Smooth, slim and toned is what women aim for when it comes to a leg workout and men likely aim for strong, solid and substantial, if not actual tree trunks! So what are the best exercises for a good leg workout to get those muscled, sinewy, masculine legs?
Firstly it is important to know that an appropriate leg workout should target the legs in their entirety – the glutes (or buttocks), quadriceps (upper front of the legs), calves (the back of the lower legs).
For this reason you should get enough variety into your leg workout exercises, so that your muscles are constantly challenged and you keep from getting bored with the routines. The intensity of the exercises can be varied as per what you’re aiming for – increasing muscle size, aerobic fitness or just to improve tone.
Start with a Warm Up for an optimal leg workout
About 5 to 10 minutes on the stair machine – running or cycling cardio equipment.
When you feel that your legs are nice and warm, you’ve gotten into the proper frame of mind and you can feel the body heat, you can move on to the leg extension machine, which will help you further warm up the muscles and more importantly help stretch them. About 20 reps should do it. Then proceed like this:
Three sets of 6 to 10 Reps of Squats with a barbell on your back
The squat engages mainly the quads, but also works your hamstring muscles and the glutes and is one of the best forms of a leg workout. When performing squats with weights, make sure that your back is arched; if you bend your back this will likely result in an injury.
Beginners can start without weights, and then weights can be added and systematically increased as leg strength and fitness increases.
Three sets of 6 to 10 Reps of Leg Extensions for an ideal leg workout
This exercise is performed using a leg extension machine, which should be properly adjusted so that the circular pads are positioned properly at the front of your ankles, where your legs end and your feet begin. Using proper form lift the legs off the ground will they are straight. This exercise targets mainly the quads.
Three sets of 6 to 10 Reps of calf raises
This leg workout targets the back of your lower legs or the calves. You can use a calf raise machine or simply stand on a step to perform this. The aim of this exercise is to stretch the calf muscle and work.
If you are standing on a step, half your foot should be on it and half off it. Then, making sure you’re holding on to something to keep you stable, your heels need to go right down until you feel that stretch.
Since variation must be brought into the equation, alternate any one of the above exercises with these options:
The lunge involves extending one leg forward and then bending at the knee, holding that then repeating the steps.
The lying leg curl could be an excellent accompaniment to the leg extension, since it works out the hamstring muscles.
The leg press targets your quads and is one of the best exercise for a good leg workout.