Leg Day Exercises You Should Be Including
Leg day is usually a love hate relationship and the hardest session of the week. If you are looking to build muscle in your legs, there a couple of movements that you should look to include in your leg day routine. In this blog we will look at the best exercises to help build muscle mass in your lower body.
When you are structuring your leg day there are some staple movements that you should add in. The three movement patterns that you want to include are a type of squat, hinge and thrust along with some accessories.
The Barbell Back Squat is the most popular compound movement for muscle growth. This movement is great because you can progressively overload the weights and amount of reps that you are doing over the weeks. Before you start increasing the weight on this movement, you should look to perfect your form as progressing with good form is key for muscle growth. The Barbell Back squat will hit all the muscles in your legs and this is why it is a main compound movement.
The Goblet Squat another variation of a squat. To perform this exercise you will hold a dumbbell in front of your chest and then perform a squat. This movement is easier to perform than the standard barbell squat however, you may find it harder to overload the weight as there is only so heavy you can go with a dumbbell.
Bodyweight Squats are the simplest variation of the squat therefore if you are a beginner you should start with these to help improve mobility and get used to the movement before you start adding weight.
The Romanian Deadlift is an example of a hinge movement that can be performed to target your hamstrings and glutes. This is a great movement as you can progress by overloading the weight, week by week and it can be performed with a barbell or a set of dumbbells. It is important to perfect the form on this movement before going heavy as it can be taxing on your lower back if not performed correctly.
Hyperextensions are another hinge movement that can target the hamstrings and glutes however this movement is easier to perform. You can also add weight to this movement by holding a plate or a dumbbell however there is not as much room for progression as there would be with the Romanian Deadlift.
Barbell Hip Thrusts are a thrust movement that you should consider adding to your workouts as they are a compound movement that you can progressively overload on. When performed correctly they mainly target your glutes and they are great for building power across other leg exercises such as squats and deadlifts.
Kas Glute Bridge is similar to the hip thrust however the range of motion is slightly different. By adding one of these to your leg days you should start to see some glute development.
Adding some accessory movements after your main compound movements is a great way to finish a leg workout. These accessory / isolation movements can contribute to progression on your compound movements. Below are some examples of some isolation movements:
- Leg Extension
- Leg Curl
- Cable Kick Backs
- Seated Hip Abductor
- Seated Hip Adduction
- Bulgarian Split Squat
- Calf Raises
Try taking some of these movements from this blog into your next leg day and build a structured plan where you can continue to progress over the coming weeks. By doing this alongside focusing on your nutrition you should start to see muscle in your lower body.