In my past articles I have covered the ideal strength moves for the chest, back, arms and shoulders and then it hit me what about the lower body? So today I am going to tell you the 5 exercises that helped me strengthen and develop my leg muscles such as the calves, thighs etc.
I could make a list of squats variations like you would mostly come across on the web but I’d hate that and I sure you would too. So besides a couple of important squat exercises here’s what else you need to do.
High and Low bar squat
A simple fact is that you cannot do away with squats because they affect every lower body muscle and also increase testosterone levels important for effective muscle development and if done before curls also impact the arms too.
Technically these variations are similar the only difference being that for the high bar the bar is placed over the traps and for the low bar the bar is placed over the back deltoids whereas biomechanically they are completely unique.
The high bar variant impacts the quads whereas the low bar version focuses on the glutes. My advice would be you do both variants on alternate days.
Bulgarian Split Squat
Like I said, can’t get rid of the squats and though this version may seem very difficult with proper technique anyone can do it. It is technically a split squat where the leg in the front bears more weight. For beginners my advice would be to try it using a smith machine rather than free weights.
It is the best quad movement and like other squat variations boosts testosterone levels. Start light and avoid doing it too early into the routine. 3 sets of 10 reps should be a good start.
The leg press isn’t an alternative to the squat mainly for 3 facts. It does not integrate all leg muscles, does not boost testosterone as well as squats and neither is the body pose and movement too helpful.
What it does help with is strengthening the thighs and teardrops. Be careful not to lower the sled too much as the glutes tend to rise due to which the spine curves and that can result in a nasty injury. To make the workout more effective team it up with techniques like the dropsets or forced reps.
Though mostly considered as a back exercise the deadlift and its other types impact most body muscles especially the hamstrings and glutes. Its sumo version is the best exercise for the quads. As weights are involved your muscles are bound to strengthen and develop.
The involvement of different muscle groups gives the body a hormonal boost too. Since you will be doing this exercise on our leg day I’d suggest you keep the reps easy and lift less weight than usual. 2 sets of 10 reps is enough.
For this workout you need to stretch your knees and hips thus your thighs and glutes get stronger. I prefer to do them while moving forward or back. You can also stick to a spot and do it depending on your choice.
I prefer dumbbells as dipping and standing seems simpler with them and they tend to be less disturbing when moving around but barbells have the same impact. I start off my leg day with lunges as I can lift heavier when fresh.
Keep your knees behind your toes for their safety and avoid leaning forward and push through your mid food while going up. Start off with 3 sets of 10 reps and aim for muscle failure. Later combine it with the dropset technique.
Wondering why I have left out the leg extension or curl? No I haven’t made a mistake. While these workouts are good and are the last couple of exercises I do on leg day they are definitely not as great as the ones mentioned above.