We’ve always loved leg training, it’s no secret. Since I (Mish) started training I always focused a lot on legs. I never skipped leg day. I learned to love leg training early on in my training life, often training them 3-4 times a week. Fast forward several years and I seem to be constantly surrounded by people that skip leg day. In order to share some of my wisdom with the masses I wanted to share my favourite leg exercises with you!
Big Moves = Big Results
Talk to anyone about training your legs and you’ll be told to Squat. I completely agree with this. However, in my opinion, most people: 1/ don’t squat often enough, 2/ Skip through the squat relatively quickly or 3/Always put it at the beginning of the workout.
The standard squat in itself is a great exercise, as are its variations. Although, if you only give squats a 15 minute flirtation, you’ll never reap the full benefits of this movement. Instead, really hammer your legs with this big move and what ever energy you have left can be spent on other things.
Leg Exercises – Variation is Key!
Most people training in the gym only squat one way, deadlift one way and very rarely vary what they do. But if you want to develop a great set of legs, you have to learn the variations of a lift. Don’t discount a narrow stance, wide (sumo) stance, front or overhead squats while thinking up your next leg workout.
Each of these different movements will produce a different stimulus in the legs leading to better development. My favourite variations are the front squat and the sissy squat (named after an ancient greek myth). There seems to be a bit of confusion online to how the Sissy squat should be performed.
Here are couple of pictures of the great Tom Platz who had/has some of the best quad development that anyone has ever seen performing it correctly.
So what comes next?
After the squat and its variations, here’s a list of my favourite leg exercises, in no particular order:
The Romanian Deadlift
This is a great hamstring and glute developer. Go really heavy on these but watch your form and keep the tension on the target muscle group. If you don’t feel your glutes and hamstrings doing the work on this lift, lighten the load and focus on building a mind-muscle connection. More so, work on fixing your form. Check out the article linked below for tips on exercise selection and a free workout.
Lunges are great at working the legs overall. Start playing with variations and loading patterns and you’ll get a lot more from this then the standard walking lunge. Try out split squats, goblet walking lunges (pictured above) and curtsey lunges for overall development and strength.
Focus more on these big movements (Squat, Deadlift and Lunge variations). But never forgo these movements in favour of machines or isolation work unless you are training your legs multiple times a week. Big movements equal big results.
Hope these have helped you on your quest for beautiful legs. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any question. Share the article via the Social Media links below too!