The Top 7 Leg Workouts for Men

You may decide to only focus on your upper body if your legs rarely see the light of day. I say NEVER neglect leg workouts for men. Half measures will result in a misshapen physique, but that’s not all.

Some guys cherry-pick what parts of the body to work on, and what to ignore. Alas, they can’t see themselves as others see them. These are the human hyenas, such is their disproportion.

leg workouts for men

Most men pump iron because they want to look good, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But failing to do an all-over body workout will result in a loss of symmetry—the real body beautiful.

Here are five important reasons to never skip those leg building days:

  1. Reduce the risk of injury while working out
  2. Jeans, trousers and shorts will fit and look so much better
  3. Burn more calories (working the gluteus maximus needs more energy)
  4. Stop resembling a human chicken or laughing hyena
  5. Able to lift heavier weights and thus build bigger muscles

Thicker Quads, Bigger Glutes and Larger Hams

If you want to avoid toothpick legs it’s time to work out below the belt. And there’s still hope if you’ve been building your top half and neglected your legs. Better proportion is just a few weeks away.

You can develop thicker quads, bigger glutes, and larger hamstring muscles by following my simple workout plan. And once you do, you’ll understand why the full body workout is so important.

No Pain, No Gain – Sorry!

Like all new exercise routines, your legs will know about it. There should be a little pain to make a substantial gain. What this isn’t, though, is a lesson in torture, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

If you suffer agony after a workout you need to STOP right away and ask a simple question: what am I doing wrong? There’ll definitely be something you’re doing—or not doing—that needs to change.

The cause of excess pain usually stems from doing an exercise the wrong way or by pushing yourself far too hard. It could also be a combination of the two. Whatever the reason, find and fix it.

Building Legs with Proper Form

We use our legs all the time for all kinds of movements, yet everyday activities can only build so much muscle. To make a real difference you must break down that dense muscle fiber.

This page presents you with a simple, yet effective plan of action. As long as you do your part and follow through using proper form, you WILL have legs to die for.

In workout terms, form is an exact way to execute a certain movement. Without proper form, you’ll not get the desired results. You may also run the risk of hurt or serious injury.

I can’t stress the importance of proper form strongly enough. You must carry out the seven exercises on this page in perfect form. If in doubt, seek the advice of a professional before you begin.

Before You Start Your Leg Workout

WARNING! Don’t skip the warmup before you begin a rigorous workout. If you don’t have time to warmup then you don’t have time to work out—it’s as simple as that.

Choose your starting weight with great care. Not too light, but not too heavy either. Again, if in doubt get someone to assess your current ability and find your ideal starting point.

Note that I’m not giving reps (repetitions) or sets in this group. You’ll have to work this out yourself depending on your age, height, weight, strength, and current fitness levels.

OK, let’s get into the seven best leg exercises. The workouts below assume you know the terminology and how to use weights. If you’re not familiar get someone to guide you.


The seven leg workouts that will change your legs forever are:

  1. Barbell Squat
  2. Leg Press
  3. Dumbbell walking lunge
  4. Leg Extensions
  5. Romanian deadlift
  6. Lying leg curls
  7. Standing calf raises

#1 Barbell Squats

Muscles worked: Primarily the quadriceps but also calves, glutes, hamstrings, and the lower back

Equipment: Barbell and weights

How to do barbell squats:

Rest the barbell on the top of your shoulders, behind the neck (keep the back straight throughout the exercise). This is your starting position.

  • Squat down until your thighs become parallel to the floor
  • Now push up slowly using your legs and buttocks
  • Repeat the move after a short pause

#2 Leg Presses

Muscles worked: Quads and glutes

Equipment:  Leg press

How to do leg presses:

For this exercise, your tailbone and your spine should make direct contact with the back of the seat. Put your feet shoulder width apart. This is your starting position.

  • Push forward and straighten the legs while flexing your quads
  • Lower back down to the start position
  • Repeat after a short pause

#3 Dumbbell Walking Lunges

Muscles worked: Quads

Equipment: Dumbbells

How to do dumbbell walking lunges:

Stand with feet shoulder width apart and hold dumbbells at the sides. This is your start position.

  • Take one exaggerated step forward (allow your back knee to kiss the ground)
  • Now drive off using your front foot back to the standing position
  • Repeat after a short pause for the agreed repetitions
  • Perform the same move using the opposite leg

#4 Leg Extensions

Muscles worked: Quads

Equipment: Leg extension machine

How to do leg extensions:

Adjust the backrest to support your back. Make sure your knees are in perfect line with the pivot point. Adjust the shin pad so it sits just above the shoelaces. This is your starting position.

  1. Extend your knees till they’re fully-extended
  2. Rest briefly before lowering back slowly to your start position
  3. Repeat the move after a short pause

#5 Romanian Deadlifts

Muscles worked: Glutes and hamstrings

Equipment: Barbell

How to do Romanian deadlifts:

Grasp the barbell at your feet with palms facing down, shoulder width apart. This is your start position.

  1. Bend your knees slightly as you lift the weight to waist level, thrusting the hips forward
  2. Lower the weight down to mid-shin level
  3. Repeat the move after a short pause

#6 Lying Leg Curls

Muscles worked: Glutes & Hamstrings

Equipment: Lying leg curl machine

How to do lying leg curls:

Lay face down on the leg curl machine and place both feet under the foot pads over the ankles. If the machine has handles, hold onto them. Make sure you don’t arch your spine. This is your start position.

  1. Curl your legs upwards until your hamstrings are fully contracted
  2. Hold this position for a count of one-one-thousand
  3. Slowly return to the start position.
  4. Repeat the move after a short pause

#7 Standing Calf Raises

Muscles worked: Calf muscles

Equipment: Step-aerobics platform or similar

How to do standing calf raises:

Stand tall on the edge of a step with your abdominal muscles pulled inward. Keep the balls of both feet on the step and the heels over the side. Rest both hands against the wall. This is your start position.

  • Lift up both heels until you’re on your tiptoes (hold the position for two seconds)
  • Slowly lower the heels to below the step
  • Rinse and repeat after a short pause

And that’s my seven, no-nonsense leg workouts that’ll bring your legs into proportion with the rest of your body. The only thing remaining is for you to make a start.