Best Leg Exercises
In order to have a strong upper body and core, you need to have a strong foundation. And without a doubt, your legs are your foundation. So you need to give them the attention they deserve.
With the right leg exercises, you can develop your own lower body workout to get you in the best shape possible. This isn’t just a functional goal, it’s also one of aesthetics. In order to have a sexy, fit body that’s also proportional, your legs need to be just as strong as your upper body.
So to help set your leg workout off on the right foot, here are the 5 best leg exercises to tone and build lean muscle mass.
5 Best Leg Exercises
1. The Squat – The traditional squat is by far one of the best leg exercises you can do. This simple sitting-and-standing-like movement works out your quads, hamstrings, hips, and glutes, while also requiring a bit of effort from your core as well. To do the perfect squat, keep your back straight and lower yourself as if you’re sitting on a chair, bending your knees and tightening your abs. Adding weight with a dumbbell is an easy way to enhance the traditional squat. To view this exercise, click here.
Here are some other variations on the squat to make this leg exercise even more intense:
- Barbell Squat – To view this exercise, click here.
- Wide Stance Squat – To view this exercise, click here.
- Stability Ball Squat – To view this exercise, click here.
- Bosu Ball Squat – To view this exercise, click here.
- Bosu Ball Single Leg Squat – To view this exercise, click here.
2. The Lunge – The lunge is the next best leg exercise. It also targets your hamstrings, quads, and glutes, with a bit more focus on your quads and glutes, as well as various smaller muscle groups involved in balance and stability. The key to getting the lunge right is holding your back straight and bending your knee no further past the point of your toes. And make sure you always do the same number of lunges on both sides!
Two great variations of the lunge are the lateral lunge with dumbbells (view exercise) and the lunge and press (view exercise), which combines a traditional lunge and a dumbbell shoulder press. To throw in a bit of cardio, try a walking lunge, travelling across a gym floor by alternating between lunges on either side.
3. The Deadlift – You may have avoided this one or found it intimidating, but it’s a great leg exercise to include in your lower body routine. With a simple standing motion, you get in a massive workout for your glutes, quads, and hips. This is also one of the best exercises for your lower back, an important component of your core muscles.
4. The Calf Press – All of the above leg exercises do train your calves to some extent, but they don’t target them in the way they really need. If you’re a beginner, you can do a calf press without any equipment at all. Simply stand with the front half of your foot on a step, ledge, or even floor, and raise your body by engaging your calves and pressing down with your toes. For more resistance, hold dumbbells or a barbell. To view this exercise, click here.
5. The Hamstring Curl – While I’m not a big fan of weight machines, especially for leg exercises, the hamstring curl machine is actually pretty good. It allows you to target your hamstrings in a way that isn’t really possible in other exercises, and this can help you get ahead of the game.
Ham curl machines require you to lie face down, sit with your legs locked in position, or stand. The seated ham curl machine tends to be the most common nowadays. To view this exercise, click here.
Best Leg Workout
Combine these best leg exercises into your own leg workout routine, or try one of my own killer lower body routines:
Whatever you do, don’t neglect your legs! Remember, they’re your foundation and they’re a key factor in getting a fit, toned body!
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