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.


Squats and leg presses are two of the main mass-builders in most leg programs. But you shouldn’t get too comfortable with these bilateral moves. Occasionally, it may behoove you to focus on moves that require you to work one side at a time. Exercises such as the Bulgarian split squat allow you to do that, while still overloading your muscles in hypertrophy-inducing rep ranges.

Exercise                                          Sets/Reps

Bulgarian Split Squat                     4-5/6-10 (each side)

Alternating Barbell Step-Up         4-5/6-10 (each side)

Single Leg Curl                              2-3/8-10 (each side)

Single Leg Extension                   2-3/8-10 (each side)

Rest no more than 30 seconds between sets.

Why It Works: Training the legs with these four exercises is a great way to add variation to your typical bilateral leg workouts. These types of moves have several benefits over training both legs together. First off, single-leg exercises will greatly improve your balance and help to eliminate any muscular asymmetries you may have due to bilateral training. Secondly, since many lifters suffer from back issues, unilateral leg training is a more "back friendly" way to strengthen the legs without further stressing the lower back. Working the legs independently of each other offers the perfect complement to your bilateral leg training. Moves like the split squat and step-up also hold great performance training benefits.

Jim Ryno, CPT, is the owner of LIFT Studios, a private personal-training facility in New Jersey.