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How to Get Big Legs: Muscle-Building Exercise Routine for the Quads and Glutes

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

People often overlook working out the legs in favour of the upper body. I think it's a mix of the amount of effort it takes, the lack of attention having powerful legs gets in our culture compared to the upper body and they myth that working out your legs will spread your body too thin and thus stunt muscle growth in the "preferred" upper body.

If you ignored your legs in favour of your upper body it is time to start working on them. I couple my leg routine with my upper back. The power day leg workout happens when the legs are the first muscle groups I exercise and the form day happens when they are the second group I exercise after my lats. Read this article in tandem with my How to Get a Big Back: Muscle-Building Exercise Routine for the Lats article to get a full view of my muscle-building routine for the back and legs.

Power Day

3 sets of Squats X 8 reps
3 sets of Leg Extensions X 10 reps
3 sets of One-Leg Leg Curls X 10 reps each leg
3 sets of One-Leg Calf Raises X 25 reps

The squats are performed with a heavier weight though not nearly as heavy as I went years ago. Performing squats with very heavy weights have upsides and downsides. The upside is I feel the squat is the ultimate challenge of strength. Literally your whole body is being put into it. No exercise is more intense. The downside to heavy squats is that you can be susceptible to injury. Which happened to me. I tweaked my back once too often and considering the size of my legs versus the risks involved of going extremely heavy again, I am content with a routine that focuses on maintenance of the leg muscles rather than bulking them up further.

Regarding leg curls, I do one leg at a time because of the design of my machine - I have to perform them standing up and thus I have to stand on one leg while working out the other. Try to have a mix between working them out one at a time and both legs at the same time if possible.

I work my calf muscles out on my stairs one leg at a time, focusing on good form and full range of motion. For more information on calf workouts read my article How to Get Big Legs: Muscle-Building Exercise Routine for the Calves.

Form Day

3 sets of Squats X 25 reps
3 sets of One-Leg Leg Extensions X 10 reps each leg
3 sets of One-Leg Leg Curls X 10 reps each leg
3 sets of One-Leg Calf Raises X 25 reps each leg

Because of the nature of the form day and the high amount of repetitions it is my most strenuous cardiovascular workout when it comes to weights. Nothing will get your heart pumping faster than 25 squats in a set with one minute rest in between. The squats are performed with light weight and full range of motion so they really hit my glutes. I prefer to focus on one leg at a time on my form day for leg extensions as that cuts deep into the muscle and it really feels like 20 reps per set (10 each side) so that helps keep the heart rate up despite being a much lower intensity exercise than squats.

I do not have Leg Presses in my routine as I do not have access to a leg press machine but I strongly recommend them to you if you do have access to one.

If you are interested in purchasing workout equipment for your home gym, Amazon has some great products available.

Refer to my other workout articles if you are interested in:

How to build big Biceps
How to build big Triceps
How to build big Forearms
How to build big Shoulders
How to build a big Chest
How to build a big Back
How to build big Calves
My Workout Routine

Dumbbell workouts:

Dumbbell Exercises for the Arm Muscles
Dumbbell Exercises for the Chest
Dumbbell Exercises for the Shoulders

More of my workout advice:

Are Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells suitable for you?
Should you buy Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells in a store or online?
Why you would want to use barbells for your workouts
Why you would want to use dumbbells for your workouts
How I lost over 40 pounds in 6 months with some simple diet changes
Upper body exercises with no equipment needed
Lower body exercises with no equipment needed
Cardio exercises with no equipment needed
The Different Ways of Doing Dumbbell Bicep Curls
Inflatable Exercise Ball Exercises for Men


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