Leg day might be the most hated day in the gym with people suffering through a love-hate relationship with any kind of lower body training, but strong legs are important.
Building well-developed, muscular legs not only improves how you look but also how you perform. Skip leg day and at best you’ll suffer the humiliation of looking like an upside-down triangle or piece of cheese on a cocktail stick.
At worst, you risk not being able to perform simple movements like squat or lunge, open yourself up to injury and inability to perform at a normal level.
When trying to build bigger, stronger legs there are 4 main muscle groups you need to be aware of;
This combination of these muscles works together to help you move from sitting to standing and back again, as well as run, jump, kick and much more.
Complete leg training uses exercises that work all the muscles in the legs creating a strong, stable and muscular lower body.
When it comes to building muscle, whether it’s in the legs or anywhere else, there are 3 things you need to take into consideration.
I call these 3 things the pillars of muscle building.
They are the foundation for your ability to build muscle and without the application of all 3, you will struggle to see the results you want.
The physical training you do i.e. your workouts are the main driver of muscle growth. It’s by working out and getting stronger over time that you’ll build bigger muscles.
When planning your lower body workouts, you need to take into how often you train, what exercises you’ll do and your reps and sets.
To build muscle you need to provide your body with more calories than it needs each day. It’s this excess that will fuel the muscle building process. However, if you eat too much, you’ll gain fat faster than you can gain muscle.
What you want to do is use a small calorie surplus to encourage muscle growth whilst minimising the amount of fat you gain.
Rest and recovery are a vital but often overlooked part of the muscle building process. If you really want to build bigger legs, then you also need to factor in time for recovery as it gives your body a chance to repair and rebuild.
It’s during this recovery period that your body sets about building muscle.
Related: 5 Reasons You’re Not Building Muscle
As we touched on earlier, complete leg training means working all the muscles in the lower body. To do this you want to pick a range of compound movements that emphasis each muscle group.
Note that whilst different exercises emphasis different muscles, most leg exercises will train multiple muscle groups. For example, squatting trains the quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves and the Romanian deadlift works the hamstrings and glutes.
To successfully build bigger legs you need to take in account the 3 pillars of muscle building to create a workout routine that provides the training stimulus you need, a diet that provides the energy you need and a recovery plan that allows properly rest and rebuild.
If you can do these 3 things, you’ll be able to build a set of legs you can be proud of.