5 Leg Workouts You Need To Try At The Gym!

The old legend has it that leg days at the gym are a nightmare for many. At NuYu, we beg to differ! 

Leg workouts are a great way to carve and tone your lower body and boost your metabolism! Train your way to sculpted legs, thighs, and glutes at NuYu. 

Keep in mind that strong legs have benefits beyond looking good! Leg strength is necessary for even the most basic daily activities. This means that including leg exercises in your program is essential for maintaining good health.

Here are 5 leg workouts you need to try at the gym: 

1 – Squats 

Squats come in different variations and styles, bodyweight squats, back squats, front squats, goblet squats, and Bulgarian split squats, among others. Depending on the variation, the technique differs. The most basic squat is the bodyweight squat. As its name suggests, you would use your body weight to squat perpendicularly to the ground. To squat, follow these steps: 

  • Step 1: Open your hip joint
  • Step 2: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart 
  • Step 3: Use your hands to support the back of your head 
  • Step 4: Squat down until your thighs are perpendicular to the ground
  • Step 5: Take a pause
  • Step 6: Go back to your initial position 
  • Step 7: Squat some more! 

You can always add some extra spice to your exercises through holding on to some extra weight, bouncing when you are in the squat position, thrusting up instead of standing up slowly, and you can even squat and kick left then squat and kick right! 

2 – Deadlifts

The deadlift is one of the most popular compound weight exercises which involves picking up a dumbbell or a barbell from the ground by bending at your waist and hips and standing back up.

The deadlift exercise uses your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps to lift the barbell off from the ground.

How to do a single leg deadlift?

With the single-leg deadlift, you can improve your balance while toning your hamstrings.

  • Step 1:  Grasp a set of dumbbells. Throughout the exercise, maintain a straight back and a fixed gaze.
  • Step 2: As you begin to hinge at the waist while maintaining your left knee supple, shift your weight to your left leg.
  • Step 3: Up until your body is in a straight line from head to toe, keep your body in a forward hinge and lift your right leg up and back. Make sure your hips remain level with the ground.
  • Step 4: Take a moment and start from where you left off. Rep each leg for the specified number of times. 

How to do a Romanian Deadlift?

A Romanian deadlift will help you develop your hip mobility, hamstrings, and calves. To perform a Romanian deadlift, follow the steps below: 

  • Step 1: Hold a barbell or a dumbbell in each hand. Throughout the exercise, maintain a straight back and a fixed gaze.
  • Step 2: Start to tilt forward from the hips, bringing your knees slightly bent and lowering your body weight toward the ground. Lower the weights until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings while allowing the weights to closely follow the line of your legs.
  • Step 3: Pause, then use your glutes to propel your hips forward so you can stand up.

Keep going! 

3 – Lunges 

You have got this! Whether walking, lateral, or reverse lunges, these exercises are bound to challenge your balance and work your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. 

Whichever variation you choose to go with, ensure that you have a straight line of sight and a proud chest position. 

  • For walking lunges, step forward, lunge with your right leg until your thigh is parallel to the ground, and return to the beginning posture by pushing up with your right heel. Move to the left leg. 
  • For lateral lunges, start by placing your feet farther apart than hip distance. While sitting back into your left hip, bend your left knee. Lower yourself onto your left leg until your knee is at a 90-degree angle while maintaining as much straightness in your right leg as possible. Repeat by lifting yourself back up to the starting position. Rep each side for the appropriate number of times.
  • For your reverse lunges, put your arms by your sides and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. With your right foot, take a step backward and lunge forward until your left leg is at a 90-degree angle. Push up through your left heel to get back to the beginning position.

Challenge yourself with some weighted lunges, as well. Every workout counts! 

4 – Step-ups

With a step-up, you can gain power, stability, and strength. Use a bench or an elevated surface and take that leap into your step-ups! 

  • Step 1: A bench should be about one foot in front of you as you stand. 
  • Step 2: Step your entire right foot onto the bench, pushing up through your heel to bring your left foot to meet your right foot. For added effort, elevate your left knee.
  • Step 3: To get back to the beginning position, take a step down with your left foot.
  • Step 4: Continue for more reps! 

Step-up variations include weighted step-ups, lateral step-ups, and explosive step-ups, among others. 

5 – Hip Thrust

Hip thrust bolster the size and strength of your glutes and are a beautiful addition to your leg workout! 

  • Step 1: Put a barbell, dumbbell, or plate on your hips and sit on a raised surface like a bench or sofa. Throughout the movement, you will need to use your hands to support the weight.
  • Step 2: To position yourself, slide your back down the bench while keeping your feet flat and shoulder-width apart. The bench should be placed directly beneath your shoulder blades with your legs at a 90-degree angle.
  • Step 3: Maintain a chin tuck while lowering your butt to the floor. Your torso should descend while your feet stay put, halting when it makes a 45-degree angle with the ground.
  • Step 4: Repeat! 

Way to go on finishing five leg workouts you absolutely need to try! 

How Much is Too Much? 

You do not want to overwork your muscles. 

Pick 3-5 exercises for each leg workout as a beginning to improve overall fitness. Then perform 3 sets of 8–12 repetitions of each exercise, being sure to train your muscles until they are fatigued but not exhausted.

There is little difference between training the main muscle groups once per week and three times per week when striving to maximize muscle growth. The volume of your resistance training—the number of sets and reps you’re performing—is what most influences your muscle growth. 

Why are there Only Five Exercises? 

You’ll be able to concentrate on those crucial moves and give your best effort. Your workouts may become ineffective if they last for too long.

Should I Warm Up and Cool Down? 

Yes, definitely! Your body will benefit from a warm-up before an aerobic activity. Your cardiovascular system is gradually revved up during a warmup by increasing body temperature and boosting blood flow to your muscles. Warming up may also assist lower injury risk and muscular discomfort.

After working out, you should cool down or stretch to gradually allow your heart rate and blood pressure to return to normal. Cooling down helps control blood flow and stretches your muscles. 

Bottom Line

Squats, deadlifts, and lunges are the fundamental lower body exercises that should make up most of your leg workout routine. These exercises naturally concentrate on the primary leg muscular groups—the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. Numerous variations and methods to advance once you have mastered these moves will keep you challenged and engaged! To this end, simplicity is preferable when creating an efficient leg workout. 

At NuYu, jam to the tunes of a happy workout!