By splitting my leg workout into two sessions, I can put more focus on creating a better set of wheels. One workout focuses primarily on hamstrings and calves, while workout number two focuses on quads. With any leg day, I start out with at least ten minutes of cardio to warm up. For quad day I really prefer the stair climber as my method of cardio. As with any other body part, I constantly try new machines, movements, or foot placement to further refine my workout, but here is what a current quad day looks like for me.
LEG EXTENSIONS – Using a leg extension machine, adjust the seat so that your knees align with the machines axis. Beginning with your knees bent at 90 degrees, contract your quads to straighten your legs. Squeeze for a count and then return to the starting position. I shoot for 4 sets of 15 slow and controlled reps. I focus on really squeezing my quads at the top of the movement.
PRISONER SQUATS (bodyweight) – Stand with your hands clasped behind your head, feet shoulder width apart. Lower your thighs to a minimum of 90 degrees before returning to the starting position. I often superset this with the prior movement (leg extensions). On this move I go with a quicker pace and make sure I get a good range of movement for four sets of 15-20 reps.
SQUATS – Stand with a barbell across your upper traps. Place your feet shoulder width apart. With your chest up and head facing forward, squat down as if you are sitting in a chair. At a minimum, lower your thighs to 90 degrees before returning to the starting position. Push through your heels and keep your feet in contact with the floor at all times. I like to pyramid these according to the following rep scheme:
12, 10, 8, 6, 8, 10, 12
I alternate back squats with front squats weekly to put more focus on my quads.
LEG PRESS – Sitting on a leg press machine, place your feet shoulder width and lower on the foot platform. Press the weight up and release the safeties. Lower the weight until your knees are bent at a minimum of 90 degrees, and then push the weight back up to the starting position. I will occasionally substitute in a hack squat. I go for 3-4 sets of 10-12.
LEG EXTENSIONS – Using a leg extension machine, adjust the seat so that your knees align with the machines axis. Beginning with your knees bent at 90 degrees, contract your quads to straighten your legs. Squeeze for a count and then return to the starting position. I like to finish off with leg extensions again going for sets of 15 for 3-4 sets.
Legs are definitely a neglected bodypart. However, without putting as much focus on them as you put on your upper body you are missing out on one of the best overall muscle builders (squats) that exists. With that being said, try these moves to spark some growth in your legs and you will be on your way to a more complete physique.