Jeremy Ethier, a NASM and FMS certified trainer and Kinesiology graduate, reveals his best science-based lower body workout to grow your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calves.
This routine should be part of your lower body workout in your upper/lower split program and focuses on the major leg muscles.
Many upper/lower split programs run for four days, with three days of rest, and train the lower body on two of those. The following science-based lower body workout follows this training pattern.
Add mass to your legs by training them in a balanced way with the right exercises.
Read more: What Makes Muscles Grow?
Best Science-Based Lower Body Workout by Trainer Jeremy Ethier
|Barbell Back/Front Squat||3-5||6-8|
|Bulgarian Split Squat||2-4||6-10|
|Glute Ham Raise||2-4||8-12|
|Standing Single Leg Calf Raise||2-4||6-10|
Exercise 1: Barbell Squat
“When it comes to quadriceps development, squats are going to be your best bet,” says Ethier. They elicit very high quads activation compared to other lower body exercises and can easily be overloaded with weight.
Perform both front squats and back squats for balance and variation.
Exercise 2: Romanian Deadlift
This variation of the traditional deadlift places a bigger emphasis on the hamstrings and glutes. In fact, a 2014 study found that Romanian Deadlifts and Glute-Ham Raises elicit the most hamstring activity compared to other hamstring exercises.
Exercise 3: Bulgarian Split Squat
“This exercise is something I think everyone should incorporate somewhere in their routine,” says Ethier. It does a great job at targeting all major leg muscles while placing a great emphasis on the posterior chain.
As a unilateral exercise it can prevent muscle imbalances from developing if your training mostly features bilateral exercises.
Exercise 4: Glute Ham Raise
The glute ham raise is a great exercise to target the hamstring muscles.
Glute ham raises compliment the Romanian deadlift very well in terms of hamstring development, a 2014 study found.
Exercise 5: Calf Raises
Calf raises are a straightforward and effective way to train your calves. They can build strength, endurance and explosiveness while also developing ankle stability and overall balance.
Upper/Lower Split Program
Now that you have the routine for the lower body, why not try this science-based upper body workout.