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Best Science-Based Leg Workout for Hamstrings, Quads and Calves

Try this workout next time you hit leg day.

This best science-based leg workout is part of a push, pull, legs (PPL) routine by pro bodybuilder Jeff Nippard.

If you haven’t checked them out already, you can follow the full push portions of the workout bellow:

Or try the pull version from this program:

How does the Push, Pull, Legs Program Work?

You can split your PPL training as follows:

  • Day 1 – Pull 1
  • Day 2 – Push 1
  • Day 3 – Legs 1
  • Day 4 – Pull 2
  • Day 5 – Push 2
  • Day 6 – Legs 2
  • Day 7 – Rest

As you can see, you’ll be doing each motion twice a week. It is therefore recommended that you alternate exercises or targeted muscle groups. You can structure your training like this:

  • Legs 1 (Quad Focus)
  • Push 1 (Chest Focused)
  • Pull 1 (Lat Focused)
  • Legs 2 (Posterior Chain Focused)
  • Push 2 (Delt Focus)
  • Pull 2 (Mid-Back and Rear Delt Focused)

Read more: How to Build Muscle – Pros and Cons of a Push Pull Legs Split Program (PPL)

Best Science-Based Leg Workout for Hamstrings, Quads and Calves

Before you start this leg workout make sure you warm up by spending 5-10 minutes on the elliptical or bike. Warming up not only seems to reduce your risk of injury but can also increase your performance.

Afterwards, you can do some dynamic stretching and you’re all set to go.

Exercise SetsReps
Romanian Deadlift38
Walking Lunges (optional)2-320 strides (10 per side)
Single Leg Extensions310 (per side)
Single Leg Lying Leg Curl38 + 4
Single Leg Press Calf Raise310-12
Seated Calf Raise320

The squat is a great overall lower body mass builder as it has a large range of motion and activates a great amount of muscle mass. Increase the weight as you progress with your sets (important for progressive overload) and make sure your squat goes below your knees, to target your quads and glute muscles better.

The Romanian Deadlift is a second compound movement to activate the hamstrings, especially the inner hamstrings. Add one rep every week instead of increasing weight as the program goes on until you reach 12 reps, suggests Nippard. The weight should challenge you but you should still be able to feel a nice stretch in your hamstrings.

Want to try a different leg workout variation? Try the best science-based lower body workout to grow quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves

Watch all exercises of this best science-based leg workout explained

Read more: The Ultimate Science Based Delt, Neck and Trap Workout

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