When it comes to strengthening your legs, there is a fine line between overtraining and not training them enough, with the vast majority of us falling into one of these categories.
First, you have the guy who spends a whole hour doing squats at the smith machine before moving on to the rest of his heavy-hitting, sweat inducing 90-minute session.
Then you have the person who thinks that a lower body routine which hardly breaks a sweat is sufficient enough to get the best results.
When it comes to achieving the right results and you getting the legs you want, there are several tried and tested exercises that are constantly incorporated in the routines of amateurs and professional competitors alike.
These are solid leg routines and are centred on multi-joint movements such as lunges, squats and step-ups.
Muscle Building Exercise #1: Squats
Regarded by many as the ultimate leg exercise credited to building and sustaining muscle, squats are loathed and loved in equal measure.
With their proven capabilities of revving up the metabolism, to the compound movement they provide, as well as hitting a multitude of different muscle groups, squats are for everyone.
They are also one of those rare breeds that are doable any time, any place and anywhere.
Its due to this versatility that we hold squats in such high esteem.
Muscle Building Exercise #2: Lunges
Lunges, just like squats, offer a number of variations in approach and method which make this exercise so efficient.
Lunges can be modified in a multitude of ways, giving you the freedom to choose which muscle groups you place specific emphasis on.
With such simple changes as width of stance and foot placement presenting a wealth of different muscle stimuli.
It is important to incorporate lunges in to any leg routine.
Muscle Building Exercise #3: Leg Press
When it comes to the first initial steps in any leg routine, the leg press is favoured by many for its ease of use and relative simplicity in terms of required movement in comparison to squats and lunges.
Despite the toned down intensity and comfortability, there are many variations available to the leg press to ensure that you hit the desired muscle groups such as higher positioning of the feet to draw more effort from the hamstrings and wider foot placement with inward pointing feet, thus tailoring the exercise to rely more on the thighs.
With the comfort, lack of full body movement and unlimited variations, the leg press is a crucial piece of equipment in any lower body routine.
Final thoughts for Building Your Leg Muscles
Keeping all of this in mind, the most important thing to remember is that each muscle group should be trained from a variety of angles to maximise muscle-fibre recruitment as well as to reap those health benefits.
This advice becomes even more crucial when it comes to training and improving leg strength.
Naturally, a good dose of core work is involved also, as you can’t build stronger leg muscles with intense workouts without a reliable and sturdy core.
Many athletes are actually weaker in this area then they realise. Yet as the core has a crucial and fundamental role to play in your overall fitness goals you should make an effort to work on it.