Basic leg exercises
In weightlifting, the basic exercise for training your leg muscles is barbell squats. This multi-joint exercise, performed with a heavy weight, develops both the strength of the muscles of the lower body and increases the endurance of the whole organism and the level of testosterone in men. The ability to squat correctly is the first thing that starts pumping the leg muscles.
However, for full leg training, exercise on the simulators is also important. The reason is that the muscles of the back and front of the thighs are mainly of the slow type - it quickly gets used to the same type of repetitive load. Effective training of the leg muscles in the gym involves regularly varying the exercises and types of training.
In addition, when pumping legs, it is important to remember about including exercises on the buttocks in training. Recall that the middle gluteus muscle, which gives the back of the body a characteristic rounded shape, practically does not participate in work when walking and usual bending the legs - for its training it is necessary as swoops back, as all kinds of exercises with stepping on a hill.
Weight muscle training
Effective training to increase leg muscle mass involves a combination of heavy and light exercises. Multi-joint exercises (squats with a barbell, leg press in the simulator) are performed with a large weight and in the amount of 5-7 repetitions, and isolating on the simulators (information and breeding legs, bending lying down, various movements on the calves) - with moderate weight and 10- 15 repetitions.
It is also important to consider that the muscles of the legs and hips require at least 72 hours to fully recover - in other words, you can swing your legs no more than once every 3 days . In this case, the body will have enough time both for successful muscle regeneration, and for starting the processes of hypertrophy and weight gain. It is also important to follow a sports diet for muscle growth.
Anatomy of the muscles of the legs is the interweaving of dozens of large, medium and small groups. The legs are the most complex and interconnected muscle system in the body, interwoven with the abs and lower back. Even relatively small calves consist of a series of small muscles lying at various depths. That is why it is better to make leg training according to the principle of regular rotation of types of exercises.
The largest muscles in the legs are the quadriceps (quadriceps), the gluteus muscles, and the muscles of the back of the thighs (including the biceps femoris). The front thigh muscles are recommended to swing with squats and bench presses, and the muscles of the buttocks and back of the thigh - in swings and steps. There are also muscles of the outer and inner thighs that work with intelligence and dilutions.
Best leg exercises
Basic exercise for training leg muscles. Develops quadriceps, buttocks and calves.
Variation of squats performed in the simulator. The load on the muscles varies depending on the position of the legs on the platform.
Leg extension in the simulator sitting
Isolating exercise for pumping quadriceps. When doing the back is straight.
Bending the legs in the simulator lying
An isolating exercise for training the back of the thighs and lower buttocks.
Isolating exercise for pumping the buttocks and outer thighs.
Isolating exercises for the inner thighs.
Functional exercises on the legs
Jumping rope, ball exercises and kettlebell exercises. Important for the development of explosive leg strength.
Leg Day - Exercise
In most cases, beginners are advised to limit the number of exercises on the leg muscles, using only basic ones - first of all, squats with a barbell and leg press in the simulator. A full-fledged “leg day” with isolating exercises is more suitable for advanced athletes - in this case, he will enter the training program 3 times a week .
Leg day training
- Warm up ( exercises with a weight ) - 3-4 minutes
- Leg press in the simulator, wide setting of legs - 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps
- Barbell Squats - 2-3 sets of 5-7 reps
- Leg bending in the simulator lying - 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps
- Legs sitting down - 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps
- Leg leg breeding - 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps
- Extensions in the simulator sitting (on the pump) - 3-4 sets of 12-15 repetitions
How to build leg muscles?
Difficulty in developing the muscles of the legs and increasing their mass is a typical problem for beginner athletes. Not achieving rapid muscle growth by performing typical exercises, many stop doing squats, limiting themselves to information or breeding in exercise machines. But in order to pump up the muscles of the legs, they must be pumped with a lot of weight.
Leg muscle training is one of the most important in the development of the body - this muscle group makes up more than half of the body’s skeletal muscle weight. Performing heavy squats with a barbell (just like other basic exercises ) activates the production of testosterone in men, positively affecting not only the growth of legs, but also on the increase in muscle mass of the whole body.
Squats with a barbell is a basic exercise for the development of leg muscles, without which it is difficult to gain large muscle mass. The leg press in the simulator, although partially repeating squats, does not always serve as a full replacement for them. The role is played not only by the correctness of the press technique in the simulator, but also by the ability to engage the muscles of the press and diaphragm in the work.
Often, leg presses are performed by novice athletes with excessive working weight - which, although it pumps the muscles of the front surface of the thigh, it excludes the work of the transverse abdominal muscles and overloads the lower back. In addition, buttocks are not always involved in the work - unlike squats with a barbell, when pressing in the simulator, the wrong technique easily excludes them from work.
Barbell Squats: Technique
When squatting with a barbell, it is important to feel not only the work of the muscles of the legs, but also the constant involvement of the muscles of the body. At the starting point of the exercise, the bar should be on the bones of the shoulder blades - the hands should only support it, without undue strain on the wrists. Movement with the bar up must be started with the raising of the pelvis (and not the head), while exhaling and straining the press.
If you cannot consciously strain your abs during squats with a barbell, then the effectiveness of the exercise will decrease significantly. Which, in turn, will not allow you to observe the correct technique of execution when working with heavy weight. In order to learn how to strain the press - you need to swing it regularly. About how to quickly pump up the press , we talked about earlier.
For successful training of leg muscles, beginners are recommended to perform basic leg exercises - squats with a barbell and leg press in the simulator. For advanced trainees, a separate “leg day” is recommended, consisting of both heavy basic exercises with a barbell and light isolating exercises with dumbbells or exercise equipment.