Leg Workouts at the gym for men for Stronger Lower Body

Leg Day is the only day that most people skip! Why is that? Well, it is pretty hard to get all your leg exercises done and can result in a "waddle" for the following few days. But here is one thing: your legs are one of the most essential parts of any of your simplest movements, which makes it necessary to work those legs. While solid legs do look great, they are also an integral part of your health. But you might wonder where you need to start your workout. Whether you are looking for some exercises to hit at home or some leg workouts at the gym, here is a list of leg definition workouts that will help strengthen and define your legs.


Ultimate Lower Body Workout for Big Legs

One of the critical parts of working out your lower leg muscles is that you need to focus on all the muscle groups if you want to get that dream physique. Here are some ways with which you can start your ultimate lower body workout for big legs.

Warming up:

It would be best if you never hit those workouts without a proper warm-up and warm-up set, especially when it comes to a leg day.

List of leg workouts at the gym to get big legs:

Barbell Squats

  • Make a stance at hip width and support the barbell on top of your trap muscles.
  • Bend your knees slowly now while driving them outwards and holding your back straight
  • Your hip and knees will move forward, and make sure the bar moves up and down in a single line
  • Slowly shift the weight to the heels and push to go back to your initial position.

Do at least four sets of this exercise with about 6 to 10 reps each.

Hip thrust

  • Lie on your back with your upper back supported and feet planted on the ground. Now, hold a barbell across your hip
  • Slowly lower your hip to the floor. Only enough that your glutes and hamstrings are in tension.
  • Now, push back up while squeezing your glutes and with the support of your heels.

Do at least four sets of this exercise with 8 to 12 reps each.

Weighted walking lunge

  • Begin with standing in a hip-width stance and with a dumbbell in each hand
  • Now, put one leg forward while bending the knee of another leg to lunge forward
  • Dip until your knee almost meets with the floor
  • Make sure to keep an upright posture
  • Put your weight on the front foot's heel and get back to the initial position
  • Alternate with your next leg

Do at least three sets of this exercise with 10 to 14 reps each.

Lying leg curl

  • Lie down on the machine with a facing down position and place your foot under the foot pad just a few inches below the calf. Grab the machine's handle, keep your torso flat, and stretch your legs.
  • Keeping your legs on the pad, curl them as much as you can while you exhale. Pause for a second after you bend your legs, and then go back to the initial position as you inhale.

Do at least three sets of this exercise with 8 to 12 reps each.

Calf raise

  • You can do these while both sitting and standing. Plant the balls of your feet firmly on the ground and extend your legs over the edge.
  • As you exhale, raise your heels as much as you can while feeling your calves flex.
  • Pause for a second and then lower your heels to get back to your initial position.

Do at least four sets of this exercise with 15 to 20 reps each.

To build big legs, it will also be essential to follow the 4-point rule, where initially you start with the most strenuous exercises and some hefty weights. Next, you will hit the thighs from various angles. The third and fourth points will have you needing to keep every routine's volume at a high level and train the muscles to at least muscle failure.

Leg Workout for Mass

The mass building typically comes along with a set of rules. This means that you start your leg workout for mass with the most challenging workouts and then gradually increase the weight used. The workout tends to follow a reverse-pyramid protocol, which helps you to follow more total sets to muscle failure. As the rep target tends to increase, you need to lighten the weight accordingly. The workout will hit mainly four target muscles: quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves.

Leg Press:

The leg press is one of the machine leg workouts at the gym that mainly targets the quads and is one of the favorite exercises among lifters.

How to perform:

  • Load the weights on the leg press machine, and now brace your abdominal muscles to push away the bar with the help of your forefoot and heels. Your heels need to remain flat. The front of your foot or toes should never be used to move the pad.
  • Now, while you exhale, extend your legs and keep your back and head flat. Extend with slow movements.
  • Pause when you reach the top of the press; do not lock your knees, and make sure they are not bowing in or out.
  • When you inhale, return the pad to the starting position while also bending your knees.
  • Start with three sets of 10-leg presses each, and then keep on increasing the number.

Leg Extension:

The leg extension is a great isolation exercise for the quads. This leg workout for mass also tends to increase the overall quad's muscle mass.

How to perform:

  • Adjust the machine so that you can sit on your back with your knees bent at 90 degrees. The leg pad must be at the top of your ankles.
  • Grip the bars on either side of the seat, and now use your quads to extend your legs until they are entirely straight.
  • Hold this position for a second before you slowly lower the bar and put your legs back to the initial position.
  • You can start with three sets with ten reps each.

Romanian Deadlift:

Romanian Deadlift is a great leg workout for the mass increase and helps in working your calves, hamstrings, and glutes while also increasing mobility in your hips.

How to perform:

  • Hold a barbell in each of your hands and keep your back completely straight
  • Start to hinge your forward with your hips while lowering the weight toward the ground and a slight bend at your knees
  • Lower the weights till you feel a stretch in your hamstrings
  • Pause and now drive your hips forward to stand up so that you allow your glutes to power the entire movement.


Leg Definition Workout

Adding more reps with light weights may not provide the best leg definition you are looking for. To keep your metabolism high, it is essential you get the stimulus for both building and maintaining your muscle size. That is why it is necessary to follow some of the specific exercises to keep your workout in progress.  

Smith machine back squat:

Smith machine back squat is a great leg definition workout to target your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. It also works the core and upper back to maintain the correct posture.

How to perform:

  • Adjust the bar to fit you. You can start with no weights on the bar
  • Stand in the middle of the bar so that weight is evenly distributed
  • Unlock the bar and then move forward while holding the bar
  • Adjust your posture to shoulder width apart while keeping your heels flat on the ground
  • Brace your ab muscle and inhale while you lower your body
  • Keep your head and spine in a straight line
  • Now, use your quad muscles to lift the weight back up

Goblet squat:

The goblet squat, which is a leg definition workout, is relatively more straightforward to perform as it lifts off the weight from your back as compared to a back squat while also working out your glutes and quads.

How to perform:

  • Hold a dumbbell vertically and grip it with both your hands. Position the dumbbell against your chest and keep it in touch throughout the movement.
  • Begin to squat while sitting back on your hips and bending your knees.
  • Keep your torso straight and lower down as far as you can
  • Push through your heel to get back to the initial position.

Weighted donkey calf raise:

The weighted donkey calf raise is a great muscle-building exercise and a significant leg definition workout, which primarily focuses on the lower leg.

How to perform:

  • Start by positioning your lower back and hips under the padded lever, and the tailbone should contact the pad.
  • Place your arms in the side handles of the machine and align the toes forward, inward, and outward depending on the area you wish to target.
  • Raise your heels as you exhale and extend your ankles while flexing your calf. Ensure that the knee is always stationary.
  • Go back slowly to the starting position as you inhale by lowering your heels and stretching your calves.


Quads Workout

As your leg movement involves multiple joints, it is hard to isolate one area over another; however, you can emphasize one area particularly. In this case, you can increase your motion by focusing on the quads. The front squat is such an exercise that emphasizes the quads.

Hack Squat:

Hack squat is a machine-based exercise that focuses on the muscles of the leg, especially the quads workout. It is often used as an accessory for squats; however, the lower body movement with this accessory can provide overall leg strength. Both the size and strength of quads tend to increase.

How to perform:

  • Load the machine with your desired weights
  • Now position your feet at shoulder width and extend your legs while you release the safety handles
  • Slowly lower down the weight by bending your knees until your thighs are approx. at 90 degrees
  • Reverse the movement by driving into the platform and extending both your knees and hips
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Banded Spanish Squats:

Banded Spanish squats are great for your quads workout during leg day. One benefit of doing this exercise is that you do not need much equipment and, hence, it is straightforward to perform. For better results, you can also increase the weight of the kettlebell.

How to perform:

  • Star by wrapping around the resistance band onto an immovable object.
  • Now, stand with one leg in each loop of the band.
  • Move the band up such that it is right behind your knee.
  • Now, slowly move backwards such that there is a bit of resistance on your leg.
  • Hold a kettlebell in your hand and place it near your chest.
  • Now move down while keeping an upright position
  • Once you do a squat, hold for a second and then come back up.

Pistol squats:

Pistol squats are great leg workouts at the gym that enable the activation of quads while also giving strength to the entire legs. These quad workouts ensure that your muscle is activated and strengthened correctly.

How to perform:

  • Stand with shoulder width distance and your toes pointing forward
  • Now, hold your chest and head high while pulling your shoulders back and down as you engage your core muscles.
  • Bend your knees and hinge forward at the hips like you are sitting down on a chair
  • Hold out your arms, and while keeping your back straight, bend your knees to go down.
  • Engage your glutes and push through your heels to get your thighs parallel to the ground.


Glutes Workout

While you try to minimize the hip extension when working out your quads, you will, however, want to maximize the extension when you are working out your glutes. This can be done by choosing exercises that allow the glutes to be trained to a full range of motions.

Single-leg cable hip extensions:

The single-leg cable hip extension is an isolation exercise that mainly targets the glutes workout. It is an everyday burnout movement that is primarily focused on the lower body.

How to perform:

  • Standing upright, hold onto the pole while one leg is attached to the machine.
  • Now exhale and extend your leg behind you while keeping it straight.
  • Continue until you can no longer open it any further behind without your torso being moved.
  • Breathe in and bring your leg forward to get back to the initial position
  • Switch sides once the reps are completed.

Kettlebell swing:

Kettlebell swings are full-body movement swings that engage both your leg muscles along the glutes workout. It helps in developing power and, hence, creating core stability.

How to perform:

  • Stand with your legs shoulder width apart and hold a kettlebell in front of your body with arms being kept straight.
  • Now, with a slight bend in your knees and keeping your back flat, hinge your hips and swing the kettlebell through your legs. Use the momentum to turn to the front of your body up to shoulder height.
  • Push your hips forward and engage your glutes and core as you stand straight.

Lateral lunge:

The lateral lunge involves a step being taken out and to the side instead of going forward or back. Because of this movement, the groin muscles tend to become more active and emphasize quads and glutes. In such a way, this helps the glutes work out, making them stronger.  

How to perform:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart
  • Now step out wide to the side while keeping your other leg flat on the ground
  • Bend your stepping knee while keeping the other knee straight.
  • Keep this pose till you can hold it, and then push your leg back to get to the initial position.


Hamstrings Exercises

Hamstrings should not be an afterthought as they are not just there for aesthetic reasons but are an integral part of the knee joint support. Most bodybuilders are familiar with leg curl movements, which can be done quickly to work out the hams. When you perform squats, your hams are also worked on.

Glute ham raise:

The glute ham raise tends to target both the glutes and hams at the same time. It helps in building up the size and strength of the hamstrings and glutes. It also works the core and the lower back.

How to perform:

  • Adjust the footplate on GHD such that it is far enough back that your knee rests on the bottom of the pad. Now, keep your feet firmly on the footplate.
  • Make sure your back is flat and your legs are less than hip-width apart.
  • Push your toes into the plate and extend your knees. This will cause your body to move forward, and keep doing this till your body is parallel to the ground.
  • Pull yourself back up and then flex your knees while driving your body back to the starting position.

Swiss ball hamstring curl:

Swiss ball hamstring curl is a fitness ball-based exercise that targets the hamstrings and some parts of the glutes. The only equipment needed is a Swiss ball, and it is, hence, relatively easy to perform.

How to perform:

  • Lie down with your back flat on the floor and heels on the Swiss ball. Arms should be kept flat on the floor and in line with shoulders for better stability.
  • Now, raise your hips such that they are in line with your knees and shoulders.
  • Now begin hamstring curl by rolling the ball backwards towards your butt so that your feet are flat on the ball and your knees will be extended towards the ceiling. Reverse the movement to get back to the initial position.

Cable or band pull-through:

The cable pull-through exercise is a great exercise that strengthens and tones the hamstrings and glute muscles. It also supports the back muscles.

How to perform:

  • Begin with a rope attached to the pulley of a cable station. Now, grab the ends of the rope with your hands, and you are back facing the weight so that the rope is placed between the legs.
  • With the rope between your legs, bend over at your hips and knees such that you lower your torso at an angle of 45 degrees.
  • Now begin the exercise by thrusting your hips forward and then raising the torso to the standing position. Squeeze the glutes as you push the hips forward.


How to Warm Up and Cool Down Properly

You do not want to challenge your legs to work out without having a proper warm-up session, as it can lead to multiple injuries. Warming up can not only increase the blood flow to your leg muscles but also loosen up the joints. It also helps you perform better and prevent any acute injuries such as sprains. 

Here are four warm-up exercises you can perform:

  • Jumping jack
  • Good morning
  • Glute Bridge
  • Hip circles

As for some cool-down exercises, you can follow the few workouts below:

  • Standing quad stretch
  • Lunging calf stretch
  • Child's pose
  • Seated pigeon

Following these cool-down exercises can help prevent any possible injuries while also increasing the flexibility of your muscles for the next workout.


Are five exercises enough for the legs?

As a beginner, it is easier to keep the initial count of 3 to 5 exercises per leg workout. Once you are familiar with the process, you can gradually increase the number of exercises and sets you perform.

Can you do legs three times a week?

Yes, it is recommended to work your legs at least three times a week to get the best results, and the workout should last for about 15 to 20 minutes.

How do you lose leg fat?

You can lose leg fat in multiple ways, such as follows:

  • Strengthening your muscles
  • Reducing the calorie intake
  • Performing aerobic exercises regularly



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