Focusing on how to get massive legs is one of the most useful body improvements someone can give themselves. That’s because we use our legs every day, and they are comprised of some of the largest and most efficient muscles in our entire body.
How to Get Massive Legs Through Exercises
When it comes to getting massive legs, it takes work - it is the largest muscle group, after all. We’re sharing the four main exercises to add into your workout routine to bulk up your legs.
Squats are seemingly simple, though don’t let this basic movement fool you into thinking it’s easy! This compound movement utilizes all your lower body muscles, along with your core, resulting in a challenging, sweat-inducing workout.
Squats are considered one of the foundational moves for lower-body workouts. To build massive legs, squat variations need to be in your exercise routine every day. Aim to spend 5-10 minutes each day in a deep squat position to really build out your muscles.
Barbell squats are an effective way to build mass in your hamstrings and glutes. This variation of squat should be a staple in your leg routine because it targets your lower muscles pretty evenly, and it allows you to use more weight.
As you do barbell squats, your form and technique are crucial. This movement has the tendency to place pressure on your lower back and knees, especially if done incorrectly. Be sure your spine stays in a neutral position throughout the exercise and does not round.
To shift the focus from your hamstrings to your quads, do goblet squats. It’s recommended that you use a kettlebell to focus on getting the most leg growth, though you can also use a dumbbell if you need something slightly easier.
With goblet squats, you can get lower into your squat and have a more upright form compared to barbell squats. Additionally, any knee or lower back pressure you may have felt from barbell squats is removed when doing goblet squats.
For an exercise that will really bulk up your hamstrings (along with your back and glutes), deadlifts are key. From Romanian deadlifts to sumo deadlifts to stiff-legged deadlifts, there are several variations of this exercise you can choose to perform.
They all target your lower back and hamstrings, so the main difference will be the other muscles that are recruited in the exercise. For example, with Romanian deadlifts, your hip joint rotates more, which causes your gluteus maximus to also be targeted to a higher degree.
Deadlifts are on the riskier side of workouts, because they can be very taxing on your back, especially if executed incorrectly. Take time to focus on technique when doing this exercise. Your back should stay flat throughout the movement and not become rounded. Aim to include deadlifts into your workout routine at least once per week.
Focus on Bulgarians
Once you’ve targeted both legs together, focus on unilateral movements to work out your legs individually. With single leg exercises such as Bulgarians, you can improve your overall balance, and it allows you to even out your legs to keep them looking symmetrical.
Bulgarian split squats primarily target your quads and glutes. Additionally, they help to improve hip mobility and stabilize your core muscles.
Like deadlifts, include this in your workout rotation at least once per week. If you find that squats place too much pressure on your back, replacing some squat exercises throughout the week with Bulgarians is a great substitute.
Do Leg Curls
While the previous exercises shared can be performed using barbells, kettlebells, and dumbbells, leg curls will require specific leg curl machines in order to help get massive legs.
This is a great exercise to do towards the end of your workout, because it’s a single-joint movement. Leg curls activate the hamstrings, and there are two main types of leg curls to focus on: standing leg curls and lying leg curls.
Lying Leg Curls
This is probably the most popular exercise when it comes to isolating the hamstrings. Along with being a non-impact exercise, it will specifically target the posterior thigh hamstrings. Additionally, it helps to stabilize your knee joint. This is crucial, especially with a heavy emphasis placed on squats to build massive legs.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when doing lying leg curls:
- Keep your hips on the bench throughout the exercise. If your hips raise off the bench, reduce the amount of weight you’re using.
- Ensure your feet and ankles stay at a 90 degree angle.
- Do this exercise slowly so momentum does not take over.
Standing Leg Curls
Unlike lying leg curls, you only work one leg at a time with standing leg curls. Here are a few tips to maximize the effectiveness of standing leg curls:
- To target all three hamstring muscles at once, position your feet parallel with your feet pointing straight.
- Lift the weight slowly in order to avoid letting momentum be the driving force of the exercise.
- To keep tension on the hamstrings throughout the move, don’t let the weight touch the machine as you lower your leg back down.
Techniques for Building Muscle
When looking for how to build massive legs, you’ll need to do more than just execute the exercises shared above. If you perform the same routine without adjusting the order or intensity, you risk plateauing and hindering muscle growth.
Continue to Increase Weight
To successfully build the muscle in your legs, you have to break down the fibers in order to then build them back up stronger than before. When selecting how much weight to use for each exercise, pick a weight that challenges you.
If you’re able to easily get through 15 reps of a leg exercise without breaking a sweat, add weight. On the flip side, if you’re struggling to make it through 3 reps, select a lighter weight. As you become stronger, continue to pick heavier weights to avoid having your muscles become stagnant.
Mix Up Your Routine
It’s easy to get into a standard routine and have it become your default exercise program. When you repeat the same moves over and over, your muscles get used them and stop growing. In order to build up the muscles in your legs, be sure you’re adding in variation to your workouts every other week.
Remember to Rest
Leg day should not happen every day. When you’re vigorously working out your hamstrings and quads, they need time to rest and repair so they can properly develop. Take a day or two off after each leg day to focus on other areas of your body to workout.
Growing your legs to a massive size takes dedication and commitment. If you’re looking to get massive legs, add these exercises and techniques into your weekly routine.