It is a gym hate of mine, and the subject of numerous internet memes, but there are still a vast number of guys at the gym who skip their legs when training at the gym.
Of course they have worked hard on their upper bodies, yet it looks as though their legs may snap having to carry around their massively muscular upper body.
If you are looking to develop those leg muscles effectively then there are a few must-do exercises to perform. Here are our recommendations (don’t forget that what you eat has an impact too, read our bulking guide for advice):
#1: The Barbell Squat
This is one exercise that you certainly should not be skipping if you are looking to grow your legs.
The barbell squat will give your quads, hamstrings and calves a great workout.
To start you may want to try a few bodyweight squats to begin, so that you can get the technique right before you start adding weight to a bar.
Once you feel ready for squatting with weight, add a moderate to heavy weight to a bar, so that you can perform 3 sets of 8-12 reps.
At this initial stage it is best not to go too heavy, as your form may not be as perfect as it should. After a while though you can push the weight that little bit more.
#2: Mountain Climbers
This exercise is not only a great way to build muscular legs, but is also a great form of cardio that will push your heart and lungs to their limit.
#3: Kettlebell Swings
Anyone who has ever used a kettlebell will tell you how hard your legs have to work to swing that weight out in front of you.
When you perform the perfect kettlebell swing you will be using all of the muscles along your ‘posterior chain’, which include your hamstrings, glutes and lower back.
#4: Dumbbell Lunges
This is the perfect exercise to do alongside your squats.
It can help develop your thighs and strengthen your hips too. Lunges can also help to strengthen any imbalances you have, which can help to reduce your risk of injury.
#5: Barbell Deadlift
To grow your legs effectively you will need to perform deadlifts regularly, as they will definitely build and strengthen your entire lower body, although your hamstrings will be performing a lot of the work.
As with the squats it is best to start with a lighter weight to begin, to avoid serious injury.
To perform a deadlift properly you should stand with your mid-foot under the bar, grab the bar about shoulder width apart.
You should then bend your knees so that your shins tough the bar. Lift your chest and straighten your back.
Finally, take a big breath and pull the weight up. Making sure to keep your back straight as you stand up.