Best Leg Exercises
We all know the guy that is totally jacked on top, but his legs are an embarrassment. How can someone focus so much on his biceps, back, shoulders, and chest, but focus so little on his wheels? Instead of being admired for his physique, he is remembered for his chicken legs. Quite a few guys have difficulty getting their legs to grow larger, but that doesn’t mean you should just give up on training them.
The best leg exercises are the ones that involve multi-joints. Single joint movements are fine and can be completed near the end of your workout, but to get a full leg workout completed in a decent amount of time, multi-joint exercises are the way to go. They activate and strengthen more of the many muscles that make up your legs. Single joint movements like leg curls and leg extensions are basically just working one muscle each.
Squats are the number one leg exercise in the weightroom. Ask any veteran weightlifter how to get your legs bigger, and they will answer squats 99 percent of the time. The other 1 percent of the time they will tell you to get lost.
There are a few variations of squats, but they all work out your whole lower body. Usually one warms up with light weight and then pyramids up from there. It is the toughest leg exercise to do, but it yields the best results. Be sure to keep your back straight and come down far enough for the squats to count. If you are going to do them, do them right!
Walking Dumbbell Lunges
If you have never done walking dumbbell lunges before, be prepared to groan while you are walking the next day. You’ll be surprised at your girlish screams as you try walking up steps. These multi-joint lunges train glutes, quads, and hamstrings. Be prepared to say excuse me to people as you walk around the weightroom completing these.
There are several variations of different leg press machines at the gym. The differences let you position your feet at various angles. This allows you the ability to focus more on certain leg muscles while performing a set movement on those machines. You might even have a few people claim that a leg press is just as good as a squat. This is not correct, but why tell them they are wrong? Just let them keep on doing the leg presses. It frees up the squat rack for the rest of us.
Vertical Leg Press
If you see a vertical leg press machine in a gym, it is equivalent to spying a unicorn running across your front yard. It is extremely rare to find this machine in a gym because of insurance purposes. We all know a few people in the weightroom that do not seem to have any common sense. They will quickly injure themselves on this machine. I say this is a good thing. Survival of the fittest! The Darwinian evolutionary theory should really be applied more in the weightroom. Unfortunately, gym owners frown at serious injuries or death.
Luckily, there are several vertical leg presses available for your home gym, and they are perfectly safe. Generally, a person lays down on the back pad and lowers and then highers the weights for a full lower body workout. The great part of this machine is the back support that it provides. A spotter is not needed for this exercise, and you won’t injure your back like you can sometimes during squats.