Ask someone if they enjoyed leg day and you will get a strong answer. Some will actually crave it while most despise it because of how difficult it is to train. Leg day is one of the most hated workout day in the gym, people go far to skip it all together, because leg training is so hard and demanding, many bodybuilders find leg development lagging, they look at themselves in the mirror and are disappointed with the way their legs look.
If you do not exercise your legs, you are missing out on some of the best exercises and gains. The leg muscles are very large and most powerful in the entire body. Leg training releases growth hormones and testosterone throughout the body in addition to the rapid growth of other muscles around the body.
Before we discuss how to build massive tree trunks, let’s look at the anatomy of the legs.
Anatomy of the legs
The muscles of the upper leg contain the quadriceps, muscles and glutes.
The quadriceps are the muscles of the anterior thigh that serve as an extensor of the legs. The four muscles include the rectus femoris, vastus intermedius, vastus medialis, and vastus lateralis.
These muscles are located behind the thighs, their function is to bend the leg back. The biceps femoris (muscles) are the flexible ligaments of the thigh behind the legs.
The glutes (gluteus maximus and minimus) are one of the strongest muscle groups in the body and they are activated in almost every leg exercise.
Calves consist of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. Calves are considered to be the stubborn muscle group in the body to grow, calves respond to training like any other muscle, just that they must be trained in a variety of ways.
Let’s go over the workout for leg day to use to get big massive legs.
Workout for leg day
Always remember to warm up properly, starting with low body mobility movement and stretching.
Compound workout first
Start with compound exercises first when training the legs. Front squats are a good exercise to start with. If you want to build bigger legs and increase quad growth, the front squat is essential.
The front squat places more emphasis on the quadriceps muscles compared to any squat variation and when done with proper form builds mass and strength to the thighs.
How to do the front squat
- load the barbell with weights, step inside the squat rack bringing your arms under the bar. Let the bar rest slightly across the front of the shoulder muscles.
- Cross your arms and hold the bar with your hands to control it. keeping your elbows high
- Lift the bar off the rack, step back away from the rack and separate your legs shoulder width apart to balance.
- Bend your knees slowly as you raise your head up, keep your back straight and abs tight.
- Lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Push yourself up back to the starting position. Do this exercise slowly and firmly, making sure you keep your back straight.
This is a machine-based exercise that allows you to build lower body strength besides the squats, and emphasizes the quadriceps muscles and can allow for the use of heavier weights. Use a closer stance position on the leg press machine to target the outer quads while a wider stance works best for the inner quads.
How to do the leg press
- Using a leg machine, load the desired weight on the machine.
- Sit on the seat and place your feet together on the footplate.
- Disengage the safety bars. Push the platform all the way up , straighten the knees without locking the knees.
- Then slowly bend the knees and lower the weight as much as possible to return the platform to the starting position.
Hit the hamstring
Deadlifts are also good for leg development but a straight leg deadlift is best when it comes to working the hamstrings the rear part of the leg and also develops the glutes and the lower back.
How to do the straight-leg deadlift
- Grab the barbell using an overhand grip, get to a standing position with your feet shoulder with apart.
- Keep your legs locked and bend forward from the waist, keeping a straight back.
- Push your hips back and chest up. Slowly lower your hip until your torso is about parallel to the floor the floor.
- Pause then straighten up again back to the starting position.
The purpose of this exercise is to develop hamstrings, this exercise further isolates the hamstrings more allowing it to get a full range of motion.
How to do the leg curls
- After setting your desired weight on the leg curl machine, lie face down hooking your ankles under the roller pad. Hold unto the handles or the bench for stability.
- Curl your ankles as far as possible until your legs are fully contracted
- Pause at the top, then slowly lower the weights down back to the starting position.
Carve the calves
Standing calf raises
This exercise develops the overall mass of the calves especially the larger outermost muscles that is responsible for the calf’s shape and size.
How to do the standing calf raise
- Stand with your toes on the step with your heels hanging over the edge.
- Place your shoulders under the pads and raise your legs to lift the weight.
- Pause for a moment and lower your heels down as much as possible, keeping the knees slightly bent throughout the movement to activate the lower calf area and the upper part.
Seated calf raise
Training the calf from different angles when performing the calf raise is effective, the seated calf raise isolates the muscles of the calves.
How to the seated calf raise
- Sit upright on a calf raise machine and place your toes on the foot platform with your heels hanging over the edge.
- Lower your heels slowly toward the ground as far as possible.
- Then slowly raise your heels as high as possible back up on your toes until your calves are fully contracted.
Finish off with the lunges
The lunge is an amazing exercise, it is one of the potent exercises you can do if your goal is to get a wheel of steel, it should be included in your weight training arsenal.
This exercise is very effective for building strength and muscle one leg at a time. The purpose of the lunges is to develop the front of the thighs and glutes.
How to do the lunges
- Holding a pair of dumbbells or a weight plate on each side.
- Stand upright with your feet together, keeping the head up, back straight and the chest out.
- Step forward with one leg while lowering the hips until both knees are bent at about 90 degrees angle.
- Push yourself back up to the starting position bringing your feet together.
As always progression is the key to muscle growth, if you don’t get stronger, you won’t get bigger. But if you do work on building strength on these exercises that is increasing the amount of weight you can move over time and eating a well-balanced diet then your legs will grow. Now, you have the routine workout for leg day, no more excuses. Get to work.