Leg Exercises

Count by 5’s to Build Your Thighs

Use this simple split based on multiples of 5 to boost your leg strength and size.

by
leg extension exercise
Duration 2 Days
Exercises 11
Equipment Yes

Fewer things cause more chiding in the gym than someone looking like an apple on toothpicks. If you’re leg training has been lacking here is a workout guaranteed to boost strength, size, and separation. You will train legs twice a week, focusing on strength and power one day and utilizing higher reps another, helping you hit both slow and fast twitch fibers. On day 2, you will shift your focus from moving the heaviest weights possible, to increasing your reps, and endurance threshold. Perform each exercise with a 2 second negative, a 1 second pause at the bottom, and a 1-2 second concentric portion of the lift.

Day 1 Exercises

Squat

Squats are the king of leg exercises. It’s a natural body movement that incorporates flexion at all major lower body joints, causing max overload of the major muscles of the body. Increasing your squat strength will result in greater development throughout your entire lower body. Use the tried and true 5X5 method and focus on increasing weight each session to maximize this movement.

Leg Press

The leg press is a great adjunct to the squat. It requires less focus on technique and allows you to push big weights. Lower the weight for 5 seconds and pause 2 seconds at the bottom before driving the weight up quickly. This repetition tempo will ensure greater time under tension, increasing muscle fiber size.

Straight Leg Deadlift

The straight leg deadlift or Romanian deadlift (RDL) is the go to move for hamstrings and glutes. You also hit the back and traps in this exercise. Proper technique is crucial. Lower the weight for 3 seconds, pause for 2 seconds at the bottom, and return to starting position in a controlled fashion. Keep tension on the glutes and hamstrings the entire time.

Lying Leg Curl

Overall hamstring development cannot be attained without leg curls. Hamstrings have a high amount of fast twitch fibers, so keep the weight heavy and reps low. Do a 5 second negative, pause briefly at the bottom and pull the weight up quickly. At the top squeeze hard for about a second.

Leg Extension

Finish your power day with 5 quick sets of 10 on the leg extension. Rest 30 seconds between sets to maximize the pump and growth hormone. This provides multiple benefits. If you’re a glutton for punishment, try occlusion training with these.

Day 2 Exercises

Leg Press with Bands

Fashion a set of resistance bands on the leg press to increase the intensity of the exercise. Fight the negative on this one a little longer than the other exercises. The bands add a myriad of benefits to increase mass.

Lunge

These will test your mental toughness. They will also carve in leg separation. Not for the faint at heart, but perfect for those looking for results.

Leg Extension

Squeeze the thighs hard at the top of the motion to fill them with blood and control the weight on the way down. Keep constant tension and work for the burn.

Single Leg Curl

The focus here should be squeezing the muscle at contraction as hard as possible. Think of your hamstring complex as your biceps. Flex and squeeze the hamstring just as you would your biceps when someone asks to see your muscles. The pain will be insane. The results will be greater.

Seated Leg Curl

Higher reps push muscles to their threshold, insuring all fibers across the continuum get stimulated. Working across different points of flexion (stretched, mid, and contracted) also helps hit the muscle at all angles and from origin to insertion. Seated leg curls done with higher reps attacks both of these variables.

Inner/Outer Thigh Machine

Finish the legs off by hitting the gluteus medius and the adductors. These muscles are important for adding leg width, improving their strength and endurance will assist you in other lifts.

Day 1 – Power & Strength

Exercise 1

Barbell Squat You'll need: Barbell How to
Barbell Squat thumbnail
5 sets
5 reps
3-min rest

Exercise 2

Leg Press How to
Leg Press thumbnail
5 sets
5 reps
-- rest
Use a 5/2/X tempo.

Exercise 3

Stiff-Legged Deadlift
exercise image placeholder
5 sets
5 reps
-- rest
Use a 3/2/1 tempo.

Exercise 4

Lying Leg Curl
lying-leg-curl thumbnail
5 sets
5 reps
-- rest
Use a 5/1/X/1 tempo

Exercise 5

Leg Extension How to
Leg Extension thumbnail
5 sets
10 reps
-- rest
30 sec

Day 2 – High Volume/Hypertrophy

Exercise 1

Leg Press With Bands
exercise image placeholder
5 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

Dumbbell Lunge You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Lunge thumbnail
5 sets
15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Leg Extension How to
Leg Extension thumbnail
5 sets
20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Single-Leg Curl
exercise image placeholder
5 sets
10 each leg reps
-- rest

Exercise 5

Seated Leg Curl
exercise image placeholder
5 sets
15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 6

Abductor Machine
exercise image placeholder
5 sets
20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 7

Adductor Machine
exercise image placeholder
5 sets
20 reps
-- rest
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