1. Barbell Back Squat With Calf Raise

As the saying goes, nothing beats a great pair of legs—but how about making them strong and well-defined, too? From glutes and quads to hamstrings and calves, your legs are powered by a complex array of muscles that need consistent yet varied attention to look and perform their best. The following legs workout was designed to shred all those leg muscles through a mix of dynamic and static exercises as well as constant tension. “Great” doesn’t even begin to describe how your legs will look after using this routine. Workout by: Gino Caccavale. Model:  Jessie Hilgenberg

Works: Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings

• Unrack in the “high bar” position, just behind your neck, high on the trapezius muscles, with thumbs gripping the bar.


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• With feet at shoulder-width, squat to full depth to try to get hip crease below knees.

• When you hit the bottom of your squat, drive up through your heels, pushing your knees out until standing. At the top of the squat, raise up on the balls of your feet, contracting your calves.

• Return to feet flat on floor before next repetition. Perform 3 sets at 15, 12, and 10 reps, increasing weight as you reduce the number of reps.

• If you have a high-bar back squat 1 RM, try performing the sets at 45, 55, then 65% of that weight.

2. 45° Legs Press

Works: Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings

• Start seated in legs press with feet at hip width and knees at 90°. Press upward, and release stops to begin exercise. Then take a three-count to lower plate until knees are back at 90°.

• Drive upward through your heels until legs are at full extension.

• Perform 20, 15, and 12 repetitions, increasing weight as you reduce the number of reps.

Tip: Keep knees soft in full extension, taking care not to lock out.

3. Static Kettlebell Lunge

Works: Core, Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes

(static exercises ensure constant tension on muscle groups)

• Start by holding kettlebells at sides, palms inward, with left foot forward and right foot 30″ to the rear on ball of foot. Keep knees slightly bent with head facing forward and spine aligned.

• Lower right knee until it’s about 1″ off the floor.

• Then raise upward, pushing off front leg without locking knees. Keeping feet in place, perform 2 sets of 20 reps for each leg.

Tip: Widen stance a bit if maintaining balance becomes tricky.

4. Kettlebell Romanian Deadlift

Works: Glutes, Hamstrings

• Start by holding kettlebells at mid-thigh, palms facing inward, with feet hip-width apart.

• Slowly lower kettlebells to mid-shin, keeping knees slightly bent.

• Drive off heels, returning kettlebells to mid-thigh without straightening back fully. Repeat slowly for 2 sets of 15 reps.

Tip: The kettlebells should touch your legs throughout the lift.

5. Lying Dumbbell Legs Curl

Works: Hamstrings

• Start by lying prone on flat bench with knees at end of bench. Place dumbbell between arches of feet with bottom half of dumbbell below laces.

• Slowly lower dumbbell, keeping knees at slight bend at bottom to prevent hyperextension.

• Return dumbbell upward until aligned with knees. Repeat slowly for 2 sets of 20 reps at light to moderate weight.

• Note: This exercise should be performed