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Because there's more than just squats.

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Sculpt Your Legs from Every Angle

1. Quadriceps (quads). These are the muscles at the front of the thigh, and are actually a group of four muscles. They straighten (extend) your leg at the knee and help to bend (flex) the leg at the hip joint (bringing the legs toward the chest). The quads are responsible for all your basic leg movements such as standing, walking, and kicking.
Exercises: Squats, lunges, and split squat target the quads.

2. Hamstrings. These muscles are at the back of the thigh, and are composed of a group of three muscles. They perform the opposite action of the quadriceps, bending your leg at the knee joint and help to straighten (extend) your legs at the hip joint.
Exercises: Deadlifts work the hamstrings.

3. Abductors (outer thigh). The abductor muscles are on the outside of the thighs and hips. They perform the opposite function of the adductors, pulling your thighs out away from your midline. Whenever you push your legs outward against resistance, you’re targeting your abductors.
Exercises: Clamshells work the outer thighs.

4. Adducutors (inner thigh). The adductors consist of five muscles in the inner thigh. They bring your knees together and help the other thigh muscles in moving the legs at the hip joint. The adductors are working almost any time you’re moving your legs.
Exercises: Exercise ball squeezes target this area directly.

5. Calves. Three muscles make up the calf, two major muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus muscles) which are at the back of the lower leg, and one smaller muscle at the front of the lower leg (anterior tibialis). These muscles extend (point your toes) and flex your foot (pull your foot up toward your shin), driving you forward when you walk or run.
Exercises: Calf raises sculpt and tone this area.

Main Types of Leg Exercises

Mainly work the quads and glutes, while also engaging your core.

Targets the thighs & glutes. Helps improve stability & muscular imbalances.

Targets the back of the body, particularly the hamstrings and glutes.

Split Squat
Targets the quads and glutes. Can help improve balance and coordination.

all Leg Exercises

Legs, Legs, Legs

Why It's Good to Do Leg Exercises

Leg exercises are an important part of of a balanced, whole-body workout routine that will tone and shape your legs and also increases strength, speed, and stability.

Some of the benefits of leg exercises include:

  1. Increased muscular strength and endurance. Your legs make up around 50% of your total muscle mass, making it one of the largest muscle groups in the body. Stronger legs allow you to perform other exercises better, including cardiovascular activities such as walking, cycling, and swimming.
  2. Improved functional strength for everyday activities. Just about every physically demanding task you might face during the day involves the legs. From walking up the steps to just standing up from a chair.
  3. Improved sports performance. There are very few sports where the legs do not play an important part. Strengthening the leg muscles will improve athletic performance in any sport that involves running, jumping or kicking. However, it can also benefit even seemingly upper body dominant sports like boxing, which require good leg strength.
  4. Increased metabolism. Well-developed legs are also important for fat burning and weight control. Muscle is metabolically active which just means that it needs energy to sustain it. More muscle means an increased calorie requirement and that makes for easier fat loss. 
  5. Stimulate hormones. Leg workouts are closely associated with producing a cascade of hormones throughout your body. These hormones include cortisol, which increase fat metabolism and helps your body to respond to stress, and HGH which stimulates muscle growth, boosts fat metabolism, increases immunity. 

For workout ideas check out our workout plans and the best exercises for different body parts.