Do you want to get impressive legs and simultaneously pump up your buttocks in 30-day term? Then you need to read this article. We will give you basic advice regarding leg training and you will be able to become really huge! Open your workout calendar and let’s go!
Introduction to Leg Day Workout
Increasing muscle mass of the legs might be a difficult task for you. The development of the musculature of the legs and the increase in their mass is a typical problem for most ectomorphs (these people are also known as hardgainers). The situation is exacerbated by the fact that after non-achieving rapid muscle growth by performing typical exercises using gym machines, many people often stop training their leg muscles altogether. This applies primarily armwrestlers and some beginners who train only the top of the body, that is, they perform only upper body workouts. (You can read more about the best full chest workouts here). But they are wrong and here’s why.
Well, training the leg muscles is one of the most important factors in the development of the whole body, since it is this muscle group that accounts for more than half of the total muscle mass of the human skeleton. With the right approach, even a lean person by nature can get powerful leg muscles. But one should know basic principles of the leg muscles anatomy and leg training, of course.
Leg Workout for Mass and Anatomy of Leg Muscles
This is what you should know before performing legs workout. From the anatomical point of view, the musculature of the legs is divided into dozens of large, medium and small muscle groups, being the most complex and interconnected system of muscles in the body. Even relatively small muscle groups consist of many small muscles, lying at different depths. Due to these muscles, you can perform different leg movements (running, jumping, squatting, etc.).
The largest groups of leg musculature are the quadriceps muscles of the front surface of the thigh (quadriceps), gluteus muscles and hamstrings (including the biceps femoris). However, it should be noted that this division is conditional and very simplistic. But we think you do not need thorough and deep knowledge on the leg muscles anatomy for executing a leg workout for mass. The information above will be enough for you to understand basic principles of training. So, let’s consider leg training for mass in details.
Features of Leg Muscles Training
The muscular fibers of the musculature of the legs and the entire lower part of the trunk are mostly of the slow type. Their main task is not to provide explosive effort. Instead of this, they are responsible for performing monotonous work of low efficiency, such as walking, jogging, or keeping the body in an upright position.
Performing training the muscles of the legs, it is important to remember that they quickly get used to the repeated load and the same type of exercises. Effective leg training involves both different training techniques (from hypertrophy-based principles involving low-rep workouts to pumping-based principles intended for providing better delivery of nutrients to the leg muscles) and a variety of exercises. You can create a push pull workout routine for leg muscles or use more simple variations.
Best Leg Workouts – Training Program for Leg Muscles
Beginners are recommended to limit the number of exercises on the muscles of the legs as much as possible, using only squats with the barbell and deadlifts. A full leg day with leg press and various isolation exercises on sports machines is recommended exclusively to advanced athletes. Their bodies are able to deal with such a huge load. If you are a beginner, we recommend you to focus on multi-joint basic exercises (squats plus deadlifts). These exercises are the best to develop huge leg muscles. Even advanced athletes begin their leg workout with these exercises, only after performing squats and deadlifts they switch to isolation physical exercises using sports machines, etc.
Here’s an example of the leg workout routine for advanced athletes:
- Warm-up (squats without weights, jumps in place) – 3-4 minutes
- Leg Press in the machine – 3-4 sets of 10-12 repetitions
- Barbbell Squats for strength – 2-3 sets of 5-7 reps
- Lying Leg Curls – 3-4 sets of 10-12 repetitions
- Sumo Deadlift – 2-3 sets of 5-7 reps
- Seated Machine Leg Extension – 3-4 sets of 12-15 repetitions
For muscle growth, it is always necessary to perform a low number of repetitions of the exercise (no more than 5-7 repetitions) with a large working weight, and use of multi-joint basic exercises. In the case of the leg muscles, such exercises include barbell squats and deadlift.
Inclusion in the training of secondary (isolation) exercises, performed with a large number of repetitions (10-15 repetitions) and average weight, helps to focus on the muscle fibers of a slow type during your best leg workouts. However, the choice of such exercises always depends on the needs of a particular sportsman. However, well-trained athletes like Ronnie Coleman have used isolation exercises in addition to basic leg workout training.
Sport Machines vs. Barbell Squats – What is Better?
It should be understood that leg extensions or curls in the machine are not able to replace barbell squats, which are basic exercises for the development of leg muscles. At the same time, leg press in the machine, although it partly resembles squat movements, also should not be their full replacement.
Often, leg press exercise is performed incorrectly and with excessive working weight, minimizing the work of the stabilizing muscles of the body and overloading the lower back. (Read more on lower back training in our article about the best full back muscles workout) It is necessary to treat this exercise as a secondary exercise, using it solely in conjunction with squats.
Are Barbell Squats in Your Leg Workout Routine Dangerous?
Correctly performed barbell squats bear less danger for the waist and knee joints, than the erroneous technique of leg press in the machine. When squatting, it is important to feel the muscles of the legs; but start moving upwards from the pelvis, while looking a little forward and down.
It is necessary to make a stable position. Having your feet wider apart than your shoulders is known to activate your quads as effectively as you can. The bar should be on the bones of the shoulder blades. Your arms should only support it, but do not carry the main weight. The back should be straight while doing the exercise. It is also important to breath correctly.
Sports injuries may be treated with corticosteroids.
The Bottom Line on Leg Workout Routine for Mass
If you are a beginner, it is recommended for you to perform squats with a barbell and deadlift. Advanced athletes are recommended to have a separate “leg day” consisting of heavy basic exercises with the barbell and lightweight isolating exercises with dumbbells or using sports machines. The recommended frequency of leg workouts is 1 or 2 days a week. 3 day routine may lead to overtraining.
You may be interested in good leg workouts with dumbbell and kettlebell.