We all want to have bigger and better legs, with stronger, more defined leg muscles, better flexibility and mobility, and more power for our runs, squats, and lunges. But it takes a lot of work to develop your legs! As one of the largest muscle groups in the body, your legs need more focus than your upper body. Here are six steps to better legs:
Step 1: Squat More
Don’t just do squats on leg day, but do squats every day! Mix them into the end of your routine, doing a few sets of bodyweight squats, deep squats, box squats, and so on. Don’t limit your leg day workout to just one type of squats, but do as many different types as possible. Spend extra time sitting in the deep squat position, as that will help to increase mobility and flexibility in your knees and hips. Pay more attention to the lowering phase of the exercise, and you’ll see some serious growth in your leg muscles.
Step 2: Focus on Single Leg Workouts
Pistol squats, Bulgarian squats, and other single-leg workouts are AMAZING to help you build strong, well-rounded leg muscles. When you squat with both legs, you only engage some of the muscles in your legs. When you do single-leg squats, all of the muscles in your legs are engaged in order to keep you stable through the workout. They are definitely much harder than regular exercises, but it’s always a good idea to throw single leg workouts into your routine in order to build solid legs.
Step 3: Correct the Form
If you squat wrong, you will never be able to support enough weight to build serious strength in your legs. You need to correct your form in order to make progress. One of the best squats to help you correct your form is Goblet Squats. These squats place the weight in front of your body at chest level, providing a counterbalance, helping you keep your back straight, reducing the strain on your lower back, and working out your quads and glutes. Spend more time doing goblet squats, and you’ll improve your squat form drastically.
Step 4: Deadlift
Deadlifting can be tough on your lower back, hips, and glutes, but it’s vital to help you build muscle around your hips. Not only will this muscle improve your overall appearance, but you’ll find that it will provide balance to your musculature. You’ll have a much easier time doing lower body workouts thanks to the muscles you build doing deadlifts. It’s all about getting the form right and building raw strength, so focus on correct posture and form over adding more weight.
Step 5: Do More Lunges and Step-Ups
Both of these exercises help to improve your flexibility and posture, but they’ll also give your legs a beautifully well-rounded appearance. You don’t have to add a lot of weight, but simply use your bodyweight to lunge for up to 5 or 10 minutes at the end of your workout. Make no mistake: it’s going to make the workout MUCH harder, but it will help you to build serious lower body strength. Step-ups are another great alternative! It’s not about pushing yourself to work faster, but focus on feeling the burn in your legs.
Step 6: Hit the Glutes
Many people fail to pay attention to their glutes, and they end up in serious trouble! Your glutes provide the power for most of your lower body exercises, so pay special attention to them. Focus on hip thrusters, either weighted or using your bodyweight. Give your glutes some love, and they’ll help you develop serious leg strength.