Don’t skip leg day! This simple mantra is one of the most significant and most accurate pieces of advice for gymgoers at any skill level. Leg exercises are an essential part of any gym routine, as your leg muscles serve as a foundation for everything else. Knowing which exercises to add to your beginner leg workout at the gym will help you strengthen your legs and notice a difference in your day-to-day activities.
Benefits of Leg Exercises for Beginners
People say you shouldn’t skip leg day for a reason. After all, your legs are your foundation, and working them regularly can offer many benefits. Sticking to a leg workout for beginners will lead to these results.
Stronger Leg Muscles
Focusing on leg day workouts for beginners will give you more muscular and toned legs. By strengthening your leg muscles, you can also promote healthier and more reinforced joints. That’s not all.
Sure, the gym is about improving your strength and fitness, but we all enjoy the secondary benefits of our appearance too—you’ll happily start to notice when your leg muscles pop out.
Your legs are responsible for helping you get around. When you work out your legs consistently, you notice a difference in all your daily activities. As you strengthen your legs, plenty of activities will start to get easier, like walking long distances, going up the stairs, or enjoying a hike.
If you play a sport, stronger legs can improve your performance by giving you more power and a stronger foundation in your legs. Whether jumping in basketball or running across the soccer field, it all starts with your legs.
More Burned Calories
Since your legs feature some of the largest muscle groups in your body, working your legs helps you burn more calories. Just like larger electronics need larger batteries to power them, your larger leg muscles need more calories to activate them. If your gym goal is to lose weight, then adding even beginner leg workouts into your routine will help you reach a calorie deficit quicker.
The Best Beginner Leg Workouts at the Gym
Jumping into any new workout routine at the gym can be a little overwhelming. With all the different machines and gym equipment out there, it can be difficult figuring out which are the best for your beginner leg day workout. We’re here to help. As you get started in the gym, focus on these leg workouts for beginners.
1. Bodyweight Squats
Squats are a fundamental part of leg day for any level of gymgoer, as they target the glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. On a leg day for beginners, you likely want to start with a bodyweight squat to activate your leg muscles and get the hang of the movement.
To perform a bodyweight squat:
- Stand in place with your legs shoulder-width apart
- Keeping your feet planted and your back straight, drop your glutes down below your hips
- Pushing into your feet and flexing your glutes, rise back up to the starting position
- Repeat this motion for about 10 reps
Once you start to get comfortable with the squat motion, you can begin to hold a kettlebell or dumbbell. Eventually, you can head over to the squat rack and take on the barbell.
2. Leg Press
If bodyweight squats are too easy for you, weighted squats are the next step. However, weighted squats can be a bit of a challenge for beginners, as balancing a bar of weight on your shoulders and maintaining the proper form is a little intimidating. The good news is that the leg press machine offers a way to target those same muscles with a simpler leg workout for beginners.
The leg press machine features a seat, a platform to put your feet on, and a weight stack with an adjustable pin.
To do a leg press:
- Place your feet on the platform about hip-width apart while sitting in the machine
- Adjust the pin in the weight stack to a weight that you can comfortably manage
- Push into your feet and extend your legs to push the platform away from your body
- Extend your legs until they are almost straight but keep a slight bend in your knees
- Bring the platform back to the start position in a slow and controlled motion
The leg press also offers many different variations to help you work your muscles in a variety of ways to see continued results.
Lunges are a more dynamic movement that allows you to target everything from your glutes to calves, and all the accessory muscles in between. Take your time to focus on making proper strides and maintaining your balance.
To perform a lunge:
- Start standing tall with feet shoulder-width apart
- Step forward with your right leg
- Keeping your spine tall, bend your front knee until it is stacked above the ankle at about 90-degrees, and allowing your back knee to hover towards they round
- Pushing into your front foot, return to the starting position
- Then repeat the motion with your left leg
Like any beginner exercise routine, it’s important to prioritize moving at your own pace when doing leg workouts. If you’re new to leg day, begin with bodyweight exercises and gradually increase the difficulty over time
4. Leg Curls
Leg exercise machines are a great addition to any beginner leg workout at the gym, and the leg curl machine is another example. The leg curl machine helps isolate the hamstring muscles and gives you a stable position for performing the exercise.
To perform leg curls:
- Lay on your stomach on the lying leg curl machine and adjust the weight stack to a manageable weight
- Position yourself so that the backs of your ankles are positioned against the padded bar
- Bring the bar forward by pulling the backs of your ankles against the bar towards your glutes
- In a controlled motion, straighten your legs back to the starting position and lower the weight stack
- Repeat the motion
How To Build a Beginner Leg Workout Routine
To build an effective beginner leg workout routine, start by separating leg day from your other gym days. Making one day of your gym routine specifically about your legs will help you really focus on targeting and prioritizing those muscles. Still, make sure not to overexert those muscles and find a balance between challenging and manageable.
An example of a good leg day for beginners would include:
- A 10-minute warm-up on the treadmill or elliptical
- Bodyweight squats – Three sets of 10 reps
- Lunges– Three sets of 10 reps
- Leg press – Three sets of 10 reps
- Leg curls – Three sets of 10 reps
- A five to 10-minute cool-down doing stretches or an ab workout
If you need any help building your beginner leg workout, the Team at EōS Fitness is here to help. Schedule a Personal Training session to build a routine that fits your specific fitness goals.
When you sign up at EōS Fitness, you also receive a Complimentary Welcome Workout, where a Personal Trainer will discuss some of your goals with you and show you around some of the basic gym equipment.
Craft the Perfect Leg Day for Beginners
Having a strong beginner leg day routine is a great way to start strengthening your legs and begin working up to more advanced exercises. It all starts with choosing the right beginner leg workouts to challenge you without overdoing it.
At EōS Fitness, we provide all the resources you need to build stronger and toned legs. From state-of-the-art exercise machines to dozens of Group Fitness Classes, there are tons of ways for you to engage your legs.
Find an EōS Fitness near you to get started with building your beginner leg workout at your gym.