When was the last time you used your legs for an extended period of time? Go on, think about it. Don’t be surprised if you come up blank. In fact, don’t feel too bad for yourself either. Because in this day and age, where 9 to 5 jobs are a fantasy and 24-hour ones are the flavour of the era, most of our time is consumed sitting behind a desk, staring at a monitor for over 500 hours a week. And let’s not forget the numerous junk foods we stuff ourselves with at our college or office canteen which we don’t bother walking off due to our busy schedules.
In fact, neglecting your legs and depriving them of more movement is extremely harmful and will lead to you developing joint problems at a very early age. From an exercise point of view, developing your legs is crucial as they’re the key to a uniformly ripped body. And if you’re going to be doing a lot of heavy lifting, you’ve got to have nothing less than excellent support from the lower half of your body. Plus, a ripped pair of legs look nothing short of eye-catching, just ask a Cristiano Ronaldo or Usain Bolt fan.
So, if you haven’t considered working out to give your legs and every other major part of your body some much-needed exercise, we urge you to get down to it. And if and when you finally do get down to working out, taking leg day extremely seriously is of utmost importance. Of course, with plenty of leg exercises out there, picking out the perfect leg workout to practice in the gym can get challenging, which is exactly what we’re going to help you with. However, do make sure you get a clean bill of health from your physician before hitting the gym. Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at 5 leg workouts that’ll shape up your legs.
Granted, the Romanian Deadlift is one of the trickier leg exercises, but when you master it, it’ll do you a whole lot of good. Besides giving your legs a good workout, the Romanian Deadlift is also excellent when it comes to developing stronger hamstrings. All in all, this is one leg workout you must try in the gym.
Step 1: Grab a barbell with a shoulder-width grip and position yourself with your feet hip-width apart.
Step 2: Bend your hips back as far as you can and let your knees bend smoothly while you lower the bar along your shins.
Step 3: Make sure your lower back in its naturally arched position throughout the exercise.
Important Tip: Begin with 3 sets of 8 reps.
Next Up: Deadlift
Undoubtedly one of the most proficient exercises, the traditional Deadlift is renowned by fitness enthusiast the world over due to its ability to engage each and every muscle group of the body. Besides being an effective all-round exercise, the Deadlift plays a crucial role in strengthening your legs and is one of the leg workouts you should practice in the gym.
Step 1: Begin by standing with the bar right above the center of your feet while taking care to maintain a narrow stance to give your arms room.
Step 2: Raise the bar overhead, bend your knees until your shins touch the bar while keeping your shoulder blades directly over it.
Step 3: Follow up by pulling while keeping the bar close to your body and roll it over your knees and thighs until your knees and hips are locked firmly in place.
Important Tip: Start off with 4 sets of 6 reps.
Next Up: Front Squat
Another excellent leg workout you must try out in the gym is the front squat. Besides being an excellent leg enhancer, the Front Squat also gives your hips and butt a good workout. Mastering it soon would do you a whole lot of good.
Step 1: Set a barbell on a power rack at about shoulder height and proceed to grab it with all your might.
Step 2: Raise your elbows until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Take the bar out of the rack and let it rest on your fingertips and make sure your elbows are all the way up throughout the movement.
Step 3: Take a step back and set your feet at shoulder width with your toes turned out slightly. Squat as low as you can while keeping your back steady before reverting to your original posture.
Important Tip: Begin with 2 sets of 8 reps.
Next Up: Leg Press
Seated Leg Press
You can’t have a list of leg workouts without including the Seated Leg Press. Not only is it extremely convenient to do but are also very proficient in giving your legs, especially your quads, a good workout. In fact, the Seated Leg Press is a stepping stone towards acquiring ripped legs.
Step 1: Position your body on the leg press machine while making sure that your tailbone and spine make contact with the back of the seat and your feet are shoulder width apart.
Step 2: Push forward by straightening your legs while giving your quads a good flex.
Step 3: Lower yourself back down until your legs revert to their original stance.
Important Tip: Begin with 4 sets of 6 reps.
Next Up: Dumbbell Step Ups
Dumbbell Step Ups
Dumbbell Steps Ups, true to its name, really helps in stepping up your leg game. Besides giving your quads, hamstrings and glutes a good workout, Dumbbell Step Ups also help improve your strength and stability making it a leg workout you should practice in the gym.
Step 1: Stand up straight while holding a dumbbell in each hand.
Step 2: Place your right foot on an elevated platform and step up on it by using the power of your heel and hips while making sure you exhale while coming up.
Step 3: Step down and return to your original stance before repeating the exercise with your left leg.
Important Tip: Begin with 4 sets of 12 reps.