Working your legs is one of the best ways to lose fat and gain strength, so it’s definitely important to have a good repertoire of exercises you can call on anytime you’re ready to make it an intense day at the gym.
We asked our five experts about their favorite leg exercises and compiled quite a list! From squats to deadlifts, with these exercises, hopefully you’ll always have a great way to strength train your legs to gain muscle.
Best Leg Exercises To Build Muscle #1 – Glute Bridge
- Single-leg glute bridge: Helps build pelvic and knee stability, and sets you up for stronger squats and lunges. It’s important to build a solid foundation before attacking bigger movements. I use this exercise as a warm-up to activate the glutes and hamstrings before doing weighted leg exercises.
- Squats: front, back, goblet, and dumbbell squats. There are so many ways to perform a squat, and all of them will help build muscle. If you have back issues, stay away from back squats. I really like front and goblet squats because they encourage tall posture and you can really feel your abs working to support your spine.
- Lunges: again, there are numerous variations of a lunge, and they all offer great benefits. Forward, backward, walking, balancing, and side lunges. They challenge your balance and work all the muscles in the legs.
- Deadlifts: bent-leg and straight-leg, deadlifts are great at targeting the glutes, hamstrings, and low back. Make sure to keep your core tight and spine straight. Rounding the spine in a dead-lift takes the work out of the glutes/hamstrings and places all the weight in your spine which could lead to injury. Proper form is essential to reap the benefits of a deadlift.
Best Leg Exercises To Build Muscle #2 – Back Squats
- Squats – I listed these as the “Best Exercise to Build Muscle“
- Walking Lunges- They have a plyometric element while engaging the glutes, quads, and hamstrings.
- Trap-Bar Deadlift -I think they are safer, better risk/reward than traditional deadlifts
- Jump Squats Holding Dumbbells – This is a way to burn out the legs and achieve significant muscle stimulation
- Running in Soft Sand – Not really a strength training exercise, but it’s a killer workout and will thoroughly work your entire lower body.
– Marc Perry ,CSCS, CPT