You’ve got to do some type of resistance training (ideally lifting weights) for your legs, there is no way around it. If you don’t, you are at risk of looking funny, being bad at sports, getting hurt, and not being awesome.
Sample Leg Workouts
In Part 1 I gave a sample workout you could do if you only wanted to do the bare minimum when it came to training legs. If you want to do a little more, here are two more examples – one that will cover all the bases, and another that’s pretty intense.
What should a solid leg training program include?
There are many different opinions when it comes to this. I think most would agree you should have one of each of the following:
Bilateral (meaning both legs) Strength Exercise like Squats, Front Squats, Goblet Squats, Deadlifts, Trap Bar Deadlifts, Leg Press or Hack Squat
Hip Hinge/Hip Extension Exercise like RDLs, 1 Leg RDLs, Goodmornings, Back Extensions, Glute-Ham Raise
Knee Flexion Exercise like Glute-Ham Raise, Natural Glute-Ham Raise, Leg Curls
Unilateral (meaning 1 leg at a time) Exercise like Lunges, Split Squats, Step Ups, 1 Leg RDLs
So, Workout #2
Pick one exercise from each of the above categories and do 3-4 sets of each. If you refuse to do squats, below is a workout that hits everything without them.
A1. Split Squat 4 x 8 (Unilateral)
A2. Glute-Ham Raise 4 x 8 (Knee flexion and hip extension)
B1. Leg Press 3 x 15 (Bilateral Strength)
B2. Barbell RDL 3 x 10 (Hip hinge)
There is an almost unlimited number of combinations you could come up with using that formula.
Lots and lots of reps in this one. I’ll usually use this as a break from heavier lifting, or when I’m doing 2 leg days per week do one heavy day and one higher volume like this. The quad giant set can be pretty awful,
A. Back Extension 4 x 25 (warmup)
B. Machine Leg Curl 5-6 x 6-8 (last set usually a drop set of 20-30 reps)
C. Heavy(ish) Split Squat or Step Up 5 x 5
D. Quad Giant Set or Drop Set (here is where things get hairy)
D1. Backwards Sled Drag 4 x 40 yards
D2. Walking Lunge 4 x 15 reps (each leg)
D1. Leg Press 4 x 20
D2. DB Reverse Lunge 4 x 10 (each leg)
E. Weighted Back Extension 3 x 15 – 20