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Build Up Well-Defined And Strong Legs With These “5 Powerful Lower Body Strength” Routines

Strong legs do more than looking good. Even the simplest daily movements like walking require leg strength. This means that incorporating leg workouts into your routine is integral to your health.

But you may wonder where to begin.

Whether you’re working out at home pandemic-style or back at the gym sweating it out, creating an effective leg workout doesn’t have to be complicated. Let’s dive in.

Looking for some good leg workouts? Here are five straightforward workouts to strengthen your lower body. Includes full workout details and a downloadable form for logging.

As I mentioned in the first installment 5 Effective And Simple Upper Body Strength Routines, there are many ways to resistance train. As I alluded to, if you work hard, use safe modalities, document the results, recover properly between workouts, and train progressively, you will see results.

Similar to the upper body, training the lower body offers a variety of tools and overload protocols that can target the large muscles of that area: the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and low back.

There is squattingdeadlifting, leg pressing, and lunging. And these can be performed with barbells, dumbbells, selectorized and plate-loading machines, and done for high, medium, and low repetitions – or a combination of them – using various overload protocols.

Related Articles: Build Bigger Legs With “Dumbbells Exercises” With This Giant Leg-Day Workout


 So with all these possible variations, I present you with five quality lower body routines that can be a part of any strength, power, weight-loss, and/or general fitness program.

I’ve also attached recording forms for you to log your workouts. (Click here to download them.)

General Workout Guidelines

  1. Complete the workout in the exercise order format listed (note examples A & B). INSERT YOUR EXERCISE CHOICES ON THE WORKOUT FORM.
  2. Work to achieve muscular overload with a resistance that fits the exercise prescriptions (Rx) listed.
  3. Record the training date (“DATE”), the resistances (“WT”) used and the repetitions (“REPS”) achieved for each workout performed.
  4. Attempt to progress each workout in terms of doing more repetitions and/or using more resistance according to the exercise prescription (Rx).
  5. The “NOTES” section on workout form: space to record machine seat/back/handle settings, the device used (i.e., barbell, dumbbell, or machine), or other pertinent information that facilitates the proper performance of the exercise.
  6. Use proper exercise techniques and be safety conscious. Use a spotter on certain exercises and stop when safe exercise techniques cannot be maintained.

Workout #1: 50–40–30–20–10

A lower body workout consisting of five different multi-joint exercises done for 50, 40, 30, 20, and 10 repetitions to volitional muscular fatigue, followed by a hamstring and abdominal exercise.

Specifics:


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Exercise order format Example A Example B
MULTI-JOINT LEG PRESS SQUAT MACHINE
MULTI-JOINT SMITH MACHINE SQUAT BARBELL SQUAT
MULTI-JOINT DEADLIFT LEG PRESS
MULTI-JOINT BARBELL SQUAT DUMBBELL SQUAT
MULTI-JOINT DUMBBELL LUNGES BARBELL LUNGES
HAMSTRINGS LEG CURL STIFF-LEG DEADLIFT
ABDOMINALS WEIGHTED SIT-UPS ABDOMINAL MACHINE

Workout #2: 15 – 10 -5

A lower body workout consisting of three multi-joint exercises, a hamstring, and an abdominal exercise done for three rounds of 15, 10, and 5 repetitions to volitional muscular fatigue.

Specifics:

  • Use the same three multi-joint, hamstring, and abdominal exercises for the rounds of 15, 10, and 5 repetitions.
  • Do all five exercises in order for 15, 10, and 5 repetitions to volitional muscular fatigue.
  • Rest 3:00 – 4:00 between rounds.
Exercise order format Example A Example B
MULTI-JOINT BARBELL SQUAT LEG PRESS
MULTI-JOINT LEG PRESS SQUAT MACHINE
HAMSTRINGS LEG CURL STIFF-LEG DEADLIFT
MULTI-JOINT DUMBBELL LUNGES DUMBBELL SQUAT
ABDOMINALS WEIGHTED SIT-UPS ABDOMINAL MACHINE
MULTI-JOINT BARBELL SQUAT LEG PRESS
MULTI-JOINT LEG PRESS SQUAT MACHINE
HAMSTRINGS LEG CURL STIFF-LEG DEADLIFT
MULTI-JOINT DUMBBELL LUNGES DUMBBELL SQUAT
ABDOMINALS WEIGHTED SIT-UPS ABDOMINAL MACHINE
MULTI-JOINT BARBELL SQUAT LEG PRESS
MULTI-JOINT LEG PRESS SQUAT MACHINE
HAMSTRINGS LEG CURL STIFF-LEG DEADLIFT
MULTI-JOINT DUMBBELL LUNGES DUMBBELL SQUAT
ABDOMINALS WEIGHTED SIT-UPS ABDOMINAL MACHINE

Workout #3: Leg Press Strip Sets

A lower body workout where a leg press is performed in strip-set overload protocol: four consecutive sets to volitional muscular fatigue using reduced resistances on the second, third, and fourth sets. A multi-joint leg, hamstring, and abdominal exercise complete the workout.

Specifics:

  • First set of leg press: use a resistance that allows for volitional muscular fatigue at 10-14 repetitions.
  • Immediately reduce the resistance 25% (50-250 lbs., depending on the initial resistance) – rest no more than :10-:15 – then perform a second set to volitional muscular fatigue (“MAX REPS”).
  • Perform a 3rd and 4th set by reducing the resistance 15-25% (20-150 lbs.) between each set – rest no more than :10-:15 – then perform the next set to volitional muscular fatigue (“MAX REPS”).
  • It is recommended to have a training partner make the resistance reductions so the trainee can stay focused.
  • Rest 2:00 – 3:00 between exercises.
  • Use any multi-joint, hamstring, and abdominal exercises to complete the workout.
Exercise order format Example A Example B
LEG PRESS x 4 consecutive sets LEG PRESS x 4 cons. sets
MULTI-JOINT BARBELL SQUAT DEADLIFT
HAMSTRINGS LEG CURL LEG CURL
ABDOMINALS WEIGHTED CRUNCHES ABDOMINAL MACHINE

Workout #4: One of Everything

A combination of high, medium and low repetitions in a lower body workout consisting of ten different exercises performed to volitional muscular fatigue, including the abdominals.

Specifics:

  • Goblet squat = Deep squat while holding a single dumbbell at chest level, maintaining an upright back position.
  • Plate squat = Deep squat while holding a weight plate at chest level, maintaining an upright back position.
  • Squat = any barbell, Smith machine, or other standing squat.
  • Stiff-leg deadlift = barbell, dumbbell, or plate-load machine.
  • Lunge = barbell, dumbbell, or Smith machine.
  • Deadlift = trap bar, dumbbell, or machine.
  • Calves = any calf exercise.
  • Rest between sets = 2:00 – 3:00.
Exercise order format Example A Example B
GOBLET or PLATE SQUAT DUMBBELL GOBLET SQUAT WEIGHT PLATE SQUAT
DEADLIFT TRAP BAR DEADLIFT MACHINE DEADLIFT
LEG EXTENSION LEG EXTENSION LEG EXTENSION
SQUAT MACHINE SQUAT BARBELL SQUAT
LUNGE SMITH MACHINE LUNGE DUMBBELL LUNGE
CALVES DUMBBELL CALF RAISE CALF MACHINE
LEG CURL LEG CURL LEG CURL
LEG PRESS LEG PRESS LEG PRESS
STIFF-LEG DEADLIFT D.B. STIFF-LEG DEADLIFT BAR STIFF-LEG DEADLIFT
ABDOMINALS ABDOMINAL MACHINE MEDICINE BALL SIT-UPS

Workout #5: 3 x 3

A lower body workout is performed by alternating a multi-joint, hamstring, and another multi-joint exercise to volitional muscular fatigue for three rounds with no rest between each exercise and a 1:00 rest between rounds. An abdominal exercise completes the workout.

Specifics:

  • Use either the same three exercises in the 3 rounds (Example A) or use three different exercises each round (Example B).
  • No rest between the 3 exercises each round.
  • Note the repetition range decrease from 10-14 to 8-12 and 6-10 when selecting appropriate resistances and working to volitional muscular fatigue.
  • Complete the workout with an abdominal exercise.
  • Related Articles: Legs Development: The Ultimate Workout “For Building Shredded Hamstrings”


Exercise order format Example A Example B
MULTI-JOINT SQUAT MACHINE BARBELL SQUAT
HAMSTRINGS LEG CURL LEG CURL
MULTI-JOINT LEG PRESS LEG PRESS
MULTI-JOINT SQUAT MACHINE LEG PRESS
HAMSTRINGS LEG CURL STIFF-LEG DEADLIFT
MULTI-JOINT LEG PRESS DUMBBELL LUNGES
MULTI-JOINT SQUAT MACHINE DUMBBELL SQUAT
HAMSTRINGS LEG CURL GLUTE/HAMSTRING RAISE
MULTI-JOINT LEG PRESS DEADLIFT
ABDOMINALS ABDOMINAL MACHINE WEIGHTED SIT-UPS

 

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