LEG WORKOUTS FOR MASS

Legs are the base of the strength, training and building the leg muscles is very important, even most of the times it is covered and it is not seen, no matter what kind of sport you are in or what challenges you are taking in life, training legs is a must, it will help you in anything you do.

Legs has the biggest muscle group on your body, and it is all your lower body, from the waist down, you need lots of energy to build monster legs.

In this page I will give you upper leg workouts for mass building.

Upper leg muscles includes.

A- Quadriceps: located in front of the thigh and they are four muscles, allow to straighten the knee.

  • Vastus lateralis
  • Vastus medialis
  • Vastus intermedius
  • Rectus femoris

B- Adductors: located in the inside of the thighs muscles and they are five muscles, allow thighs to come together.

  • Adductor magnus
  • Adductor longus
  • Adductor brevis
  • Obturator externus
  • Gracilis

C- Hamstrings: located in the back of the thighs and they are three muscle, allow the knee to bend.

  • Semimembranosus
  • Semitendinosus
  • biceps femoris

We will cover all this muscle group exercises in this article.

A- Quadriceps

1- Barbell back squat

Place the bar on the squat rack at shoulder hight, get under the bar and place the barbell back of your shoulder just under your neck, then push with your legs up and couple of feet stay away from the rack and feet at shoulder level apart but stay inside the squat rack for safety, keep your body straight and keep your head up all the time, and toes pointed out, this is your starting position.

Lower the bar down by bending your knees as you are sitting down (Note: make sure your knee inline with your toes otherwise you will stress on your knee), and keep your back straight as much as possible and your head up, until you sit your hamstring on your calfs, breathing as you go down, then as you exhale raise the bar up again by pressing on your heels or middle foot with straithning your legs and your hips and go back to starting position.

Note: You can use different stance (wide, medium, close) it depends on what muscle you want to emphasize, but the medium stance target overall development.

2- Barbell front squat

Place the bar on the squat rack at shoulder level, bring your arms under the bar and keep your elbow and upper arms slight high just above parallel to the floor, rest the bar on the top of your deltoids and cross your arms by grasping the bar to better control.

Push with your legs to lift the bar and step away from the rack and keep your body straight and head up all the time, toes point out, this is your starting position.

Keep your back straight and lower the weight down by bending your knees and hips as you are sitting down and keep your head up until your upper legs will be slightly below parallel to the floor, don’t look down not to lose control, as you are going down your knees must be inline with your toes to perform the exercise correctly and to not put pressure on your knees, otherwise it will be wrong and you will hurt your knees.

Raise the weight up again by pressing on your middle foot as you straighten your legs and hips and go back to starting position.

Caution: This exercise is not recommended who has back problems, unless you are performing correctly.

Note: You can use different stance (wide, medium, close) it depends on what muscle you want to emphasize, but the medium stance target overall development.

3- Barbell hack squat

Stand straight feet at shoulder level width and head up, hold the barbell at shoulder level behind you, arms extended down palms facing back, this is your starting position.

Lower the weight down by squatting down until your upper leg parallel to the floor, keep your back straight and head up all the time, then go back to starting position by pressing on your heels and squeezing your thighs

4- Hack squat

Get under the shoulder pads and hook your shoulders under the shoulder pads, and place your back on back pad, keep your head up and your body straight, legs place on the platform in front medium stance and toes pointed out, place your hands on the side handles and disengage the safety bar (different machine designs has different disengagement safety handles), then straighten your legs and lock on you knees, this is your starting position.

Lower your self down by lowering the machine with bending your knee, keeping your body straight and head up all the time, until your upper legs and calves reach less than 90 degree, and your knees inline with your toes, then by pressing on your heels raise your self up back to starting position.

Note: You can use different stance (wide, medium, close) it depends on what muscle you want to emphasize, but the medium stance target overall development.

5- Leg press

Sit down on leg press machine and place your back on the back pad and place your legs on the pad in front of you with medium stance, push the weighted pad up but don’t lock your knees, then disengage the safety handles, your upper body and your torso should make a 90 degree angle, this is your starting position.

Lower the weighted platform down as you inhale until your upper legs and calves make 90 degree angle, the push the platfrom with your heels up by using your quads back to starting position, then after you finish the recommended reps do not forget to re rack and securely lock the handles for the platform.

Note: You can use different stance (wide, medium, close) it depends on what muscle you want to emphasize, but the medium stance target overall development

6- Barbell lunge

Place a barbell on your traps below the neck and stand shoulder width, this is your starting position.

Flex the knee of your right leg to drop your hips and step 2 feet forward by descending down until your left leg knee which will left behind touches the ground and your right leg forms 90 degree, your upper body should remain straight and your face looking forward all the time.

By pressing on your right leg heel rasie your self up with extending your knees and stand back to starting position, then start with your other leg same steps.

Caution: don’t let your knee pass you feet, this will give you knee problems, and if you are starter for this exercise it is recommended to use your body weight

Another variation: You can perform this exercise by walking across the room if you space instead of going up and down standing in the same place for more challenging mode.

7- Dumbbell lunges

stand straight legs shoulder width, Hold dumbbells both hand on each side and arms extended down and palms facing you, this is your starting position.

Flex the knee of your right leg to drop your hips and step 2 feet forward by descending down until your left leg knee which will left behind touches the ground and your right leg forms 90 degree, your upper body should remain straight and your face looking forward all the time.

By pressing on your right leg heel rasie your self up with extending your knees and stand back to starting position, then start with your other leg same steps.

Caution: don’t let your knee pass you feet, this will give you knee problems, and if you are starter for this exercise it is recommended to use your  body weight

Another variation: You can perform this exercise by walking across the room if you space instead of going up and down standing in the same place for more challenging mode.

8- Single leg press

Load the leg press machine with the appropriate weight and sit on the machine placing your one leg on the platform and the other leg on the ground, and keep your body straight inline position on the machine, then press with yout leg the pad up but lock your knee, this is your starting position.

Hold the handle and disengage the safety lock and lower the weight down by flexing your knees and hips as much as you can, but you should not move your pelvis or waist while going down, you should keep your straight posture, then go back to starting position.

9- Bulgarian split squat

Stand straight 3 feet infront of a flat bench, legs shoulder width apart, and your back facing the bench, take a barbell and position on your back below the neck, then rest the toes one of your legs back on the bench so your middle foot will face up and your other leg stationary the same place infornt of you,and your face looking forward all the time, this is your starting position.

Lower your leg down by bending your knee until your upper leg parallel to the floor and your upper body slightly lean forward so your upper chest just above your upper thighs, and your knee over your toes.

Press on your heel and using your quad muscles raise your self up back to starting position.

Another variation: You can perform this exercise with using dambbells

Note: You should be experienced to do this exercise because it is for advanced athletes.

10- Dumbbell step ups

Stand straight in front of a flat bench holding dumbbells in both hands on each side of you palms facing you, this is your starting position.

Raise your left leg and step on the bench by extending your knee and your hips of the left leg, then by pressing on your heel step up all of your body on the bench and place your right foot on the bench.

Step down of the bench using your right leg by flexing your knee and hips, then bring your left leg next to your right leg and beck to starting position, then start stepping up with your other leg.

Note: For beginners better to start doing this exercise with body weight only.

Another variation: You can perform this exercise using barbell.

11- Squat on a bench

Place the bar on the squat rack at shoulder hight, get under the bar and place the barbell back of your shoulder just under your neck, then push with your legs up and couple of feet stay away from the rack and feet at shoulder level apart but stay inside the squat rack for safety, keep your body straight and keep your head up all the time, and toes pointed out, this is your starting position.

Lower the bar down by bending your knees as you are sitting down (Note: make sure your knee inline with your toes otherwise you will stress on your knee) , and keep your back straight as much as possible and your head up, until you slightly touch the bench back of you, breath in as you go down, then as you exhale raise the bar up again by pressing on your heels or middle foot with straitening your legs and your hips and go back to starting position.

Note: You can use different stance (wide, medium, close) it depends on what muscle you want to emphasize, but the medium stance target overall development.

Another variation: You can perform this exercise with using dumbbells holding on your side arms length, if you will squat with wide stance you should hold the dambbells in front of you between your legs.

12- Leg extensions

You should use leg extension machine for this exercise, you sit on the machine and place your lower legs (just above the feet) under the pad and feet pointed out, adjust your back pad and the leg pad so your upper leg and lower leg forms 90 degree, because if it is less than 90 degree and your knees passing your toes you will put stress on your knees, then choose the weight hold the side handles, this is your starting position.

Using your quadriceps muscle extend your lower legs up to the maximum and hold a second, then lower it down to starting position not passing the 90 degree angle.

13- Sissy squat

Stand Straight and hold with one hand and solid bar or squat rack and place your other hand on your chest, legs shoulder width apart and toes raised, this is your starting position.

Lower your self down by bending your knees forward, tilt torso backwards, and your heels above your toes, go down until you reach your butt as close to your heels as possible, then rise your self up by thrusting your torso up forward using your thigh muscles and back to starting position.

Caution: This is a very powerful exercise but it will pui too much load on your knee, so it is not recommended if your have a knee problems.

Another variation: You perform this exercise with placing a plate weight on your chest, for advanced training.

B- Adductors

14- Thigh adductor

Sit on the adductor machine and place your inner thighs on the pads and your back rested on the back pad straight, release the pad tensioner so your both legs will open to the sides to starting position and hold the side handles.

Press on both pads so your legs will move against each other hols a second and feel the contraction then go back to starting position.

15- Side leg raises

Stand up next to chair or something that you can hold for support, stand on one leg and the other leg above the floor, this is your starting position.

Raise your leg up to the side as high as possible then bring it down allowing to cross your other leg

Variation: You can use weights on your ankle for better contraction.

16- Low pulley thigh abduction

Stand straight to the side of a low pulley cable, attach a band handle to the pulley and round it around your left leg ankle, and stand couple of feet away from the pulley so there will be a tension on the cable, this is your starting position.

Keeping your knee straight raise your left leg to the side then bring it down allowing to cross your right leg, feel the contraction on your inner thighs, repeat the necessary repetition then go back to starting position.

C- Hamstrings

17- Romanian deadlift with barbell

Stand straight legs shoulder width and hold a barbell hands shoulder width apart, arms hanging perpendicular to the floor palms facing you, and barbell resting on your upper thighs, this is your starting position.

Lower your body forward by flexing your hips, pushing your butt back as far as you can, your hips should move horizontally, and slight bend on your knees, and you should put the load on you heels, keep ending forward until your feel stretch on your hamstrings as you reach your hand on knee level, and a slight arch in your back.

The moment you feel you can not continue going down, pause then go back to starting position.

Another variation: You can perform this exercise using dumbbells

18- Natural glute ham raise

position your ankles under the pad of lat pulldown machine and knee on the sitting pad, your should be facing opposite side of the machine, and your body upright position facing infront, this is your starting position.

You should keep your body straight as much as you can, and lower your self down by bending from the knees down facing to the floor until your body straight, the raise your self up using your hamstrings to starting position.

Note: You can continue going down until you support your self with your hands on the floor then push a little with your hands then continue to go up. (for beginners).

Another variation: You can perform this exercise on the floor using floor mat, and having a partner to hold on your ankles instead of the machine pad.

19- Lying leg curls

Adjust the machine level according to your higth and Lie face down on the machine and place the pad over the legs just under your calves, keep your torso stationary and don’t move, and hold the handles, make sure that your legs are fully stretched, and keep a little distance between your legs, this is your starting position.

Curl your legs by bending your knees as much as possible as you exhale until you feel full contraction, without moving your upper legs or your body, then go back to starting position as you inhale.

Another variation: You can perfrom this exercise with only one leg at a time, or you can use single leg curl machine if available.

20- Seated leg curl

Seat on the curl machine against the back pad, adjust the leg curl pad and lap pad according to your higth, position your legs over the curl pad just under the calves, and the lap pad over your thighs just above your knees, and hold the handles, this is your starting position.

Keep your body stationary and curl your legs down by bending your knees as much as possible as you exhale until you feel full contraction, hold a second, then go back to starting position as you inhale.

21- Ball leg curl

Lay down on your back on the floor, extend your legs and position your ankles over the ball, this is your starting position.

Raise your hips off the ground, put the load on your shoulder blades and feet, then bend your knees and bring the ball with your feet as close as possible by using your hamstring muscle and feel the contraction, then go back to starting position.

(pictures coming soon)

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