Why are leg workouts important?
A toned and strong body has always been a symbol of vitality. Today you can find that most people work out with the intention to make their muscles more visible and chiseled. Wide shoulders and a six-pack have long been an unofficial symbol of physical attractiveness in men, and in women, an hourglass figure – with sizable bust, thin waist and big booty. While people tend to only focus only on these body parts, one of the main principles of attractiveness and vitality is balance and proportions. You have probably stumbled across a meme saying never skip leg days. And that is true. A body that is not-that-pumped but has a well-proportioned build is many times better than a buff upper body with skinny legs, which actually looks even somewhat comical. That is why if you have already skipped a couple of your leg days, finding your best leg workout for mass may be the perfect choice for you. This one clearly has the potential to grow muscles as fast as possible.
A quick look into the anatomy of the leg
To understand how to grow your leg mass better and faster, you need to understand what muscles you are targeting, where they are located, and what their functions are. Your legs consist of a great number of muscles. The main leg muscles on which you will focus on for the best leg workout include the adductors, gastrocnemius, gluteus, quadriceps femoris, and some others (5).
The adductors are ribbonlike muscles
They consist of three parts and cover the inner side of your thigh. They are responsible for the adduction of the thighs, the squeezing the thighs together, and they also take an active role in their rotation and flexion (1).
You may know the gastrocnemius muscles by another name, which is leg triceps. These are the large muscles of your calves. They stretch from the back of your knee and to the Achilles tendon on your heel. This muscle is active during running and jumping, as it pulls the heel up, extending the foot (3).
Gluteus muscles, widely known as simply glutes, are large and fleshy muscles, situated in your buttocks. Like the adductors, gluteus muscles consist of three parts, which together extend the thigh, as in when standing up from a sitting position, running or climbing; providing the inward and outward rotation of the thigh; and in opposition to the adductors, abduct the thigh, pulling it to the side (4).
The quadriceps femoris is a large and fleshy muscle which consists of four parts, and covers the front and sides of your thighs. It extends the leg at the knee and allows you to stand, walk, and perform basic leg movements (7).
Hamstrings is a group of muscles located on the back of your thigh, which includes biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus. They extend at the hip and flex at a knee (6).
The best leg workout for mass
This training was created to help you get rid of chicken legs by pumping them until your body becomes balanced and proportionately developed. Now let’s take a look at the exercises that are especially effective for leg muscle mass growth:
It is common knowledge that when it comes to legs, one of the most effective exercises is a squat. It involves your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, back, and core. There is a great variety of squats, which are purposed to increase the fitness level with difficulty and may improve your overall result. First though, you should know how to properly perform a classic squat. You may want to use dumbbells or a barbell for greater effect. For a classic squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly bend your knees while lowering the hips. Make sure that your knees don’t cross the invisible vertical line made by your toes. Continue lowering your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground (knees are at a 90° angle), stop, and then slowly return to the initial upright position (9). Do 3 sets of 12 repetitions. If you are using additional weights, perform 4 sets of 4-6 repetitions.
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As the name indicates, the glute bridge focuses on the butt, also incorporating your thighs, hamstrings, core, and hips. Lie down on the mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. For this exercise, you can also use additional weight in the form of a resistance band, a barbell or a dumbbell. Place the weight on your pelvis, then slowly raise your hips until your back, thighs, and knees form a plank. Hold the position for a couple of seconds, and then lower your hips back down (2). This exercise would definitely help you develop your best leg workout for mass. Do 4 sets of 6 repetitions with weight, or 3 sets of 15 reps without the weight.
The deadlift involves not only your legs and glutes, but also back and arms. It is important to perform the deadlift properly as when you work with weights even the slightest error may cause a serious injury. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and toes pointing forward. Pay attention to the position of your toes, because if they point even a slight bit outwards it will make a great difference in the effect . Feet should be just under the bar with the bar very near your shins. Now bend over to grab the bar with your hands just outside of your legs. In this position lift your chest as you keep your spine straight. Now you are ready to engage your glutes as you lift the bar, keeping it close to your legs. Stop when your body is upright and then engage your glutes again as you push your hips back and lower the bar to the starting position. Perform 3 sets, 5 reps each.
Hamstring curls and leg extensions
These exercises are similar and opposite in their mechanism of action. For the first one you use force to bend your legs, while in the second, extend them. With hamstring curls and leg extensions you will need the assistance of a gym machine, or you could use a resistance band. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps of each to achieve measured results.
This monster leg exercise is one of the most effective for your quadriceps and hamstrings, involving also your calves and glutes. It focuses on the efforts that you use to press a weight with your legs. It works great when you perform it on the gym leg press machine, but you can also do it at home, using a resistance band. Perform 4 sets of 10 reps of leg presses.
Dumbbell walking lunge
Walking lunges focus on your quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Using a dumbbell while performing a walking lunge significantly improves its effects. To perform a lunge, stand straight, and take a dumbbell in each hand. Make a big step forward with your left leg, bending the knees of both legs. The toes of your right leg should remain at the starting point, while your lower right leg should be parallel and close to the ground, almost in a kneeling position. Don’t drop your right knee to toe level. Hold this position for a count of 3 then return to the starting position. Now, do the step in the same manner but this time with your right leg, leaving your left foot behind. Do 4 sets of 10 repetitions.
Tips on your best leg workout for mass
You can spend a lot of time and effort in order to reach your goal, but there are certain tips that will significantly improve the whole process, making it more effective.
Always warm up
A warm-up is an important part of any training. It helps your body to get ready for the following workout and lowers the risk of possible injuries. A common warm-up usually includes a light cardio to increase the blood flow and get your heart pumping. Another essential type of exercise that will prepare your muscles for the training is stretching. Stretches provide a wider range of motion for your joints and prevent muscles from stiffening.
Just as it is vital to perform stretches before the training, as a part of the warm-up, it is also highly recommended to stretch after a workout. Even if you have had your best leg workout for mass, it is not the time to rest, you should definitely do stretches. This prevents possible injuries, reduces muscle tension, boosts blood flow, and improves your next workout (8).
Adjust the difficulty
Physical activity has no limitations. You can work out at any age, in any place and at any time. However, certain aspects should be considered when you plan a training. These are your fitness level and health condition. If you suffer from any disease or injury, which may be complicated by vigorous exercising, please make sure to consult with your doctor before starting your training program. And when it comes to your fitness level, you need to understand what amount and difficulty of exercises are right for you. You may need to start out as a beginner, but as time passes, you should feel that your workout plan will become easier and easier to perform. At this point you may need to modify it by adding some difficulty to the already existing exercises. You can increase or decrease the pace, add some weights, or extend the sets by adding more repetitions. However, even if you aren’t experiencing any health conditions, make sure to discuss your planned adjustments with a specialist.
You should always aim for the best balance in everything. A well-balanced diet can make you healthier, help you lose, maintain or gain weight (depending on your goal), and is overall beneficial for you. A balanced and well-planned training, that involves all of your body parts will strengthen your muscles, improve your wellness and make you look proportional and equally developed – which is the key to attractiveness. That is why you should never underestimate leg exercises and skip your leg days at the gym. And if you already have, use this best leg workout for mass to help you catch up and pump your legs in a very short period of time. Bear in mind, that in certain cases vigorous physical activity may cause undesired negative consequences. That is why it is important to perform all the exercises properly and not forget to warm up and do the post-workout stretches. Consult a specialist before implementing any new techniques or making any changes in your training routine. Your health is the most important thing in your life, so don’t push yourself too hard. Stay strong and stay positive!
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Adductor muscle (2011, britannica.com)
- Bridge exercise (n.d., mayoclinic.org)
- Gastrocnemius muscle (2018, britannica.com)
- Gluteus muscle (2018, britannica.com)
- Leg anatomy (2018, britannica.com)
- Muscles in the Posterior Compartment of the Thigh (2018, teachmeanatomy.info)
- Quadriceps femoris muscle (2018, britannica.com)
- Stretching and flexibility (2019, mayoclinic.org)
- Video: Squat exercise (2018, mayoclinic.org)