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The 45-minute Leg Workout Routine

With just a barbell and some dumbbells, lift your way to perfect legs with this ultimate lower-body workout.

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Man Performing a Walking Lunge
Edgar Artiga / M+F Magazine
Man Performing a Walking Lunge
Edgar Artiga / M+F Magazine

Nothing says “I hit the gym hard” like a set of ridiculously sculpted quads and calves—especially during beach season. But let’s be honest, you want to maintain the muscle definition in your legs all year round—whether you’re wearing a pair of swim trunks or the perfect pair of denim jeans.

This 45-minute workout will hit all the major muscle groups in your legs (the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves) to build mass and sharpen defintion—regardless of what time of year it is.

How it works

Body part-specific routines are great for guys with specific strength- and muscle-building goals. When it comes to how long you should dedicate to each body part, 45 minutes may be the ticket. That’s because research shows your body goes into a “building state” after a 40- to 45-minute session.

But any fit guy knows you can’t neglect your legs. Engineers will tell you that the strength of a structure lies in its foundation. Therefore, the same conformity should be applied to the human body. A weak or undeveloped lower body will not be able to provide you with the strength and durability you need to lead a productive lifestyle. For this reason, I’ve compiled a series of exercises that will not only fortify your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves, but also solidify your foundation for many years to come.

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Directions

Warm up completely, then perform 3 sets of 8-10 reps of the following exercises with 90 seconds rest in between sets. Increase the weight by 20lbs in each set. Alternate your sequence of exercises every 2-4 weeks to prevent latency.

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Routine

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The Best 45-minute Leg Workout

Strengthen and build your quads, calves, and glutes.

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 5

Deadlift

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
8-10
Rest
90 sec.
Exercise 2 of 5

Front Squat

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
8-10
Rest
90 sec.
Exercise 3 of 5

Dumbbell Lunge

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
8-10
Rest
90 sec.
Exercise 4 of 5

Barbell Hip Thrust

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
8-10
Rest
90 sec.
Exercise 5 of 5

Standing Calf Raise

Equipment
Box
Sets
3
Reps
8-10
Rest
90 sec.
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