Best Thigh Workouts For All Upper Leg Muscles

A single leg exercise such as calf raises, or leg extensions can’t give you the best results for your thighs. Instead, try these thigh workouts to train your thighs from various angles and positions and equally engage every muscle in your upper legs.

When it’s the chest day, you usually work your chest on an incline, on a decline, or on a flat bench. One exercise is never enough to boost your chest muscles and bring great results. The exact same thing happens with your thigh too.

You need to use different positions to train your thighs from various angles! Because not doing this, you may become one of those dudes with giant upper body and little toothpick legs.

If you want to increase the muscle tone (in women) or the size (in men) of your thighs, it is mandatory to train them from multiple angles. So check out the tips and the 6 thigh workouts below.

Tips For Best Thigh Workouts

Here are a few tips to help you improve the shape and size of your thighs just by making small changes to your body position:

1. Vary The Squat Stance

You should be always experimenting with your stance, no matter the muscle group you’re targeting. This way you can feel which exercise is best working the muscle you need to grow, so you can focus on that particular exercise later.

There are 3 different squat stances that you should definitely try:

  1. Wide squat with toes pointing out (about an inch is enough);
  2. Shoulder-width squat with toes very slightly out (about an inch is enough);
  3. Narrow stance (feet inside the shoulders) squat with toes straight ahead.

2. Vary The Foot Placement

If you have been doing leg extensions with your feet perfectly aligned your entire life, you’ve been missing out. A lot!

Simple adjustments like foot placement during an exercise can change it considerably. For example:

  • When performing leg extensions, point your toes in, straight, or out to vary the tension in the quads.
  • Applying the same foot placement technique to standing leg curls, you’ll vary the tension in the hamstrings.

3. Add Variety

A single exercise can’t and will never work all your muscles equally. That’s why adding variety to your workout and constantly switching up your routine may lead to big improvements in your muscle building process.

Remember, for any part of the body, be it your legs, chest, arms, or core, you need at least 4 different exercises to fully work that area from all angles possible.

Here are the best thigh workouts to engage your quads and hamstrings:

  • Barbell squats;
  • Goblet squats;
  • Romanian deadlifts;
  • Leg extensions;
  • Standing leg curls;
  • Lying leg curls.

Every-Angle Thigh Workouts

Any of these thigh workouts can be integrated with your daily routine, or you can perform them all as a complete legs workout. Here are the best 6 thigh workouts:

1. Leg Extensions (20 reps)

Leg Extensions IN

Maintain the femur and toes rotated slightly in to target the outer quad muscle (Vastus Lateralis).

Beginner: 2 sets.

Intermediate: 3 sets.

Advanced: 4 sets.

2. Romanian Deadlift (15 reps)

Romanian Deadlift With Deficit

This move will target the middle quad muscle (Rectus Femoris). You can perform this exercise as normal, or, if you’re advanced, try to do it from a deficit (lift the barbell standing on an elevated deck).

Beginner: 2 sets without deficit.

Intermediate: 3 sets without deficit.

Advanced: 4 sets with deficit.

3. Leg Extensions (20 reps)

Leg Extensions OUT

Maintain the femur and toes rotated slightly out to target the inner quad muscle (Vastus Medialis).

Beginner: 2 sets.

Intermediate: 3 sets.

Advanced: 4 sets.

4. Standing Leg Curl (20 reps)

Standing Leg Curl OUT

Maintain the femur and toes rotated slightly out to target the main hamstring muscle (Biceps Femoris).

Beginner: 2 sets.

Intermediate: 3 sets.

Advanced: 4 sets.

5. Wide-Stance Goblet Squat (15 reps)

Goblet Squat

This move will target the lower inner hamstring muscle (Semimembranosus).

Beginner: 2 sets.

Intermediate: 3 sets.

Advanced: 4 sets.

6. Standing Leg Curl (20 reps)

Standing Leg Curl with toes in

Maintain the femur and toes rotated slightly in to target the upper inner hamstring muscle (Semitendinosus).

Beginner: 2 sets.

Intermediate: 3 sets.

Advanced: 4 sets.

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