Best Thigh Workouts For All Upper Leg Muscles

Performing only one leg exercise in your workout routine is not enough for developing your thighs.  If you want you want to make them grow and stay strong, you need to hit your thighs from different angles using different exercises which will activate every muscle in your leg.

When it’s time to work-out your chest, you’ll normally perform exercises on an incline, decline and flat bench. We all know that only one exercise doesn’t cut the mustard. This same principle applies to all your muscles, thighs included.

You need to train them with different moves that hit them from various angles. If you neglect them, you might end up with disproportionally muscular body planted on thin legs. To avoid this, and add balance to your physique by making them stronger and well developed, include different exercise that target all the muscles. Bellow we provide you 6 exercises for your thighs.

GENERAL TIPS FOR THIGH WORKOUT

A slight change of your body position, or foot placement can mean a lot when you want to develop your thigh muscles. So, before going into the specific exercises, will start by several general advices regarding your workout.

1. USE VARIOUS SQUAT STANCES

Regardless which muscle group you’re training you need to experiment with your body pose. This allows you to discover which of the exercises is working the targeted muscles, and you can focus on the area that needs greatest attention.

Try alternating between these three different stances when you are doing the squats, and choose which is the best for you.

  1. Wide Squat (toes pointed out)
  2. Shoulder-wide squat (toes slightly out)
  3. Narrow squats (feet at shoulder width and toes straight)

2. USE VARIOUS FOOT PLACEMENTS

The chances are that you’ve been performing your leg extension exercises with your feet straight all the time. If you have, than you’ve been missing a lot.

A simple thing like adjusting your foot placement, can significantly change the exercise. Take the leg extensions for an example. By performing this exercise with your toes pointing in, out or straight you apply different tension to the quads.

The change of foot placement during the standing leg curls will provided varied tension to the hamstrings.

3. PERFORM VARIOUS EXERCISES

You can never achieve a complete muscles workout by performing only one exercise. In order to improve your muscle building process you need to add variety to your training routine, and change it every once in a while. Keep in mind that a well rounded workout routine for each muscle group usually incorporates at least four different exercises that hit the target area from multiple angles.

The following six exercises are the best for activating your quads and hamstrings:

  1. Barbell squats
  2. Goblet squats
  3. Romanian deadlifts
  4. Leg extensions
  5. Standing leg curls
  6. Lying leg curls

COMPLETE THIGHS WORKOUT ROUTINE

You can either incorporate any of these individual thigh exercises in your daily routine, or you can perform them together on the leg day for a complete workout.

#1. Leg Extensions (with your toes rotated in)

1. Sit on machine and place ankles under the roller pads.

2. Raise legs upward until knees are straight.

3. Lower legs back down to start position, knees bent 90 degrees.

4. Pointing your toes inward  internally rotates the tibia to target the inner quad “teardrop” (vastus medialis).

Stick to 20 reps per set. If you are a beginner, you can complete just 2 sets, but ideally you should aim for 3-4 sets.

 

#2. Romanian Deadlift from deficit

1. Use a platform or weight plates to stand on, about 1-3 inches high.

2. Your feet should be about hip width apart. Bend at the hip to grip the bar at shoulder width.

3. Lower your hips and bend the knees until your shins contact the bar. Keep your chest up and your back arched, and push through the heels to move the weight upward.

4. After the bar is above your t knees, pull the bar back as you push your hips forward into the bar

5. Lower the bar to the floor by bending your hips.

Very similar to the standard deadlift but a little more height so there’s a little more of a bend.

 

This exercise activates: Hamstrings, Forearms, Glutes, Lower Back, Traps

 

Stick to 15 reps per set. If you are a beginner, you can complete just 2 sets without deficit. As you progress increase to three sets without deficit. Advanced trainees should aim for 4 sets with deficit.

 

3. Leg Extensions (with your toes turned out)

1. Sit on machine and place ankles under the roller pads.

2. Raise legs upward until knees are straight.

3. Lower legs back down to start position, knees bent 90 degrees.

4. Pointing your toes outward  externally rotates the tibia to hit the outer quad (vastus lateralis).

Stick to 20 reps per set. If you are a beginner, you can complete just 2 sets, but ideally you should aim for 3-4 sets.

 

4. Standing Leg Curl (with toes rotated out)

1. Hook one heel under the roller pad, and support your weight with the other leg.

2. Curl the weight by bending your knee, raising your heel toward your buttock.

3. Lower the weight back down to the start position.

4. Pointing the toes outward focuses effort on the outer hamstrings (biceps femoris). Keeping your ankles bent at 90 degrees (dorsifl exed) minimizes contribution from the calf muscles and thereby helps isolate the hamstrings.

 

Stick to 20 reps per set. If you are a beginner, you can complete just 2 sets, but ideally you should aim for 3-4 sets.

 

5. Wide-Stance Goblet Squat

1. Hold a dumbbell vertically in front of your chest with both hands cupping the dumbbell head.

2. Your feet should be twice hip-width apart.

3. Push your hips back and lower your body into a squat until your upper thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Keep your back straight, chin forward and weight tight to chest.

4. Pause, then retract back to starting position.

This exercise activates: Quads, Glutes, Hamstrings, Traps, Delts, Biceps, Hip Adductors.

Stick to 15 reps per set. If you are a beginner, you can complete just 2 sets, but ideally you should aim for 3-4 sets.

6. Standing Leg Curl (with toes rotated in)

1. Hook one heel under the roller pad, and support your weight with the other leg.

2. Curl the weight by bending your knee, raising your heel toward your buttock.

3. Lower the weight back down to the start position.

4. Pointing the toes inward (b) tends to emphasize the inner hamstrings (semimembranosus and semitendinosus). Keeping your ankles bent at 90 degrees (dorsifl exed) minimizes contribution from the calf muscles and thereby helps isolate the hamstrings.

 

Stick to 15 reps per set. If you are a beginner, you can complete just 2 sets, but ideally you should aim for 3-4 sets.

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