The leg muscles are the largest muscle groups of the body and need to be trained correctly in order to add mass to them. Having a sound nutrition plan and plenty of rest is essential in order to promote muscle growth.
In order to build muscle mass on your legs, it is important to select your exercises correctly and perform them regularly. Listed below are some exercises that are helpful in adding muscle mass to your legs.
The Squat is the best exercise that you can use in order to add mass to your legs. It targets the quadriceps, hamstrings as well as the calves. If you have just begun training with weights, it is advisable that you perform the exercise with bar containing no weight plates. This exercise not only helps in building mass on your legs, but is also known to be good for keeping your cardiovascular system strong as well as keeping your lungs in top working condition.
The exercise is more effective when performed with a barbell as you can handle more weight. To perform this exercise, keep your feet spread apart by around 2 feet, positioning a barbell on your shoulders behind your neck. Let yourself go down till your thighs are parallel to the floor. From this point, slowly get back to initial position. When performing this exercise, you must not allow your back to sag at all, as this can prove to be very dangerous, and can lead to spinal cord injury.
When you are lowering yourself to the ground, breathe in deeply and when you come up, exhale. If you are hearing a cracking sound in your knees when performing this movement, it is recommended that you stop the exercise immediately and consult your doctor. This exercise will benefit you in many ways by boosting your performance in several sports. You can use around 40 pounds as a trial weight for this exercise. You must perform 3-4 sets of 8 reps.
The front Squat is a great exercise for adding mass to your legs and emphasizes mostly the front part of the thighs, which are the quadriceps.This exercise should be performed by using a light weight as this exercise requires you to balance yourself on a block of wood. This exercise is performed by holding a barbell at shoulder level with your palms facing upwards.
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Position your feet on a block of wood, keeping your feet spread apart by around 2 feet. Perform the squat, breathing in when you’re going down and exhaling as you go upwards. Perform this exercise very slowly in order to place great stress on the muscles. You can perform the exercise using a 3 second up and 3 second down method. You can do this exercise for 3 sets of 12 reps.
Leg Press is a great exercise that is extremely helpful in adding thick and dense muscle mass to your upper legs. This exercise is helpful especially if you suffer from lower back pain, as it does not place any stress on the lower back. To perform this exercise, position yourself with your legs pressed against the foot plate, keeping your feet shoulder width apart. After this, bend your knees till they almost touch your chest. Push the weight back to the starting position slowly.
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If you place your feet higher on the foot plate, it would result in working the hamstrings and glutes to a greater extent. Keeping your feet lower on the foot plate, places greater emphasis on the quadriceps than on the hamstrings. Perform 12 reps and 2-3 sets of this exercise using heavy weight.
Lunges are also a very effective exercise that helps to target the entire lower body by working the muscles of the legs as well as the core. To perform the exercise, stand straight, keeping your legs apart by around 2 feet. Following this, take a step forward till your thigh is parallel to the floor. Return back to the starting position. If you have not performed this exercise before, you can perform this exercise without weights till you get used to the movement.
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Once you return back to the starting position, move your other leg forward to perform the exercise. It has been observed that taking a larger step ahead, is known to place greater emphasis on the glutes whereas, a shorter step forward places greater emphasis on the quadriceps. Perform 12 reps and 2 sets of this exercise.
Seated Calf Raises
Seated Calf Raises are performed on a machine and helps to target the calf muscles. To perform this exercise, position yourself on the machine, with your thighs beneath the pad. After this, place the balls of the feet on the foot pad, keeping your heels in the air. Lower your heels till they can not go down any more. This is the starting position. Push your heels upwards as much as you can At the top of the movement, Stop for a few seconds in order to place stress on the muscles.
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Lower the weight back to the starting position. This exercise must be used in every calf workout as it completely isolates the calves. This exercise enables you to use a lot of weight, helping you to build more muscle. Perform the repetitions slowly, tensing the muscles. You should perform the 12-20 reps and 3-4 sets of this exercise. The muscles in the calves are fast-twitch muscle fibers, that need to be worked using high repetitions in order to effectively build them.
Leg Curls are an excellent exercise that is used to completely isolate the hamstrings. Lie down on the bench with your calves under the pad.
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From the starting position, curl the weight upwards till your calves are at 90 degrees to your body. Slowly lower your legs to the starting point. Perform this exercise with an extremely light weight to avoid injuries. You can do 15-20 reps and 3 sets of this exercise.
By including these exercises in your fitness routine, you will begin to see tremendous growth in the muscles of your legs.