In recent articles, we have been giving you some very complete guides with exercises for quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and buttocks. This time, we have made a compilation of the best leg exercises for each of those muscle groups, and with what you can do the routines are more complete and varied to exercise all the muscles of your legs.
The quadriceps are very showy muscles since they cover the entire front part of the thigh. They are essential for running and climbing stairs; among other movements, the following are the best exercises to keep them in shape.
Throughout this exercise, your quadriceps will be working; it is about maintaining the movement of the squat with your back against a wall, you must go down without your knees exceeding the tip of your feet, and your thighs are parallel to the ground, at that moment your quadriceps will be under great strain.
Hold this position as long as possible and try to increase your time more and more.
First, it is essential to keep in mind when doing the squat that your back does not round and that your gaze is forward, the latter to avoid tilting your neck, causing inappropriate loads. It is mostly recommended over other leg exercises.
You can try to hold the position with your thighs horizontal for a few seconds or lower your hips before going up; either of these options increases the effort.
Bulgarian Split Squats
For this exercise, start standing with your back to a bench that is approximately at the height of your knees, move away at a distance of about one meter, and support one instep on the bench; when you put the instep, you will not be completely stable, and the load to your quadriceps will be more significant, but you can decrease the difficulty a bit by resting on the balls of your feet.
It would help if you went down until the thigh of your front leg is parallel to the ground, also prevents the knee from extending further forward than the ball of the foot, and at that moment, go back up.
Pistol Chair Squat
This move is an excellent progression to achieve the pistol squat; turn your back to the chair with one leg extended forward, extend your arms and back, lower yourself back to the chair, and come back up using only one leg.
When you have already developed enough strength in your quadriceps with the previous exercise, you can try the pistol squat; it is a challenging exercise in terms of flexibility, balance, and strength and one of the most popular and efficient leg exercises. The starting position is one leg elevated, arms and back forward, and lower as slowly as possible to achieve better quadriceps activation and avoid falling backward or to the sides.
To finish, you will have to go back up using only one leg; it is a time of great tension for the muscle, but when you master it, it will be one of the best ways to maintain powerful quads.
Bodyweight Leg Extension
This is another great move to activate your quads. You will start on your knees, keeping your back straight and your hips locked throughout the movement; you can leave your arms at your sides or behind you to avoid falling while gaining confidence. Begin to lower slowly backward without bending your back or hips, only with your knees; go down as far as you can and back up.
You can start the movement with your legs shoulder-width apart or more apart than in the L and feet pointing outwards; it is essential that the knees follow the same direction as the toes, take the bar at twice the width of the shoulders and support it on the trapezoids, lower until the thighs are parallel to the ground and rise in a controlled manner.
You can also do the ascent and descent in two stages, stopping for two seconds in the middle of the route.
The hamstrings or biceps femoris are another group of huge muscles located in the back of the thigh. They are responsible for flexing the knee, so they are essential in activities as frequent as walking. However, it is not a muscle that takes so much time to train in Calisthenics compared to the quadriceps; for example, this is a big mistake since they are also essential to achieving well-shaped and strong legs.
Fixed or parallel bar leg press (Bodyweight Hamstring Curl)
For this exercise, you must hold on to a bar or low parallel bars to take them and stay in a horizontal position. After holding on, move your legs forward as far as possible and with your feet firmly on the ground, use the movement of your knees to move forward. You can also try holding the isometric or single-leg position.
Benefits of doing leg exercises
The fact training our legs has many more benefits than we think. The first thing that comes to mind is that we can achieve aesthetic legs by training them.
However, there are more benefits: leg training enhances testosterone production in our body, an essential hormone to increase muscle mass.
In addition, the legs make up a large part of all the muscles in our body; therefore, if we train them properly, the more muscle we stimulate, the greater the anabolic response to achieve the hypertrophy so desired by many.