A Simple Leg Workout Routine

If you haven’t already read my upper body workout routine, you should.  I’ve outlined some of my overall workout routine information there, and won’t be going over that again in this post.

This leg workout, when coupled with a 10-15 minute cardio exercise to get heart rate up should last about 45 minutes to an hour depending on your pace.  You’ll see some ab workouts here, because it takes focus away from the legs so they can rest when they need to.

  • Leg Extensions – Leg extensions are when you lift weights with your lower legs, moving them from a sitting position to straight. It mostly works the quads. Increase intensity by increasing the weight.
  • Sit-Ups – Follow through and touch your elbows to your knees.  This works your lower abs and pelvis.  Be sure not to hold your hands behind your head, because that can cause neck injuries.  Add weight by holding a disc weight.
  • Leg Presses – A leg press machine comes in various configurations, but basically it forces you to fully extend your legs from a squatting position to straight.  It works most of the same muscle groups as a squat (below), but doesn’t include the upper body and back muscles. Increase intensity by increasing the weight.
  • Crunches on an Inclined Bench – Don’t do a full sit up yet.  Just raise your body about a third of the way through a full sit up.  This works your upper abs.  Increase the incline until maximum and then add weight.  I usually carry a disc weight flat across my chest while inclined to add weight.
  • Calf Lifts – Hold a weighted barbell over your shoulders or a dumbell to your chest, and move between standing flat on your feet and pushing up with your toes (almost like trying to stand on your tip toes, but not that far). This works your calves very well. Increase intensity by increasing the weight.Increase intensity by increasing the weight.
  • Squats – Stay in the same position as your calf lifts, but squat to the floor and then push back up to full standing height.  Make sure you squat completely to the floor, not a sitting position.  Move your upper body and legs equally.  Don’t move your legs and then your back.  That’s a good way to cause damage. This primarily works the thighs, hips, and buttocks, but also works the lower back, upper, and lower abs. Increase intensity by increasing the weight.

I usually alternate days working on upper and lower body, but you can also mix these exercises in with upper body workouts and do them every day, depending on your regimen and what you feel comfortable with.  If a muscle group is feeling sore, feel free to swap out exercises that cause less pain.  Never work a muscle group that is in pain.  Let it heal before you exercise it or you could cause damage.

If you need help with any of these exercises, just get a hold of me either by email or in the comments below.

What do you do for your leg workouts?