The Best Science-Based Leg Day For Growth (Quads/Glutes/Hamstrings) | PUSH PULL LEGS SERIES

This video is the final installment of my 3-part push pull legs routine series. In this video, we’ll cover your leg workout for the week. The first exercise will be barbell squats, which has been shown to be one of the best quad exercises (not to mention, glute exercises). I’d recommend the front squat over the back squat for two reasons. First, the front squat achieves comparable levels of muscle activation when using roughly 20% lighter weight than the back squat. Second, research has shown that the front squat produces significantly lower compressive forces on the knee as well as reduced lumbar stress when compared to back squats. Regardless, incorporating both into your legs workout is a great idea.

Next is the barbell hip thrusts, one of the best glutes exercises available. The hip thrust provides a much greater glutes contraction and puts a high amount of tension and metabolic stress on the glutes when they’re in a shortened position at the top of the movement – something that the squat fails to do. Lastly, hip thrusts are very low impact on the joints and easy on the lower back, yet still enables you to lift heavy weights. Therefore, including them in your push pull legs routine is recommended.

The next exercise is the split squats, one of the best quad exercises with considerable involvement from the glutes and hamstrings as well. Include at least one unilateral movement to prevent imbalances from developing over time. Split squats also offer significant advantages over walking lunges. They’re easier and safer to learn, which means that you’ll be able to perform it with full range of motion and a significantly higher glute medius activation. Once your balance improves with this, rather than progressing to walking lunges, you’ll want to then progress to the Bulgarian split squat. And then, once you’re able to comfortably do this variation, what I’d recommend is to progress it once more by performing half of your sets with the contralateral Bulgarian split squat, where you hold just one dumbbell on the opposite hand as your front leg.

Lastly, we’re going to include the glute ham raise in your legs workout. It is a great exercise to do so as it elicits the greatest activation of the various hamstring muscles when compared to other common hamstring exercises. In addition, it also forces you to control your bodyweight on the way down or eccentric portion of every rep. This is important given that research has shown that it’s this eccentric strengthening of the hamstrings that seems to be the most important factor for not only enhancing your athletic performance such as with the vertical jump, but also for better protecting your hamstrings from any future potential injuries or imbalances.

For calves, I’d simply recommend adding in one standing calf raise exercise and one seated calf raise to ensure that both calf muscles are hit, and a mix of higher and lower rep ranges.

To sum everything up for you, here’s what your leg workout could look like:

Back Squats OR Front Squats: 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
Hip Thrusts: 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps
Split Squats (2 sets Bulgarian, 2 sets contralateral): 4 sets of 8-12 reps (each side)
Glute Ham Raise (or Bosu Ball alternative): 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
Standing Single Leg Calf Raise: 2-4 sets of 6-10 reps
Seated Calf Raise: 2-4 sets of 10-15 reps

To maximize your time and efforts and build muscle in the fastest way possible, then you need to not only carefully select each and every exercise that you perform in your workouts, but you also need to know how to then go about executing and implementing them into your overall routine. And for a step-by-step program that takes care of all the guess work for you and shows you exactly how and what to workout week after week so that you can build muscle most effectively with science, then take the analysis quiz below to discover which approach is best for you:


Music by Ryan Little – Body Language –

Filmed by: Bruno Martin Del Campo




Squats Versus Hip Thrusts Part II: The Twin Experiment



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