Top 5 Exercises To Build Leg Muscle Mass

We often hear that it's not so important to train the lower body muscles as it is to train the upper body ones. This is a huge misconception given that we need to keep a balance in the training and development of our whole body. 
Top 5 Exercises To Build Leg Muscle Mass

Last update: 09 November, 2019

In practice, one of the main goals of many people who go to the gym, is to show off thick and strong arms, lean abs with muscles that are perfectly outlined. Although, they don’t focus too much on building their legs, this results in thin leg muscles.

Leg exercises for the gym

The majority of gyms offer their clients professional help on physical fitness. These professionals develop routines that aim to train each part of the body equally. In these programs we can frequently find the following exercises:

Squats with weights

Squats are a classic exercise, perfect to strengthen the abs, glutes and the lower body. Even if the traditional variation doesn’t include weight, other than the body weight, in the gym you’ll want to seize the available equipment.

squats with weights quads

To start this exercise, take a dumbbell in each hand, and let your arms fall to your sides, while lifting your chest. Feet must be parallel and slightly more open than shoulder-width apart. Your head must stay aligned with your spine and your back should be in its natural position, maybe even a little arched.

The movement here is to bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground, as if you were sitting on a chair. Your back stays straight with your arms to your sides, without letting them swing, and avoid lifting your heels. Without bouncing, come back to the initial position. Do three sets of fifteen repetitions each.

Leg extensions

An essential exercise for when you’re trying to build leg muscle mass. The machine where you execute this routine must be loaded to the maximum weight to let you do three sets of at least eight repetitions.

machine to work out legs quads

This is one of those exercises where, you must literally feel pain in order to see results. If you feel too comfortable, it won’t work.

Once on the machine, put your feet below the inferior bar and stretch your legs until your calves and thighs form a straight line. Then bend your knees, until you’re in the starting position; you may work one leg at a time or both legs at the same time.

Calf raise on the leg press machine

This exercise is specifically designed to build your calves. That’s why they are so common in routines to build leg muscle mass.

During the calf raise in the leg press machine, you must use a manageable weight that allows you to do a full extension on each repetition.

calf raises leg press machine

When you stretch your legs, your back must be straight with your hips always supported by the cushion. The movements must be soft and smooth. Do three sets of at least ten repetitions.

Building muscle mass at home

You can also do squats from the comfort of your own home, even if you don’t have dumbbells. In that case, extend your arms to the front and at the level of your shoulders.

Alternatively, you may add a jump. Arms hang to your sides while you sit on an imaginary chair. When you’re putting your arms up to the front, keep going and lift them above your head as you jump.


For this exercise you need a box or a sufficiently stable stool to avoid slipping, and that’s strong enough to support your weight. You also need to find a room with a high ceiling, or even better, a space outdoors.

At the start you should stand in front of the box or stool. Place one foot completely over it, drawing a 90 degree angle from the inner side of the knee.

Then, you must use the other leg to boost yourself so that the lifted knee is completely in a straight line.

Only your foot on the surface of the box stays supported. The other foot stays suspended for a few seconds until it slowly goes back to the ground; almost immediately you repeat the action of lifting yourself up and back to the start. You should do three sets of ten repetitions for each leg.

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