Best Leg Exercises For Leg Day

Why You Shouldn’t Skip Leg Day

We move from one place to another because of our legs, and it is composed of one of the biggest muscle groups in the body, the glutes taking the lion’s share.

Building leg muscles is crucial as it supports the whole body; imagine being supported by a pair of barbeque skewers — the thought doesn’t look too appealing now does it?

Having stronger legs means your body gets to burn more calories, heighten testosterone levels, and allows you to lift heavier.

Did you know that leg workouts also boost mental activity and improve brain health? This is because your legs send signals to the brain that aid in the production of neural cells — cells that are crucial in helping the body handle stress and facing challenges.

The legs can be broken down into three main groups: quads, hamstrings, and calves. Each group has a subgroup that each has its own function. Much like a clock, the parts need to work together in unison for it to operate the way it should.

Skimping – or skipping – leg day can have its drawbacks. Believe it or not, your balance is affected, making you more prone to injury. If you engage in sports, you’d be weaker and slower than other players on the field.

Plus, there’s also the issue of having “chicken legs”; no one wants to look like that.

Best Leg Exercises For Leg Day

Best Leg Exercises

We’ve listed some of the best exercises you can incorporate into your workout during leg day. These exercises target different parts of your legs.

Barbell Bulgarian Split Squat

With a bench behind you, stand with one of your legs resting on the bench, bridge facing downwards. Hold a barbell across your upper back; how heavy the weight is all depends on you.

Slowly lower your body, as if you are going to do a squat. Continue until the knee of your other leg touches the floor. Rise using your standing leg into starting position.

Do 3 sets of 6 reps each, and rest for 60 seconds in between sets.

Pro tip: If having the barbell behind you causes you to lean forward, try front loading (barbell in front), or simply switch to dumbbells.

Barbell Seated Calf Raise

Sit down on a flat bench, with a block of about 2 inches thick, a foot away from you. Sit on the bench and place the ball of your feet on the block.

You will need assistance here — place a barbell on your thighs, a few inches from your knee. Using your toes, raise your legs and squeeze your calves while your breathe out. Slowly release to starting position.

Do 3 sets of 6 reps each, and rest for 60 seconds in between sets.

Pro tip: You can do this on a machine if your gym has one — the smith machine or the seated calf raise machine. If you don’t have anyone to assist you, you can use dumbbells places on each thigh.

Romanian Deadlift

With a barbell on the floor, keep your feet planted firmly on the ground. Slightly bend your body from your knees. Your back and hips should be straight, your shins should be stable.

Push your hips forward and refrain from bending your back as you lift the barbell. From standing position, push your hips back as you lower the barbell. Your knees should only bend slightly.

Do 3 sets of 6 reps each, and rest for 60 seconds in between sets.

Pro tip: This exercise can greatly improve your sprint speed and agility, as it focuses on hamstrings and glutes.

Best Leg Exercises For Leg Day

Barbell Hack Squat

Stand up straight, your feet and shoulders hip width apart. Hold a barbell at arm’s length. Breathe in as you lower your body into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your eyes and head straight. Using the heel of your foot, push your body back up and breathe out.

Do 3 sets of 6 reps each, and rest for 60 seconds in between sets.

Barbell Side Lunge

Stand up straight with your legs hip width apart. Place a barbell on your upper back, just above your shoulders.

Step out and stretch your right leg to side, planting it firm on the ground as you lower your body, bending your right knee in the process. Keep your left leg straight. Continue to starting position and repeat on the other leg.

Do 3 sets of 6 reps each, and rest for 60 seconds in between sets.

Pro tip: Placing a wedge under the bent leg will help stabilise your balance and keep you in an upright position.

Inclined Treadmill Sprint

Adjust the treadmill so that it is inclined. Sprint at full speed for 30 seconds, then rest for one minute. Do this six times, which is also equivalent to six sets.

Pro tip: Cardio on leg day isn’t unheard of, but it sure is unconventional. This is an awesome addition towards the latter part of your workout, when you already feel the fatigue settling from all that lifting. If you want to improve lower body strength and power, a treadmill sprint will help.

Best Leg Exercises For Leg Day

Word of Caution

As with any workout routine, it is always best to consult with your doctor first to be on the clear for any underlying health condition that might affect you. Don’t forget to stretch properly and do warm-up exercises to prevent any injuries.

If you’re unsure about how to go about these exercises, enlisting the help of a fitness coach will be beneficial. Exercising properly, doing it in the right form, not only lessens the likelihood of getting hurt but also maximises the workout to its fullest potential so you get to reap its benefits sooner rather than later.

Visit Rec Xpress Today!

Our affordable membership rate promises to be one of the best investments you can make today. There are no lock-in periods, no contracts, and you’re free to visit any of our 6 locations any time of the day. Our fitness trainers are available to assist you reach your fitness goals. Make leg day a priority at Rec Xpress or you’ll be cluck-cluck-clucking your way around town!

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