There are few things in the world of fitness that top a pair of strong legs consisting of well-built quads, hamstrings, and glutes. To build quality leg muscle, you’ll need a smart strategy in place, and the will to work hard to execute it. ‘Don’t skip leg day’ is a saying for a reason—lower body workouts might not provide the immediate returns of an upper-body pump session, but leg day training can be just as rewarding, if not more, in the long run.
When asking the question, “how to build leg muscle,” it’s often best to start by recognizing and understanding your leg muscle anatomy. For example, it’s useful to understand that the quads, hamstrings, and glutes are all composed of multiple muscles that execute multiple functions for the lower body.
1 – The Barbell Back Squat
Sure, there are other variations of this exercise out there (more on that shortly)—but when you say the word “squat” to just about any lifter, they’re probably going to assume you’re talking about this one. The back squat is a classic for a reason: there are few better, simpler ways to train the major muscle groups of your legs. The exercise is also an entry point to other variations, so it helps to get the OG form down pat.