Leg Exercises

7 Wheel-Blasting Leg Workouts

Serious total-body change starts with your legs. Try one of these widowmaker routines to get your quads and hams on the grow.


If you’re a serious leg trainer, a quick peek at the routine below should be all you need to know that you can probably cancel your samba lesson tomorrow night. This routine goes beyond quad-centric training and aggressively attacks your hamstrings and glutes.

Exercise                                Sets/Reps

Barbell Squat                        4/3,5,8,12 

Front Squat                           3/5

Leg Press 1                           2/5 (each leg)

Butt Blaster                           3/8

Leg Curl 1                             2/5 (each leg)

Leg Extension 2                  4/50,40,30,20

Glute-Ham Raise               3/6

1 Press with two legs, then lower the weight with one leg, taking a full five seconds on the negative.

2 If you hit failure before your target number of reps, continue performing partials until you reach your goal.

Why It Works: You start off with reverse-pyramid barbell squats so you can elicit the post-activation potentiation effects – this will prepare the nervous system and muscles to handle heavy weight for more reps on the sets and exercises that follow. With the front squats, which move the focus to the quads, you keep the reps low so that the rhomboids (which help keep the bar in the rack position) are better able to keep up from set to set. On the leg press, you will lower for five seconds on each rep because negative overloads have been shown to spark massive hypertrophy. Yes, the butt blaster – this is not just a machine for those donning brightly-colored tights and leg warmers. This provides sorely-needed isolated overload to the glutes. The leg curls will be handled in the same way as the leg press – using negative overload – because the hamstrings are a fast-twitch muscle group and actually respond well to lower-rep training. The glute-ham raises give you a chance to work the hamstrings from origin to insertion because they are working to contract (knee) and stabilize (hip) at both joints that they cross.

Josh Bryant, MFS, CSCS, PES, is the owner of JoshStrength.com and co-author (with Adam benShea) of the Amazon No. 1 seller Jailhouse Strong. He is a strength coach at Metroflex Gym in Arlington, Texas, and holds 12 world records in powerlifting. You can connect with him on Twitter and Facebook or visit his website at www.joshstrength.com.