When it comes to attending the gym for a workout how many of you frequently skip leg exercises? Although the thought of a leg workout might not seem as important or as high up on your agenda as developing those beach muscles, in order to develop a strong core and proportionate strength and size throughout, you really need to work those lower limbs.

For those of you that do undertake the occasional leg workout, how many of you opt for the easy way out and simply perform fixed leg exercises? There’s nothing wrong with the leg extension and curl machines and the odd seated calf raise but it’s hardly going to give you the physique to match your upper body! So what do you need to do? Quite simply, this can be summed up in three words, or should I say three exercises; squats, deadlifts and lunges.

This article will guide you through these three essential leg exercises and allow you to incorporate them directly into your next leg workout. As previously mentioned, there’s nothing wrong with the leg machines and these can always be added to the end of a session, but in order to make real gains in both strength and size you need to push yourself. So without further ado, let’s take a look at what’s required during the squat:

The 3 Essential Leg Exercises
How To Perform The Squat Exercise
  • Position the barbell high on the back of your shoulders with appropriate resistance.
  • Grasp the barbell just wider than shoulder width apart on both sides.
  • Dismount the barbell fully from the rack and stand with feet shoulder width apart.
  • Initiate movement by bending at the knees and allowing your hips to move backwards.
  • Throughout ensure a rigid back and that your knees and feet are facing forwards.
  • Continue to descend until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • At this point reverse the movement by extending your knees and hips until straight.
Squat Exercise Video

How To Perform The Deadlift Exercise
  • Select the appropriate barbell resistance.
  • Grasp the barbell from a rack or initiate from the floor whichever you prefer.
  • Position your hand grip just further than shoulder width apart with a comfortable grip.
  • Position your feet shoulder width apart with your knees and feet facing forwards.
  • Maintain rigid knees and back throughout the movement.
  • Initiate movement by bending at the hips until your hamstrings restrict any further movement.
  • At this point reverse movement by extending through the hips until straight.
Deadlift Exercise Video

How To Perform The Lunge Exercise
  • Select the appropriate barbell resistance.
  • Position the barbell on the back of the shoulders and grasp either side.
  • Initiate movement by lunging forwards with the first leg with heel contact primarily.
  • Lower the body positioning by bending at the hip and knee of the lead leg.
  • The knee of the rear leg should almost be in contact with the floor.
  • Reverse this movement by extending powerfully with the hip and knee of the lead leg.
  • Repeat this process by alternating with the opposite leg for required repetitions.
Lunge Exercise Video

Final Word

There you have it, three essential leg exercises. Between these exercises, they will bring about a profound effect on your core, gluts, quadriceps and hamstrings region. Although for these examples we have chosen to utilise the barbell as the resistance, there are many variations, including the use of dumbbells and the positioning technique of the resistance. Why not add these exercises to your leg workout today and start to reap the benefits.