15 Advanced Leg Workouts for Athletes & Fitness Enthusiasts

by RawalKhan

When it comes to achieving a well-rounded and fit physique, leg workouts often take a backseat to exercises that focus on the upper body. However, neglecting your legs can lead to an imbalance and hinder your overall progress. Strong legs are not only essential for functional fitness but also contribute to an aesthetically pleasing physique. In this blog, we’ll explore 15 killer leg workout exercises that will help you build stronger and more toned legs. We’ll also provide recommendations for sets and reps and answer some frequently asked questions to ensure you get the most out of your leg workouts. 

Killer Leg Workouts

1: Squats 

Leg Workout Exercises
  • The king of leg exercises is squats. Kneel while standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and lower your body as though you were reclining on a chair. Keep your chest high and your back straight.
  • 3 sets of 8–12 repetitions each.

2: Lunges 

Leg Workout Exercises
  • Step forward with one leg, bend both knees, and lower your body until both knees are bent at 90 degrees. Alternate legs with each rep.
  • Sets and Reps: 3 sets of 10-15 reps per leg.

3: Deadlifts 

Leg Workout Exercises
  • Hold a barbell in front of your thighs, bend at your hips and knees, and lower the barbell to the ground, keeping it close to your body.
  • 3 sets of 6–10 repetitions each.

4: Leg Press 

Leg Workout Exercises
  • Sit on a leg press machine, place your feet shoulder-width apart on the platform, and push the weight upward with your legs.
  • 3 sets of 8–12 repetitions each.

5: Step-Ups 

Leg Workout Exercises
  • Stand in front of a bench or platform, step up with one foot, and bring the other knee up. Repeat with the second leg as you take a step back.  
  • For each leg, perform three sets of 12–15 repetitions.   

6: Calf Raises 

Leg Workout Exercises
  • Stand with your toes on the edge of a step or platform and raise your heels as high as possible. For a full stretch, bring your heels down below the step.  
  • 3 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions 

7: Romanian Deadlifts 

Leg Workout Exercises
  • Hold a barbell in front of your thighs with your feet hip-width apart. Bend at your hips while keeping your knees slightly bent, and lower the barbell towards the ground.
  • 3 sets of 8–12 repetitions each.

8: Box Jumps 

Leg Workout Exercises
  • Stand in front of a sturdy box or platform, bend your knees, and explosively jump onto it, landing softly.
  • 3 sets of 8–12 repetitions each.

9: Bulgarian Split Squats 

Leg Workout Exercises
  • Stand facing away from a bench with one foot resting on it. Lower your body by bending your front knee until it’s at a 90-degree angle.
  • Sets and Reps: 3 sets of 10–12 reps per leg.

10: Sumo Deadlifts 

Leg Workout Exercises
  • Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes turned out. The barbell should be lowered to the ground by bending at the hips and knees.
  • 3 sets of 6–10 repetitions each.

11: Leg Extensions 

Leg Workout Exercises
  • Sit on a leg extension machine and extend your legs to lift the weight, then lower them back down.
  • Three sets with 12 to 15 repetitions each.

12: Hamstring Curls 

Leg Workout Exercises
  • Use a hamstring curl machine or resistance band to curl your legs toward your buttocks.
  • Sets and Reps: 3 sets of 10–12 reps.

13: Glute Bridge 

Leg Workout Exercises
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and lift your hips off the ground.
  • 3 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions.

14: Wall Sits 

Leg Workout Exercises
  • Lean against a wall with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle and hold the position as long as possible.
  • Sets and Reps: Hold for 3 sets of 30-60 seconds.

15: Kettlebell Swings 

Leg Workout Exercises
  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hold a kettlebell with both hands, and swing it between your legs, then up to shoulder height.
  • 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions each.

Sets and Reps Recommendations

The sets and reps recommended for each exercise provide a general guideline. However, the ideal number of sets and reps may vary based on your fitness level, goals, and the intensity of your workouts. Here are some general principles:

  • For muscle building (hypertrophy): Aim for 3–4 sets of 8–12 reps with moderate to heavy weights.
  • For strength: Focus on 3-5 sets of 4-6 reps with heavy weights.
  • For endurance: Perform 2-3 sets of 12-20 reps with lighter weights.

Remember to progressively increase the weight you lift as you become stronger to continue seeing progress.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often should I do leg workouts?

Ideally, you should incorporate leg workouts into your routine 2-3 times per week. Allow at least 48 hours (about 2 days) of rest between sessions to give your leg muscles adequate time to recover.  

Q: What’s the importance of proper form during leg exercises?

Maintaining proper form is crucial to preventing injury and ensuring you’re targeting the right muscles. If you’re unsure about your form, consider working with a fitness professional.

Q: Can I do these workouts at home, or do I need gym equipment?

Many of these leg workouts can be adapted for home workouts with minimal equipment, such as resistance bands and dumbbells. However, some exercises, like leg presses, may require gym equipment.

Q: How do I progress with these workouts?

To progress, gradually increase the weight, repetitions, or sets over time. This will challenge your muscles and help you continue to build strength.

Q: Should I do cardio along with these leg workouts?

Cardio can complement your leg workouts and improve your overall fitness. Consider adding 20–30 minutes of cardio 2-3 times a week, such as brisk walking or cycling.

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