Leg Workouts For Women: The 10 Best Moves For a Killer Leg Workout

The 10 Best Moves For a Killer Leg Workout

No matter what you do - squats, lunges, Romanian deadlifts - doing lower body exercises are crucial for building that strong, sculpted look. Even if you focus mainly on upper body workouts, you can't neglect your lower body muscles. It's usually the case that people who neglect their lower body get the 'skinny fat' look. This means they may be skinny, but they also have a fair amount of fat on their legs as well. It's a good idea to have some muscle on your legs for a healthy weight - and to help burn off that excess fat.

Below we'll show you the top lower body exercises to help you get a killer leg workout. These exercises can be done in any order.

Simply take a day of rest between leg workouts and you'll be hitting your whole lower body. This will help ensure that each muscle is given its own workout day so it can recover properly.

Leg Workouts For Women

How to Get Thicker Quads, Glutes, and Legs

1. SQUAT.

How to: Stand about shoulder-width apart with a barbell across the back of your shoulders and your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart. Keep your back straight, bend your knees, and sit back with your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then, drive back up through your heels to standing.

How much: If you're new to squats, use no more than the bar for support. Do 3 sets of 10 reps. As you progress, work up to using a barbell for squats and lunges.

2. LEG PRESS.

How to: Sit at a leg press machine with your back against the pad and your feet shoulder-width apart on the platform. Extend your legs and lower the platform until your knees are bent 90 degrees. Pushing through your heels, extend your legs to raise the platform.

How much: If you're new to leg presses, use no more than the bar for support. Do 3 sets of 10 reps. As you progress, work up to using a barbell for squats and lunges.

3. LYING LEG CURL.

How to: Lie back on an inclined bench with your hips against the end of it and a weight in each hand. Bend your knees 90 degrees so that your thighs are perpendicular to the floor, then curl your lower legs toward you until they almost touch your buns. Pause, then lower them back to 90 degrees.

How much: If you're new to leg curls, use no more than the bar for support. Do 3 sets of 10 reps. As you progress, work up to using a barbell for squats and lunges.

4. STANDING CALF RAISE.

How to: Stand on a block or step with just the balls of your feet on it. Lower your heels as far as you can, then lift yourself onto the balls of your feet as high as you can. That's one rep.

How much: If you're new to calf raises, use no more than the bar for support. Do 3 sets of 10 reps. As you progress, work up to using a barbell for squats and lunges.

5. STANDING HAMSTRING CURL.

How to: Stand with your back against the pad of a standing hamstring curl machine, grab the handles with your palms in, and let your legs hang straight down. Bending only at the knees, lift yourself up onto your toes by curling your heels toward you.

How much: If you're new to hamstring curls, use no more than the bar for support. Do 3 sets of 10 reps. As you progress, work up to using a barbell for squats and lunges.

6. LYING HAMSTRING CURL.

How to: Lie face down on a hamstring curl machine with your heels under the footpads. Keeping your hips down, raise your legs up toward the ceiling as high as you can by bending at the knees. Pause, then lower them back to full extension.

How much: If you're new to hamstring curls, use no more than the bar for support. Do 3 sets of 10 reps. As you progress, work up to using a barbell for squats and lunges.

7. STANDING CALF RAISE WITH TOES OUT.

How to: Stand on a block or step with just the balls of your feet on it. Lower your heels as far as you can, then lift yourself onto the balls of your feet as high as you can. Keeping your knees locked and toes pointed straight ahead, raise up onto your toes so that your weight is on the outer edges of your feet.

How much: If you're new to calf raises, use no more than the bar for support. Do 3 sets of 10 reps. As you progress, work up to using a barbell for squats and lunges.

8. LYING CALF RAISE WITH TOES IN.

How to: Lie back on a bench with a weight in each hand and lower yourself until just before the backs of your heels touch the edge of the bench. Press through your heels aggressively to lift yourself back up to full range-of-motion extension without locking out or resting at the top.

How much: If you're new to calf raises, use no more than the bar for support. Do 3 sets of 10 reps. As you progress, work up to using a barbell for squats and lunges.

9. STANDING CALF RAISE WITH TOES OUT AND HEELS TURNED IN.

How to: Stand on a block or step with just the balls of your feet on it. Lower your heels as far as you can, then lift yourself onto the balls of your feet as high as you can. Keeping your knees locked and toes pointed straight ahead, raise up onto your toes so that your weight is on the outer edges of your feet while simultaneously in both heels about 45 degrees inward.

How much: If you're new to calf raises, use no more than the bar for support. Do 3 sets of 10 reps. As you progress, work up to using a barbell for squats and lunges.

10. STANDING CALF RAISE WITH TOES OUT AND HEELS TURNED OUT.

How to: Stand on a block or step with just the balls of your feet on it. Lower your heels as far as you can, then lift yourself onto the balls of your feet as high as you can. Keeping your knees locked and toes pointed straight ahead, raise up onto your toes so that your weight is on the outer edges of your feet while simultaneously in both heels about 45 degrees outward.

How much: If you're new to calf raises, use no more than the bar for support. Do 3 sets of 10 reps. As you progress, work up to using a barbell for squats and lunges.

Final Thoughts

The workout to build strong, sexy legs is easy: Just pick the 10 best moves and do them one after another with no break between exercises. You'll do squats, leg presses, lying leg curls, standing calf raises, and four other moves.

Do 2 or 3 sets of 6 to 12 reps of each exercise.

If you can't do 12 reps, don't worry about it. Just go to failure - the point where you can't do another rep with good form.

Don't forget to do 15 minutes of cardio at the end of the workout. You can jump rope, run in place, or do other high-intensity cardio.

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