My goal for this article is to highlight some proven and easy to understand exercises that will help you build stronger legs more efficiently. Many of the other articles out there will overload you with a bunch of anatomy and science facts. Although, that information is good; what’s more important is that anyone can understand it and apply it functionally to their training plan.
Having strong legs are important for athletic performance and basic everyday activity. Many of the biggest muscles of the body are in the legs(glutes, hams, quads, calves); making training them in some ways easier than the smaller muscle groups that require more isolation exercises.
If you have always wanted to have stronger and better looking legs, then read on because I will be covering the Top 5 Best Exercises to Strengthen Your Legs that can work for anybody.
The single best exercise to completely build stronger legs is the squat. The reason is that the squat done in any variation is a compound movement allowing for the most muscle recruitment in the body. If you squat; no matter what else, you will be on your way to stronger legs for sure.
There are many variations of the squat:
- Barbell Squat
- Bodyweight Squat
- Goblet Squat
- Split Squat
- Belt Squat
- Sissy Squat
What’s important is that you find a few that work for you and progressively increase intensity over time to get maximum results. These exercises can work for anyone and should be a staple for any strength training program.
Bending over and picking things up is a movement that you do every day. If you want to have some longevity in your back, then you will need to learn to distribute the weight evenly between your back and legs. Deadlifting is another compound movement that uses many muscles throughout the body including all the major muscles of the legs.
Here are some of the most well-known variations:
- Sumo Deadlift
- Conventional Deadlift
- Trap Bar Deadlift
- Kettlebell Deadlift
- Jefferson Deadlift
- Dumbbell Deadlift
Most of these variations are more leg dominate if performed properly other than the conventional deadlift. Same as the squat, these should be a staple in all strength training programs if you desire maximum results faster. Finding the right variations takes trial and error, but it’s not a bad idea to try them all and rotate among them to progress over time.
Jumping aids in building strength and explosive power in the legs. When you jump, you’re training your leg muscles to become faster and produce more force; in return this will be able to transfer over to whatever your strength training goals may be. If you want to become faster and stronger try adding in some of these jump variations to see if they help improve your overall strength.
- Calisthenics Jumping(Burpees, star jumps, skipping, jumping jacks, etc.)
- Jump Rope
- Box Jumps
- Long Jumps
- Squat Jumps
Some of these jumping variations are more advanced than others, but they can be easily progressed by starting with just body-weight jumps and moving forward when you gain the confidence. Jumping is a basic movement that can be made more difficult by changing the variation and or adding load to the jump.
Walking is a very simple, yet effective way to build strength when done with these variations. Here are some walking variations that provide effective ways to build strength in the legs.
- Weighted Walking(Ankle weights & weighted vest)
- Sled Pulls
- Wheel Barrow Walking
- Yoke Walk
- Farmers Walk
Every single one of these exercises will help to build tremendous strength in the legs regardless of experience. Walking is very basic and hard to screw up, so by gradually adding in resistance you can be confident that you will build a great set of legs. Sometimes the simplest things produce the best results.
If you have access to a pool you can take advantage of this super stimulator. Swimming can be a great option for many because it is low-impact and can promote recovery at the same time as building muscle. From young to old this is an awesome option to consider if wanting to strengthen the legs while having fun.
- Laps(Try a float pad for leg isolation)
- Kicks(Hold the edge of the pool and kick in timed bursts)
Swimming adds a natural resistance to your movements that can create stronger muscles and connective tissues. Look at swimmers; most of them are highly muscular and in great shape. Swimming is a great option that should not be overlooked.
You Can Build Stronger Legs Today!
The Top 5 Best Exercises to Strengthen the Legs are doable for anyone that is serious about improving them self. There are many dozens of variations within each exercise mentioned. No matter what kind of strength training program you do, you don’t want to be doing the same exact exercise repetitively for the sake of slowed progress. Don’t let the body adapt; keep it guessing, change between exercises and their variations to get the most progress fastest.
Many of these exercises can be done without fancy or complicated machines. All you need is some weights, access to the outdoors, and a pool; this will get you the results you desire. Getting stronger at the early stages doesn’t have to be complicated. Find a few exercises you can do, try them for a few weeks, and switch them up for some other exercise variations.
The great thing about having many exercise options is you can continually rotate them. Choose exercises that compliment each other. Here is an example of a way to program these exercises:
- Squat variation
- Deadlift variation
- Box jump
- Sled pulls
- Pool walks
Ways to schedule exercises into a training plan become almost unlimited with many variations within each exercise. If you need a hand with further understanding how to effectively put together a strength training program to get stronger faster, then feel free to connect with me anytime.
Check out these other great strength building articles:
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below or email me.
There is no reason to be alive if you can’t do the deadlift!-Jon Pall Sigmarsson
All the Best,