Leg Muscle Building Exercises

Physical exercise is one of your best allies when it comes to building leg muscles. However, this must be complemented by a healthy diet and lifestyle habits.
Leg Muscle Building Exercises

Last update: 14 May, 2021

Exercises to build leg muscles have aroused the interest of thousands of people around the world. Even if their practice is recommended as part of a holistic training plan that involves all muscle groups, many have decided to focus entirely on this part of the body. What should you know about it?

To begin with, as explained by some studies, the ability to gain muscle mass is largely determined by genetics. However, it’s a fact that habits such as physical exercise can contribute to its development, even if this won’t happen over night.

Therefore, it’s fundamental to bear in mind that even if some exercises are useful in gaining bigger and stronger muscles, you must practice constantly in order to achieve your goals. In addition, whatever the routine, it must be complemented by a healthy diet.

How to build leg muscles

To build leg muscles, it’s advisable to seek guidance from a professional trainer and nutritionist. The trainer will be able to determine the best type of training according to your individual needs. Likewise, the nutritionist will guide you in relation to an adequate diet for achieving your goal.

Generally, in order to obtain good results, there are certain foundations, such as the following:

  • Be consistent in your workouts.
  • Combine endurance, strength and cardio exercises.
  • Eat a balanced diet, including protein and healthy fats.
  • Sleep well.

In addition to these recommendations, you can start incorporating in your training routine a series of exercises that specifically focus on leg muscles. Where to start? Below, we’ll tell you more about it.

1. Weighted squats

Weighted squats are a must in a routine focused on building leg muscles. As detailed in an article published in the Journal of Applied Biomechanics, it strengthens the muscles of the lower body and also improves flexibility.

You’re probably already familiar with squats. It’s one of the best exercises for bulking up thigh muscles due to using all muscle fibers in that area. Start out with light dumbbells and do at least 12 reps.

  • Start by picking up small dumbbells.
  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, straight back straight, and a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Keep your arms along your body.
  • Then, slowly bend your knees and bring your glutes outward.
  • After 10 seconds, return to the starting position.
  • Do at least 12 reps, in sets of 3.
Weighted squats.
Squats are the most recommended leg exercises.

2. Leg extensions

Leg extensions are usually done on a special machine in the gym. It’s a good exercise to strengthen the quadriceps, which are located on the front of the thigh.

  • Choose a lighter weight to begin with, then gradually increase weight as you gain strength.
  • While seated, use the weight to knees to lift and lower your legs from the knee downwards.
  • You can do one leg at a time, or both legs.

3. Single-leg curl

This strength exercise is ideal for toning legs. It’s also performed on a specific machine in the gym, where you can choose the weight depending on the strength you acquired.

  • Stand with your back straight, rest the lever on your right calf. The left leg should remain still.
  • Grab the handles for balance.
  • Lift your right leg by bending your knee backwards (like a kick).
  • Do 20 reps and switch to the left leg.

4. Inclined leg curls

To perform this exercise to strengthen leg muscles, you need a machine with a bench. You can also use ankle weights.

  • Begin with legs extended, parallel to the floor.
  • Then, lift your feet and try to touch your glutes with your heels (or as close as possible).
  • Do 20 reps.
Inclined leg curls in the gym.
This exercise is ideal for shaping and toning legs.

5. Goblet squat for leg muscles

This version is a little harder than a normal squat. You’ll need a weight to do it.

  • First, stand with feet wider than hip-width apart. The tips of your toes should be pointing outward.
  • Hold the dumbbell with both hands at chest height (as if hugging it).
  • Bend your knees and lower your glutes until they almost touch the floor.
  • The movement should be energetic; you shouldn’t hold a position for longer than 2 seconds.

6. Dumbbell lunges

Lunges have the advantage of working several muscle groups at the same time. So, in addition to strengthening the legs, they also helps tone the glutes and the abdomen. In this case, we suggest increasing the intensity with a pair of dumbbells.

  • First, stand with your back straight and the dumbbells on the sides of your body.
  • Step back with your right leg.
  • Then, bend both knees to lower your trunk and thighs. The idea is to keep the back knee as close to the floor as possible.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat with the left leg.

Discipline is key

As you can see, there are several useful exercises to build leg muscles. However, you should be aware that results comes with practice and discipline. Moreover, you can’t ignore the role of a healthy diet. Therefore, it’s best to seek professional advice.

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