Mass Building Exercises For Bigger Legs

It’s not often you hear people say, “Let’s go do legs”. It’s the most hated muscle group to exercise. Just take a look around your gym and you’ll see buff guys with chicken legs.
Frankly, legs are the most despised but the most important. They’re responsible for releasing massive amounts of naturally occurring growth hormone in your body.

If you want a bigger upper body you have to train legs. So I’m going to break down with you the 3 best mass building exercises for bigger legs and muscles overall.

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How Do You Train Legs to Build a Bigger Upper Body?

With lots of compound exercises. Our goal is to activate as many muscles at once which forces the body to release HGH, which is created by the pituitary gland.
The reason legs are so important is that they’re the largest muscles in the body. So they’ll cause the most amount of human growth hormone to release and ensure our upper body gets a nice dose.

I used to hate training legs and would often find myself skipping leg days to train the upper body. However, it was only after I started training legs I really noticed the growth and improvements in my upper body.

The leg muscles we want to target

  • Gluteus
  • Iliopsoas
  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Calf Muscles
  • Hip Abductor

3 Best Compound Exercises For Bigger Legs

If you combine these three exercises to train just twice a week, you’ll start to see a huge difference in how fast you put on mass. Your legs will grow drastically and reinforce the gains in your upper body Try the routine on Monday and Thursdays. The other days focus on compound exercises like deadlift and powerclean for best results.


Barbell Squats

You may not like doing squats, but over time you’ll start to appreciate them. They’re challenging and part of any serious lifters routine. It’s an exercise which targets almost every muscle in your legs. It also will develop your abs and create the v shape which so many desire. That’s because squats force your abs and lower back to stabilize the weight, which secondhand trains them in a way no other exercise can.

This exercise requires proper form to avoid lower back injury and a correct range of motion to target all your major leg muscles. I always recommend when it comes to these more risky exercises to not jeopardize your safety. So ask a fellow gym-goer to demonstrate proper form, then practice with just the bar with no weights.

When you understand how to do the exercise properly, that’s when you can slowly increase the weight. You should feel in control of the weight and not straining. I would recommend you invest in a weightlifting belt to help support your back and distribute the weight correctly.

The correct range of motion is to arch your lower-back, pop your butt out as they say. Slowly, use your legs to carry the weight downwards. When your legs are parallel to the ground, squeeze your butt cheeks together which will spring the weight upwards. That’s the part so many people miss so remember that!


Leg Press

The leg press is similar to the squat, but it’s in a seated position and generally much easier. It does not require your body to stabilize the weight, so it doesn’t workout your abs and lower back. However, this exercise does allow you to use more weight and focuses strictly on legs.

It’s an exercise which should be done after squats to finish off any remaining resistance. Your leg muscles are very powerful and it takes extreme usage to burn them out. When we burn out our muscles tiny rips happen all over, which will repair and create new muscle tissue or bigger size.

This exercise is the only machine exercise I recommend. That means when you do squats you should never use a machine. Instead always use a barbell because it forces your body to stabilize the weight. After doing squats your legs still have fight left in them, which is why you’ll want to do leg press next. You’ll feel a much deeper burning sensation from leg press than squats as they deplete any resistance left.

The combination of squats and leg press on a routine such as Monday and Thursday will drastically change your overall physique. Growth hormone doesn’t release from simple exercise, it’s main form of release is through squats and deadlifts. So when people start to ask how you’re getting bigger faster, it’s because you’re not skipping leg days anymore.


Dumbbell Lunges

There are so many exercises which could be placed as number, but there’s one which stands above the rest. Dumbbell lunges will be your go-to for warming up on leg days. It’s another excellent exercise and actually hits every muscle in your legs.

The reason lunges are so important, not only do they contribute to building muscle and definition but they also correct imbalances. If one of your calves is bigger than the other, or maybe one leg is stronger lunges will correct these issues which you might not even know that you have!

This exercise does not require heavyweight, yet still will provide big results. It’s actually recommended to use lightweight until your muscles come fully online a couple of weeks later if you have never gone to the gym before. The only word of caution would be to do them properly because when done incorrectly they can strain the knees.

Another important detail to remember when doing lunges is to not let your knee slam on the ground. I see too many people doing this at the gym, it’s not correct and can cause injury. When you are lowering your knee it should come just a tiny bit above or just gently barely touch the floor.

Best Mass Building Leg Workout Routine

Now that we’ve broken down the 3 best exercises for building bigger legs, we’ll add it all together and demonstrate the ideal routine. Keep in mind, you should be warming-up five minutes on the treadmill before exercising.

After you’ve warmed up with a light jog, your legs will have more blood flowing and are ready for weights. Never start lifting cold, that’s a fast way to suffer a muscle tear so please always warm-up.

The first set of squats always must be a warm-up set as well. Start off with very low weight, as little as 20% of your maximum potential. You’ll want to do around 15 repetitions to further prepare your legs, in a sense, this turns them on for the heavy lifting which will ensue.

The first exercise is lunges, followed by warm-up squats with 15 reps at low weight, then squats and finish it off with leg press. It’s very important you fully understand the process I’ve detailed in this section. Never, ever just start with 6 reps with heavyweights. I’ve seen people blowout their knee doing that.

Barbell Squats36
Seated Machine Leg Press36

Honorable Mentions:
Leg Extensions – x3 – 10 reps
Lying Leg Curls – x3 – 10 reps
Standing Calf Raises – x3 – 15 reps


If you’re reading our other articles, you’ll see the routines which we suggest. Generally, we only recommend compound exercises because that’s what provides the best results. If you’re going to the gym Monday through Friday and training these compound exercises.

Keep in mind, you really should be talking with someone experienced at the gym who can demonstrate how-to properly do the correct form for each of the exercises. Step out of your comfort zone for safety reasons and ask for help. Secondly, invest in a weightlifting belt. It’s not to look cool but to save your back twenty years from now.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you at the gym!

Want more from this series? Why not check out our back exercises for mass article.