Leg day is often dreaded by many, but it’s important for us all. Both men and women alike need to work on both their upper and lower body to keep things on an even keel. But for us ladies, leg day is the only way to strut killer pins, wearing that little black dress.

Ask anyone their opinion on leg day and it won’t be complimentary. This is no more apparent than in those guys you see with an enormous upper body and legs like spindles. Obviously, they think they’re rocking their muscle tee, but in truth, they just look plain ridiculous.

Therefore, regardless of who you are—completing leg day is super-important.

For many women—especially those new to the fitness world—the prospect of working out with a barbell is a scary one. Ladies seem to have the misconception that using weights will bulk them up. Yet you shouldn’t stress over it, our genetic makeup has that under control—you won’t end up looking like a man.

I have picked four exercises that are going back to basics. Although there are many workouts you can do, sticking to the original bodybuilding moves can be the best place to start.

The most experienced of workout gurus will be well aware of these moves. But they are great for beginners too! Plus, there is always room for variations, to make workouts more advanced and interesting.

#1. Barbell Deadlift

Now, for ladies new to working out, watching a beast of a guy in the gym hammering out deadlifts can be a little intimidating. Don’t be put off, girls! You too can deadlift like a complete pro.

First off, get your basic technique up to a decent level. Start with just the barbell, no weights, and have a friend spot you.

Top tip – remember to get a good grip, keep your chest up and back arched. Drive through your heels in order to pull the weight upwards.

Try 3 sets of 12 reps.

Leg

#2. High Rep Squats

There is no better exercise for women who want great glutes and amazing quads than a classic compound move like the squat.

Start by mastering a solid squat technique without any weights. Once you are confident you’ve got the hang of it, you can add a barbell (without plates), carried across your shoulders.

When incorporating weights into the mix, the assistance of a smith machine can really help out with your balance and technique. As you progress, you can add weight to the barbell, and when you’re confident enough, move away from the smith machine altogether.

Try 3 sets of 15 reps for a great workout.

Leg 1

#3. Leg Press

Don’t be afraid of the leg press machine. It’s a relatively simple piece of equipment to use, which makes it ideal for beginners. There are many variations you can try to change up your routine, make your workout harder or just prevent boredom.

Begin with a traditional leg press with low weights, to encourage proper form. Build up your weight and variations as you advance

Start with 3 sets of 10-12 reps.

#4. Hamstring Curl

Another winner to include on leg day is the hamstring curl. With the assistance of a leg curl machine, it’s an easy exercise to grasp and achieve results.

When performing this exercise, make sure your legs are fully stretched, for good technique and to get the best results. Remember to hold your contraction, take your time and don’t power through too quickly.

Try 3 sets of 15 reps.

Summing It Up

So, if you want to hit the party scene with legs to kill for, you definitely need to make sure leg day is top of your agenda.

Don’t forget—to keep delayed onset muscular soreness (DOMS) at bay, follow good workout practices. Ensure adequate protein intake to keep those muscles fed, plus a proper post-workout cool down, with a thorough stretch session. These are crucial to aid recovery.

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Johnny Gallagher

Johnny Gallagher is a certified personal trainer and nutritionist.

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