Leg workouts at the gym [6 routines to try]
One phrase sums up the process of training legs at the gym – train insane or remain the same. With a range of muscle groups to train, you can target various muscles with just a few exercises.
At Fitkit, we have collated some of our favourite leg exercises that you can try out at the gym with visuals on how to complete the exercise so that you know you’re doing them correctly.
Depending on what you are targeting and what you want your results to be, we have a range of leg workouts for you to try in the gym. Keep reading to find a wealth of exercises and workouts you can incorporate into your weekly routine to get the best results possible.
What muscles do leg workouts target?
When training legs, you should know the four main muscles to target. This will help you identify any weaknesses and target them with specific exercises. It will also help you to understand the muscles you are working with exercises, and one of the great things about training legs is that many exercises target multiple leg muscles.
The glutes, or the buttocks or bum, comprise three regions; the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. Known as the largest muscle region in the body, the glutes are responsible for various daily activities, such as running, walking, sitting and jumping. Several exercises work the glutes, such as squats and lunges – but more on this later.
Another important component of the legs is the hamstrings, which sit at the back of your thigh. They are responsible for various leg movements, including, but not limited to, walking and squatting. The main function of the hamstring is to assist in bending the knee joint and the extension and rotation of the hip joint.
The quads sit at the front of the thigh and are responsible for daily activities such as kicking, running, walking and jumping. They are grouped by four muscles and, each can be worked with a slight change in position or movement.
The calves consist of two main muscles, the gastrocnemius and the soleus and sit on the back of the lower leg. They attach to the heel and allow you to walk, run and jump. As we use them frequently, they are resilient and must be worked on to grow. We have a few exercises to help you develop your calves, which we shall get into.
What are leg compound exercises?
A compound exercise works multiple muscle groups at the same time. Packing your leg workouts with compound exercises allows you to gain muscle mass, burn more calories and improve your strength. Some leg compound exercises you can add to your leg workout routine include:
- Bulgarian split squat
- Heel elevated goblet squat
Squats are a brilliant exercise for training legs; they can be done in the gym or at home, and there are many different ways to squat, depending on what muscles you want to target.
Lower body workouts usually consist of some squat variation as they predominantly target the quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves in one exercise.
Make sure to check out our guide on squatting, which gives you a visual representation of common squatting types, such as the barbell squat, pistol squat, and everyone’s favourite – the goblet squat. You can train some of these at home and in the gym, so there’s no excuse for skipping on your squats.
If you want to improve your leg strength, we have just the workout for you! The Ultimate Leg Strength Workout is designed for gym use and will allow you to incorporate heavy weight lifting into your training. Including common machines used for leg muscle training, such as the leg press and smith machine, you can measure your improvement by upping the weight you lift once it feels comfortable. Featuring Romanian deadlifts, leg extensions and more, your legs will feel like jelly after this leg workout in the gym. Just make sure to hold onto the handrail as you come down the stairs.
If you’re looking for something more fast-paced, why not try our legs, bums and tums workout? A legs, bums and tums workout is designed to get a range of muscle groups burning, and ours includes a range of exercises to get you hot and sweaty. Pop on some high-energy music or our Fitkit – The Most Popular Songs To Workout To on Spotify. This is a great one to try in a small space in the corner of your gym, or if you’re looking for a guided class, most gyms offer legs, bums and tums sessions. Some of the exercises included are squats, which you should be an expert at if you’ve tried our squatting guide, donkey kicks and flutter kicks.
Gym leg workout for men
If you want to add some size to your legs, we also have a workout for that. Try the routine below and you will feel your quads growing in no time. This leg workout is designed for use in the gym, so make sure you have the necessary equipment or swap out exercises if your gym doesn’t have the sufficient equipment.
- Dumbbell walking lunges – 3 sets – 12 steps.
- Barbell squat – 4 sets – 7 reps – choose a weight that is comfortable for you.
- Leg extensions – 3 sets – 8, 10, 12 reps.
- Leg press – 4 sets – 8-10, 8-10, 10-12, 12 reps – choose a comfortable weight and drop the weight slightly if needed on the final two sets.
- Hamstring curls – 3 sets – 8,10,12 reps.
- Calf raises (weighted on smith machine if you want to scale up the exercise) – 4 sets – 12, 12, 15, 18 reps.
Leg workout for women at the gym
If you’re looking for a workout to tone and strengthen your legs in the gym, we have the perfect workout for you to try. This workout includes a range of isolated and compound exercises to help target muscle groups in the legs. You can scale all exercises within the routine to suit your capabilities and progressively increase your weight.
- Goblet squat – 4 sets – 15, 10, 15, 10 reps.
- Smith machine back squat – 4 sets – 12, 12, 10, 10 reps.
- Thigh adductor machine – 3 sets – 10, 10, 12 reps.
- Leg press machine – 4 sets – 10, 10, 12, 14 reps.
- Leg extension machine – 3 sets – 10, 12, 13 reps.
- Barbell reverse lunge – 4 sets – 20, 15, 20, 15 reps.
In our Fit in 30 – Lower Body workout guide, you will find a 30-minute workout you can complete at home. Each exercise has a visual guide to show you how to complete the movements and how many reps and sets you should complete. All you need to complete the workout is 30 minutes, light dumbbells and a resistance band. If you’re wondering what to expect from the guide, some of the exercises include dumbbell squats, calf raises and jump squats.
Strength machines at Fitkit for leg workouts
At Fitkit, we have a range of weight training equipment for strength that you can add to your home gym, or if you own a commercial gym, you can incorporate it into your premises for your customers. Some of the equipment in the strength machine category include multi-functional devices that can target legs and a range of other muscle groups.