hormone response. These leg day exercises assist in releasing more anabolic hormones such as testosterone and also cause hormone growth, which means leg day is a must.
Our big leg day workout is a list of the 10 best leg exercises to kill your leg day. These exercises will hit all the lower body muscle groups like hamstrings, glutes, lunges, and calves.
How Important is Leg Day When Working Out?
However, leg day exercises increase your lower body strength, which helps to prevent injuries and manage chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart diseases.
Why Do Some People Skip Leg Day?
Your hamstrings, quads, and glutes are big muscles that are capable of moving serious weight. So, leg day workouts should be brutal and very tiring. Also leg day routine contains very heavy loads which are draining and difficult on your nervous system. Thus, people skip leg days because it is really, really hard if you are doing it with proper technique.
What Happens If You Skip Leg Day?
If you skip leg day, your leg day gym workout would remain incomplete and ineffective. Leg exercises increase your metabolism, therefore increase your caloric burn both during and after the leg workout. So, skipping leg days means you won’t get the best results you are looking for from your gym routine.
Should I Do Leg Day If My Quads Are Still Sore?
You can do a leg day workout if your quads are still sore but train the other muscle group instead of training the same muscle groups that are hurting. Do leg exercises one day and then train your upper body the next day. By doing so, you will still be able to get exercise while your lower body is in recovery mode.
How Can I Fix Terrible Soreness from Leg Day?
- Gentle stretching.
- Muscle massage.
- Take a rest.
- Use ice to reduce inflammation.
- Heat to help increase blood flow to your muscles.
Is It Normal to Have Muscle Fatigue After Leg Day?
Feeling tired after vigorous leg exercise is normal, especially when a person works out more than they would usually. Your lower body muscles are unable to recover properly without taking proper rest. Working out vigorously or without taking proper rest leads to a feeling of tired, heavy legs.
Should I Worry About Leg Day If I’m Just Starting to Workout?
Well, the simple answer is “no”. If you are a beginner or just starting to workout there is no need to worry about leg day. Though, the foundation of your body is literally your legs and posterior chain including hamstrings, glutes, and back. So, it is crucial to build a strong foundation but take it along gradually without getting yourself into any type of injuries or soreness.
How Often Should You Do a Leg Day?
Most experienced athletes and trainers recommend a leg day workout three times per week. A leg workout should not be done more than 5 consecutive days. The optimal means of exercising the lower body muscles would be through targeted leg exercises in the gym.
What Muscles Should be Exercised on Leg Day?
There are four major muscles that you should do on leg day.
- Quadriceps: These are the biggest muscle group of your legs, located on the upper front of the leg (thigh).
Recommended exercises: Squats, leg extensions, and leg press.
- Hamstrings: On the opposite side of your leg from your quads are your
Recommended exercises: Glute’s ham raise and Romanian deadlift.
- Calves: This muscle group may seem small or unimportant, but they are critical for anyone who wants to maximize their running and jumping abilities.
Recommended exercises: Calf raise and Toe press
- Glutes: These muscles are usually associated with females pursuing an ideal figure, but the muscles on your rear end are for much more aesthetics. Glute exercises help you maintain proper posture and prevent lower back pain.
What is a Good Workout Plan for Leg Day?
A good workout plan for leg day should be a blend of different exercises that hit every muscle group as a whole. Either it contains workouts for a single group of muscles like quadriceps alone or contains variable exercises to hit all the leg muscles like hamstrings, glutes, quads, and calves. Keep reading to know about the 10 best leg exercises to kill your leg day.
Can Running Count as Leg Day in the Gym?
Running does not count as leg day in the gym though it can be counted as a part of your leg day workout at the gym. Running is a cardiovascular exercise where you are attempting to improve your speed and build stamina. Whereas, leg day is a blend of multiple exercises that hit different muscle groups of your legs and are best for building muscles and mass.
How many Sets of Squats Should I Include in my Leg Day Routine?
Usually squats count as one of the best leg exercises, this is because squats engage so many other muscles and really force you to engage your core.
Recommended Squat Sets: 5 sets of 10 to 12 reps each.
Tips to Make Your Leg Day Workout Routine Worth it
When it comes to designing an effective leg day gym workout, simple is better. Retain the basic lower-body movements like squats, lunges, and deadlifts (hip hinges) into your leg day.
These exercises involve movements that inherently focus on the major muscle groups of the legs: the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves.
Once you have mastered these movements, there are uncountable variations and ways to progress that will keep you challenged.
How Many Times Per Week Should You Do Leg Workout?
According to recent research, there is not any big difference between training the major muscle groups 1 time per week versus 3 times per week.
What makes the most difference in muscle growth is resistance training volume. Which means how many sets and reps you are completing. Higher volume workout sessions like 3 sets of 12 reps, or even 4 sets of 8 reps tend to produce better results.
How Many Sets and Reps Should You Do in a Leg Workout?
If you are a beginner and looking to increase general fitness, choose 3 – 5 exercises as per leg day workout session. Then complete 3 sets of 8-12 reps of each exercise. Make sure that you are training your muscles to fatigue but not failure.
The 10 Best Leg Exercises to Kill Your Leg Day
● Glute Bridge
Strengthening the posterior chain helps in increasing your lower back strength and core stability. When performing correctly with proper form, the glute bridge can help improve the vitality of muscles surrounding the spinal column, which improves your posture.
How to Do it:
- Lay down on the floor with your knees bent.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Squeeze your glutes and push your heels into the floor to lift your hips into a bridge.
- Finish with your hips straight and abdominal tight.
● Goblet Squat
A typical goblet squat works all the major muscle groups of your lower body. It helps strengthen the muscles, aids fat loss, and prevents injury. It helps strengthen the core, forearms, back, and also shoulders, and upper back, to some extent.
How to Do it:
- Hold a dumbbell or a kettlebell close to your chest.
- Push your hips back and squat down slowly until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Drive up to the standing, leading with your chest confidence.
- Get back to the starting position and repeat.
● Dumbbell Step-Up
The dumbbell step-up is a simple body resistance exercise that works muscles in the legs and buttocks. A step-up exercise targets your quadriceps and hamstrings, as well as the gluteal muscles in the buttock. The dumbbell step-up is a good general lower body conditioning exercise.
How to Do it:
- Hold dumbbells in both hands with your arms straight at your side.
- Plant on the right foot on the step securely and drive up powerfully contracting the glute muscles on the same side of your leading leg.
- Being the opposite knee up and stand on the step to complete the movement.
- Bring the same leg back to get down from the step.
- Change the side and repeat.
● Leg Curl
The leg curl exercise contains the ability to promote serious muscle growth in the hamstrings. By building strength in the hamstrings, lifters will have more support for their deadlifts and squats. Greater leg strength and power allow them to go deeper while performing the squats and lift more weight.
How to Do it:
- Sit on the seated leg curl machine.
- Set up the machine, so the padded lever sits just below your calves.
- Raise your legs in front of you.
- Pull the lever back down using your legs.
● Calf Raise
This exercise is the simple yet best way to work on your calves which are not the easiest muscle group in the body to target. Calf raises are an absolute must for athletes, so if you are a keen runner or sports person then this exercise is a must for you. This exercise contains simple steps to get it done, whether you incorporate it in a leg day gym workout or while waiting for the kettle to boil.
How to DO it:
- Get in the standing position. Stand tall and straight with your shoulders relaxed.
- Start pushing down the ground through the ball of your feet.
- Raise your heel so you are standing/balancing on your toes.
- Get back to the starting position.
● Leg Extension
The leg extension or knee extension is a strength training exercise you should add to your leg day workouts. The leg extension is one of the best exercises for strengthening your quadriceps. This is the largest muscle group in your body and is present in the front of your legs.
How to Do it:
- Be seated on the leg extension machine with your back straight against the backrest.
- Adjust the pad if needed, so it sits on your shin just above the ankles.
- Hold the sidebars given on the machine and extend your legs out in front of you.
Make sure you are powering the movement with your quads rather than kicking up with your feet.
● Leg Press
The leg press is a resistance training exercise and an excellent way to strengthen your legs. It’s done by pushing your legs against the weights on a leg press machine. Similar to all strength exercises, leg press workouts build muscle, reduce the risk of injury, and counteract age-related muscle loss.
How to Do it:
- Sit back on the machine with your feet shoulder-width apart on the plate.
- Release the handles so your legs take the weight.
- Lower down your legs towards your chest by bending your knees slowly.
- Drive them back up but do not lock out your knees.
● Jump Squat
The jump squat works your glutes, quads, hips, and hamstrings while also increasing your heart rate. This exercise variation puts more stress on your joints. Moreover, it is vital to have healthy knees, hips, and ankles if you want to give this move a try.
How to Do it:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart with your toes pointing out slightly.
- Keep your back straight.
- Bend your knees and sit back until your thighs are parallel with the ground. Go as down as you can get.
- Explode straight up by pushing through your heels into a jump.
- Land safely and go straight into the next rep.
- Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps.
● Wall Sit
Wall sit is one of the best leg day workouts to increase your muscular endurance and stability. This exercise activates muscle groups throughout your lower body, including hamstrings, quads, glutes, and calves.
How to Do it:
- Sit against the wall so your thighs are parallel to the ground.
- Keep your knees bent at 90-degree.
- Maintain the position for a minimum of 15 seconds and increase the duration after increasing your muscular endurance.
Skipping rope is a simple yet very effective exercise for your lower body. It helps reduce injury risk, improves heart health, strengthens bone density, and improves hand-eye coordination. Moreover, jumping rope is very effective in burning calories, it can burn 200 – 300 calories in 15 minutes.
How to Do it:
- Grab the rope handles and hold each arm out wide.
- Take a start with the rope at your heels and then move your wrist to swing it around over your head.
- As it comes round, jump over it with both
Therefore, to maintain your body balance, you need to add a leg day workout to your training routine. Building leg muscles not only give a strong look but also maintain your body posture. Above are the 10 best leg exercises to kill your leg day. Add these exercises to your leg workout routine for speed, strength, and conditioning.