Posted on June 07, 2017 by Kate Halsall

leg day

Everyone who has trained with me in one way or another knows that I think squats are the king of exercises! If I’m honest though, I love lunges too – in any variety…that said, I also love deadlifts, glute bridges, calf raises – in fact…I love most lower body exercises! So many favourites and so little time!!! No matter how you train – classes, gym, personal training or at home; it’s important that you don’t skip leg day. So here’s some of my favourite lower body exercises.

I predominantly take an agonist/antagonist approach when working legs i.e. working opposite muscles.  It means whilst one set of the muscles rest I can work the others. It also means you get equal development in your legs and can slip a superset of exercises into your existing routine. Of course if you’re feeling brave, it makes for a “nice” leg day workout! In terms of reps and sets, it totally depends on your training goals. Personally, I love an 8 to 12 rep range and 3-4 sets…..

A1. Bulgarian Split Squats Great for targeting those Quads
A2. Straight Leg Deadlifts Targeting the Hamstrings
B1. Short Step Lunges Lunges are a great all round leg exercise. But by varying the stance you can place the emphasis on certain muscles – in this instance, the Quads
B2. Kettlebell Swings Hamstrings, Glutes and Hips
C1. TRX Pistol Squats I use these to work the muscles of the lower leg as they stabilise the ankle. The TRX takes some of the load out of upper leg muscles.
C2. Standing Calf Raises Ok so not quite agonist antagonist, but don’t underestimate how strong your calf and lower leg muscles need to be!
D1. Banded Glute Bridge I like to end a session with these. If there’s no band available, I’m particularly fond of single leg bridges! Primarily to work Glutes & Abs, but there’s no denying we get our hips involved here too.

A lot of these exercises don’t need any kit and can be done body weight only. If you have a stair case at home, you can do Bulgarian’s with your foot on a stair, and pistol squats by sitting down (it just makes it a little harder!).  Get ready for leg day!