Your legs are made up of different muscle groups. Getting the most out of training depends on working each group to get the best results. Typically the best training regime for your leg muscles is training that addresses all parts of the leg.

See also: Leg muscle basics, Leg nerves and reflex motion in feet.

The Quads

Most people are familiar with the quadraceps. This the muscle group that extends from the hip to the knee. This group is made up of four separate muscles. They are the most powerful muscles in the human body and as a result are the easiest to build.

Squats! Squats without weights will easily build your quads. As you become more proficient at training without weights you can add some weight to your squats to really challenge this muscle group.

The back of the thigh still considered the Quad group is made up of two separate groups as well. The hamstring is the prominent rear muscle. Squats with or without weights is an excellent source of training for these muscle groups as well.

The Calf Muscles

The calf muscles are made up of three groups of muscles. Each muscle has a very specific function. Calf raises work wonders. You simply stand up straight and raise yourself up on the balls of your feet hold the position for the count of 10 slowly lower and do it again 20 reps in a set is a good starting point.

Calf muscles are a little harder to build than the quads are but still very responsive to workouts especially when you add weight to the exercise.


You can easily train all of your leg muscles by doing several different exercises like:

  • Bike riding
  • Running
  • Walking
  • Lunges
  • Using leg machines at the gym
  • Jump Rope

Bike riding uses all the muscles in your legs and its fun! Running also uses all of your leg muscles as well as walking. If you want to amp up the training switch out between exercises for your legs and add weight.

Lunges are also a great leg strengthening training move. You stand with your legs apart step out with one leg and lunge forward putting your weight on the one leg and you switch back and forth with reps of 5 each time. You can do as many sets as you can handle initially.

Adding weight to any of the exercises above will tone your legs and increase muscle mass. If you want to tone up (not bulk up) then you do not need to add weights, but if you want that really ripped look the only way to get it is to add weights to your regime.

Low Impact Leg Training

Some people have joint issues so conventional leg work may not be an option but there are other low impact exercises that you can add to your training to get your legs in shape. Swimming is a great no stress leg workout that can help you to tone your legs. Any type of water aerobic exercise can easily help to tone up your legs and preserve your joints.