Do you have any idea what distinguishes a good leg workout from an outstanding leg workout? The selection of exercises. And that's why we decided to put together a list of 10 top leg training exercises that will help you build massive thighs as well. If at this point you might hope that leg straighteners and leg curls are among the top exercises, we'll have to disappoint you, because these exercises are justified at the end of a leg workout, but not even in the ranking of the absolute top exercises Top 20th More generally, in our listing, there are only complex exercises that involve large amounts of muscle and multiple joints in the movement. The reason why we have made that decision is clear, because the fact that the secondary muscular muscles are activated in addition to the butt muscles, the quadriceps, the hamstrings and the calves, the release rate of the anabolic hormones HGH and testosterone increases significantly stronger than is the case with isolation exercises. However, the basis of our list is provided by scientific EMG examinations, which provide information on how intensively the muscles are burdened by a specific exercise. Regardless of which of the following exercises you want to include in your workout, keep in mind that it all depends on clean execution and proper training.
Exercise 1 - Classic Squats
The question of why squats are on our list should actually be unnecessary, right? However, we do not just want to leave that fact behind, but justify this selection as well. Squats are simply the most demanding leg exercises, because on the one hand high demands are placed on the technique and on the other hand, in the course of the exercise a large part of the skeletal musculature is addressed both primary and secondary. Another benefit of activating muscle mass is the release of large amounts of growth hormone, which benefits you not only in leg training but also in other parts of the body. You should always do the classic squats at the beginning of your training session, as your muscles should be in full possession of their power for this challenging exercise, otherwise you will not be able to get your full performance. Also, make sure you're running some warm-up sets.
Exercise 2 - Front Squats
While the stress focus of the classic squat tends to be on the buttocks, in the case of the front squat, it shifts to the quadriceps due to the positioning of the bar in front of the chest. This is also the primary reason why the front squats are on our list. In return, however, you have to do without some weight, as the focus shifts and the butt muscles do not work as strong as in the case of classic squats. In the front squat, the core muscles are also heavily involved in the movement process. Positive side effect - the risk of lower back injuries is reduced. Typically, the front squats in the workout take on the role of classic squats. Since you should integrate both options into your training if possible, it is advisable to exchange both exercises every four to six weeks. Apart from that, the same rules apply in terms of sentences and repetition number.
Exercise 3 - Olympic lifts
Olympic lifts are as demanding on the technology as the squats and therefore need a similar amount of practice until the execution sits 100 percent. But what is special about this exercise is not just the complexity, but also the fact that scientific studies have shown that a training program based on Olympic lifts increases the maximum squat force by up to 18 percent. If that is not a reason to integrate the exercise, which comes from the classic power lift, at least temporarily in the training plan. If you include this exercise in your training plan, you should bet on two to three sets of three to eight reps.
Exercise 4 - Deadlift
The deadlift is, of course, an exercise that should not be missed in our list, not least because of the innumerable possibilities of variation that each focus on different areas of the leg muscles. The biggest advantage of deadlifting is that, with high activation of the posterior muscle chain, a lot of weight can be moved, so that gains in strength and muscle can be achieved quickly in almost all areas. Due to the large amount of muscle mass involved, the secretion of growth hormones, as well as the classic squats, is very high. Due to the fact that the deadlift traditionally belongs more to the back exercises, you should do the exercise as part of the back training. The parallel execution of squats and deadlifts in one day you should avoid, however, since you otherwise limited performance-related.
Exercise 5 - Bulgarian Split Squat
The big challenge in the case of the Bulgarian Split Squats is the one-legged execution, since thus the requirements of the balance are added as another element. Since the front leg always takes significantly more load than the back leg, it may not always be easy to keep your balance. In order to specifically train this aspect and to become safer in the execution, it is advisable to first practice the Bulgarian Split Squats on the multi-press. In practice, you should choose a slightly lower workout weight to relieve your knee joints. Likewise, you should keep to a repetition range of 8-12 per leg.
Exercise 6 - Hackenschmidt machine
Of course, it is obvious that exercises performed on the machine are not particularly high on our list, especially as the intermuscular interaction is significantly weaker. Nevertheless, the Hackenschmidt machine lands in our top list, because it can be used in particular to relieve the quadriceps properly at the end of the training session, when the leg biceps and adductors are already fatigued by other exercises. In addition, by changing the foot position you can very easily influence on which part of the thigh you put the stress focus. In addition, intensity techniques such as drop sets and forced repetitions on the machine can be performed much more comfortably and safely. In the exercise order, the Hackenschmidt machine is at the end of the training session and should be run with three sets of 8-12 reps.
Exercise 7 - Lunges with dumbbells
The big advantage of Lunges is that they can be done statically on the spot as well as in forward or backward motion. Accordingly, it is your personal taste, which variant you install in your training. It's best to use the lunges in the middle of your leg workout if your muscles are already tired, because in this way it is not necessary for you to rely on large training weights. Not only do you not only protect your knee joints, but you can also focus much better on the clean execution. In practice, you should perform three sets of 8 to 20 reps per leg. Alternatively, you can also build Lunges at the end of the training session and pull through every single set until you have muscle failure.
Exercise 8 - Leg press
For those of us who may hope that the leg press can replace squats or front squats, let's take the wind out of the sails right at the beginning, because nothing can wholly replace these exercises. The reason is also quite obvious, because in the leg press is recruited significantly less muscle than in the first two exercises mentioned. But just like the Hackenschmidt machine, the leg press also has a firm place among the most effective exercises or devices for leg training, because it can be used variably, not least by changing the foot position, to squeeze the maximum power out of the thighs. The most effective way to insert the leg press immediately after training with free weights in the training plan.
Exercise 9 - Romanian deadlift
Romanian deadlifting is a great way to exercise the butt muscles and hamstrings, because unlike most other leg bicep exercises, movement is not primarily about the axis of movement of the knee, but rather about the hip. Thus, the involved muscle groups are addressed from a different angle, in the context of which the target muscles can also develop significantly more power. In order to do this and to be able to use the exercise effectively, you have to pay close attention to the technique, because often enough the exercise is simply done wrong, which significantly reduces the results.
Exercise 10 - Squats at the Multipress
Even if we do not necessarily prefer exercises on machines, the squats at the multipress have made it into our list for a very special reason. This reason is simply that beginners can learn the sequence of movements of the squat with the help of the guided multipress fundamentally and, above all, safely. In addition, the multi-press, as well as the leg press, can also be used when there is no training partner to secure the game. Especially beginners should therefore supplement this exercise in their training plan and perform each 3 to 4 sets of 8-12 repetitions.