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9 Best Exercises for Men To Get Bigger, Stronger Legs

Get ready to pack on muscle and strength in your lower body.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Your legs are a crucial—yet often neglected—area of the body to build up. In order to achieve bigger, stronger legs, you need to focus on lower-body strength training. This way, you'll target all of the muscles in your legs, including your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. If you need a little assistance, look no further than nine of the best exercises for bigger legs men should do on a regular basis.

The most efficient exercises for you to improve the size and strength of your legs are the squat, deadlift, lunge, split squat, and calf raise. You also want to include some isolation movements so that you can directly fire up specific parts of your legs.

Keep reading to learn all about the nine best exercises for bigger legs and maximum strength gains in your lower body. And next, don't miss 7 Kettlebell Exercises for Men To Get Bigger Arms.

Barbell Back Squats

man performing barbell squats at the gym

To set up for this first exercise, position the barbell so that it's comfortably resting on your upper back. Avoid putting pressure on your neck. Grab onto the secure bar, placing your hands outside the width of your shoulders. Then, take the bar off of the rack, step back, and assume a tall stance. Hinge at the hips, activate your core, and lower into a squat until your hips reach a parallel position to the floor. Return to standing to finish the first rep. Perform eight to 10 reps.

Barbell Front Squats

barbell front squat exercises for bigger legs

For barbell front squats, stand under the barbell so that it's on the front of your shoulders. Grab onto the bar outside shoulder-width, and bring your elbows forward. Unrack the barbell, step back, and sit back onto your heels. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Push through your heels to return to standing, and get a solid flex in your glutes when you finish. Perform six to eight reps.

Leg Press

man doing leg press machine exercise to increase visceral fat burn

The leg press begins with you getting situated on a leg press sled. Your feet should be outside your shoulder span and your toes pointed a bit out. Push the weight up, then unlock the machine. Lower the weight with control, then drive through your heels to finish. Perform 10 to 15 reps.

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Hack Squats

man doing hack squat

The machine hack squat begins with you placing both feet in front of your body and turning out just a bit. Push yourself up before hitting the switches below to unlock the machine. Descend using control as you would for a classic squat until your hips are at least at a 90-degree angle. Then, push yourself back up through your heels, flexing your quads and glutes to finish. Perform 10 reps.

Leg Extensions

close-up man on leg extension machine doing exercises for bigger legs

Next up in our exercises for bigger legs is the leg extension. Sit on the leg extension machine, placing both legs under the pad. Press the weight up, and squeeze your quads at the top of the motion. Lower the weight all the way down before completing another rep. Perform 10 to 12 reps.

Machine Lying Leg Curls

man doing machine lying leg curls

Set up for this strength exercise by lying down on your stomach on the leg curl machine—your chest and hips should be pressed against the pad. Then, drag your heels toward your body, flexing your hamstrings to finish. Using control, lower the weight as you keep tension in your hamstrings until your legs are extended. Perform 10 to 12 reps.

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Bulgarian Split Squats

bulgarian split squat in dark gym

Begin this exercise by standing tall with a dumbbell in both hands. Place your back foot on a workout bench, couch, or sturdy surface, and step out with the other foot a couple of feet away. With control, descend into a split squat until your back knee almost touches the floor. Then, press back up to the start position. Perform 10 reps per leg.

Barbell Romanian Deadlifts

close-up barbell romanian deadlift exercises for bigger legs

For barbell Romanian deadlifts, grab onto a barbell, and hold it in front of your body. With a tall chest and soft knees, hinge at the hips as you lower the barbell down your thighs. When you feel a nice stretch in your hamstrings, move your hips forward and squeeze your glutes. Perform 10 reps.

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Machine Standing Calf Raises

illustration of machine standing calf raises

If you have access to a machine for standing calf raises, begin by positioning yourself underneath the pad. You should be on the balls of your feet on the edge of the step. With straight legs, begin to lower your heels down toward the floor while flexing your toes toward your body. Once you feel a solid calf stretch at the bottom, push through your big toes, flexing your calves hard at the top. Perform 15 reps.

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles Read more about Tim
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