• Tatvabodh Arya

6-Best Leg Exercises For Mass

The quadriceps of Tom Platz was a nightmare for anyone who competed against him in any kind of bodybuilding mentions, they were both mass-loaded and well-defined at the same time. Legs are the largest muscle group in the human body, and thus needs a bit more push to reach the epitome of shape and size. Looking at your chicken legs now? Don't worry I am here to guide you through. Just keep reading it till the last and make sure you have your protein-shake along LOL.




Legs are divided into 4 muscle groups namely: - Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Calves, and Glutes, out of which quadriceps is the largest and calves are the smallest. Due to the difference in terms of thickness and appearance the leg muscles need an amalgam of hard and smart training, and that is why progressive overload while training legs becomes so very important.


Now let's get into the exercise zone and find relatable exercises for every leg muscle for proper hypertrophy and definition.


  1. Barbell Squats - Squats are the most dynamic and powerful exercises for the legs (quadriceps dominantly). They not only give an absolute activation to the muscle but also increase the tension and thus resulting in proper muscle growth. Squats involve around 60% of the human muscle in one rep. They are also said to boost the Testosterone level in males. The most powerful feature of squat is that it increases the core strength, and also improves joint health.


Barbell Squats

Form and Procedure:-

  1. Stand firm with your feet placed apart from each other at shoulder distance and strongly gripping the ground.

  2. Now place the bar on the posterior side of your neck and grip it properly

  3. Now sit down with the bar, such that your knees become parallel to your waist

  4. Make sure your knees don't go ahead of your toes mark and also ensure that your back is in a straight line.

  5. No return back to the original position this will be counted as one rep.

Sets and Reps:- An effective pattern would be 3 sets of 12,10 and 6 with an extra warmup set in the beginning. You can increase the weight and reduce the number of reps if your main goal is strength-building and vice versa if your goal is Endurance Building.




2. Leg-Press - Leg Press is also a power-exercise wherein you concentrate more on the weights than on the reps. It involves various forms and positions that can target all the muscles of the legs at once. Since the leg press machines are created to follow the same pattern i..e a fixed movement of relaxation and contraction so the trainees are less-prone to any fat injuries.

Let's discuss the common grips in the case of leg press.

-> Normal Grip - Targets the quadriceps.

-> On the lower edge - Targets the calves.

-> On the upper edge - More hamstring dominant.

-> Wider Grip - Targets the glutes.



Leg Press

Form and Procedure:-

  1. Lay down comfortably on the leg press machine and make sure your neck is comfortable rested.

  2. Choose any of the grips as mentioned earlier

  3. Make sure your body lies in the same plane, and now press the machine

  4. When performing the negative of the exercise, make sure your knees go parallel to your chest region.

  5. No return back to original position this will be counted as one rep.

Sets and Reps:- An effective pattern would be 4 sets of 10,8,6 and 4 reps




3. Hamstring Curls - As the name itself suggests hamstring curls target the hamstring muscles located on the posterior side of the legs. They are a great exercise to tone hamstring muscles and improve blood circulation in the lower body. Having a stronger hamstring helps in improving your athletetic performance in terms of grips, strength, and endurance.


Hamstring Curls

Form and Procedure:-

  1. Sit down comfortably on the leg press machine and make sure your back is comfortable rested or lay down properly with your anterior side facing the bench if its a lay-down hamstring curl machine.

  2. Set the weight mark and bring the suspended machine closer to your hamstring region, and pause for a sec.

  3. Then release it and let it return back to the initial position.

  4. Now return back to the original position this will be counted as one rep.

Sets and Reps:- Try properly implicating the contraction and relaxation principle and perform 3 sets of 15, 12, and 10 reps.



4. Sumo Deadlift - Like Squats deadlifts also incorporate around 60% of muscles at a time. They are an excellent exercise to improve body posture and improve blood circulation. It also helps in neuron activation. Deadlifts improve the overall weight-lifting ability of the body and thus support other exercises indirectly. They also work with core activation.



Sumo Deadlift


Form and Procedure:-

  1. Stand with your legs wide apart and rod at a distance of 15 cms ahead of you.

  2. Grip the rod at shoulder distance, i.e. distance between both the hands should be equal to the distance of both the shoulders. In sumo deadlift, this distance can be reduced to almost half.

  3. Now list the weight in such a way that your back remains in the same plain as your neck, lift the weight slowly and now stand erect with the bar held parallel to your things.

  4. Now slowly return back to the original position and continue for the mentioned number of reps.

  5. Make sure you are wearing rigid-soled shoes while performing this exercise.

Sets and Reps:- Since deadlifts are more power-based exercise we need to stick majorly to the heavyweight pattern i.e. 3 sets of 10, and 4.



5. Lunges - Like other movements of the leg, lunges also work on contraction and relaxation principles involving the knee and hip extension. This can be performed with both dumbbell and barbell. But the latter one is a little easy for beginners because it provides more stability. Dumbbell on the other hand provides ease of performance as it is easy to handle even in case of heavy-weight.



Lunges


Form and Procedure:-

  1. Hold dumbbells in both the hands, and let them rest on your sides.

  2. Take one step forward with any leg and bend your knees as like in squats such that your knee becomes parallel to it.

  3. Now bring that leg back to the original position and repeat the same with the other leg now.

  4. Perform for the required number of sets and reps.

Sets and Reps:- This exercise is more about form and technique than the weight so in this case 3- 4 sets of 15,12, and 10 is a good option to stick with.



6. Seated Calf Raises - Now let's shift our focus to the last exercise on today's list i.e. Calf Raises, as the name itself explains training calf muscles in a seated position. If your gym has not got the seated calf raises machine you can perform that in a standing way too either using a squat rack or a smith machine. Seated calf raises has got two positions, extenders and descenders. When you lift your heel the position is known as extenders and when you bring it lower than normal heel level it is known as descenders.



Calf-Raises


Form and Procedure:-

  1. Sit comfortably on a seated calf raise machine, or if the machine is unavailable lift a bar on the backside of your neck

  2. Now stretch your calf muscles in the upward direction, and hold for 2-3 secs.

  3. Now bring them back to the original position, for those who are using barbell keep a weight plate beneath the soles on both the sides of your heel, so that you can descend below the normal level.

  4. Perform for the required number of sets and reps for the desired result

Sets and Reps:- This exercise is more on the lighter part of the stuff so rep ranges can be 20 for 3 sets or even 8 for 3 sets each.



I hope you would have found the best exercises for your leg muscles, and but don't try challenging Tom Platz this soon. If you have any questions, suggestions, ideas let me know your views here, or on my social media handles.

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Stay happy, stay healthy, stay safe, and try them out.

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