While many gym-goers focus on enhancing their upper body look with defined arms and a slim waist, the significance of lower-body strength is often neglected. The lower body houses some of the largest muscles, such as the glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Strengthening and increasing the muscle mass in your legs is crucial, whether you’re reigniting your fitness journey or just want to revitalize your leg routines. It’s key for overall stability, strength, and performing day-to-day tasks efficiently. We spoke with TJ Mentus, CPT, a certified personal trainer at Garage Gym Reviews, who revealed his top daily exercise for rebuilding leg muscles.

The exercises highlighted are aimed at revitalizing and enhancing muscle mass in the lower body, simplifying daily activities, and elevating sports performance. Studies also indicate that increasing strength in the lower body is vital for avoiding injuries and promoting longevity.

“This regimen will drive muscle growth in the legs through a calculated workload and includes exercises targeting all leg muscle groups,” Mentus states. “It comprises two supersets and a circuit. The initial superset combines a squat with a unilateral leg exercise, followed by a hinging movement paired with another unilateral exercise. This mix helps in avoiding muscle imbalances. The circuit is then specially designed to isolate and work on individual muscles, starting with the hamstrings, then moving to the quads and calves.”

Read on for Mentus’s #1 daily workout to regain muscle mass in your legs and add size to them. And when you’re done, find out How Often You Should Lift Weights if You Want Bigger Muscles.

Goblet Squats

illustration of kettlebell goblet squatillustration of kettlebell goblet squat

This compound movement engages multiple muscle groups, including the quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

To perform goblet squats, hold a dumbbell or kettlebell close to your chest with both hands. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your body into a squat position by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Keep your chest up and ensure your knees align with your toes. Drive through your heels to return to the starting position. Perform three sets of 12 to 15 reps, and rest for one minute between sets.

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Walking Lunges

illustration of woman doing walking lungesillustration of woman doing walking lunges

Walking lunges are dynamic movements that engage your quads, hamstrings, and glutes while challenging your balance and stability.

Stand with your feet together, then take a step forward with your right foot, lowering your body until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Push off your right foot to bring your left foot forward, repeating the lunge motion. Continue walking forward while alternating legs. Maintain an upright posture throughout. Aim for three sets of 10 to 12 lunges per leg, resting for one minute between sets.

Dumbbell Rear Deadlift

illustration of dumbbell deadlifts free weight exercises for men to build muscleillustration of dumbbell deadlifts free weight exercises for men to build muscle

The dumbbell rear deadlift is a targeted exercise for your backside that strengthens the muscles in your hamstrings and glutes.

Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing your body. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hinge at your hips, keeping your back straight, and lower the dumbbells toward the ground. Engage your hamstrings and glutes to return to the starting position. Perform three sets of 12 to 15 reps with 90 seconds of rest between sets.

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Split Squats

reverse lungesreverse lunges

This movement targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes while challenging your stability.

Start in a lunge position with your right foot forward and your left foot extended behind you. Lower your body into a lunge by bending both knees. Keep your torso upright and ensure your front knee is above your ankle. Push through your front heel to return to the starting position. Complete three sets of 12 to 15 reps per leg, and rest for 90 seconds between sets.

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Stability Ball Leg Curls

stability ball curl, how to tone your glutes in 30 daysstability ball curl, how to tone your glutes in 30 days

Stability ball leg curls are dynamic exercises that engage the hamstrings and glutes while challenging your core stability.

Lie on your back with your feet on a stability ball. Lift your hips toward the ceiling, forming a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. Roll the stability ball toward you by bending your knees. Extend your legs to roll the ball back out. Complete three sets of 12 to 15 reps. Rest for 60 seconds between sets.

Wall Sit

wall sitswall sits

The wall sit is a classic isometric exercise that targets the quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

Stand with your back against a wall, and lower your body into a seated position with your knees at a 90-degree angle. Keep your back against the wall, and hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds. Focus on maintaining proper form with your back flat against the wall and your thighs parallel to the ground. Gradually increase the duration as you build strength. Aim for three to five rounds with one minute of rest between.

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Calf Raises

calf raisescalf raises

Whether performed on a flat surface or an elevated platform, calf raises effectively target the backside of your lower legs—an often neglected muscle group.

To perform this movement, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Lift your heels off the ground by pushing through the balls of your feet. Squeeze your calf muscles at the top of the movement. Lower your heels back down and repeat. Do three sets of 15 to 20 reps. Rest for one minute between sets.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the #1 daily workout to regain muscle mass in your legs?

The #1 daily workout recommended for regaining muscle mass in your legs typically involves compound exercises that target multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Squats, particularly when varied with different stances like the wide stance for targeting inner thigh muscles and narrower stances for focusing on the quadriceps, are highly effective. Incorporating both bodyweight and weighted variations can significantly aid in muscle growth and strength.

How often should I perform leg workouts to regain muscle mass?

To optimally regain muscle mass, it is recommended to perform leg workouts 2-3 times per week, allowing ample recovery time between sessions. Recovery is crucial to muscle growth, as it is during this period that muscles repair and grow stronger.

Can overtraining affect muscle growth in legs?

Yes, overtraining can negatively impact muscle growth. Overworking the leg muscles without sufficient rest can lead to muscle fatigue, decreased performance, and potentially injuries. Balancing workout intensity and rest days is key for effective muscle recovery and growth.

What nutrition is required to support muscle regrowth in the legs?

Diet plays a significant role in muscle recovery and growth. To support muscle regrowth, your diet should include:

  • Protein-rich foods like chicken, fish, beans, and legumes for muscle repair and growth.
  • Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and vegetables to provide energy for workouts.
  • Healthy fats from sources like avocados, nuts, and seeds for overall health and inflammation reduction.
  • Adequate hydration to ensure muscle flexibility and function.

Should supplements be considered for regaining leg muscle mass?

While a balanced diet is the foundation for muscle growth, certain supplements may be beneficial. Creatine monohydrate, whey protein, and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are commonly used to enhance strength, performance, and muscle growth. However, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional before introducing any supplements to your regimen.

How long does it take to see results in leg muscle growth?

The timeline for noticing improvements in leg muscle mass can vary based on individual fitness levels, workout intensity, and diet. Generally, with consistent training and proper nutrition, visible changes can be seen within 4 to 6 weeks. Significant growth and strength improvements may take several months of disciplined training and nutrition.

Are there any specific recovery practices to enhance muscle growth in the legs?

Yes, specific recovery practices can significantly impact muscle growth, including:

  • Adequate sleep, which promotes muscle repair and growth hormone release.
  • Active recovery, such as light walking or cycling, to reduce muscle soreness and improve circulation.
  • Stretching and mobility exercises to maintain muscle flexibility and prevent injuries.
  • Hydration and proper nutrition post-workout to replenish lost electrolytes and fuel muscle recovery.

What are the signs of overtraining my leg muscles?

Signs of overtraining include persistent soreness, decreased performance, increased susceptibility to injuries, and excessive fatigue. Listening to your body and allowing for rest days is crucial to avoid the negative impacts of overtraining.

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