What is the absolute BEST leg training program you can use in your figure competition prep to build sexy legs that are also strong and shapely? A good leg workout includes exercises that target your leg muscles fully, as well as using proper form, number of sets and reps.
YES, you heard that right! I can show you how to build sexy legs quickly and easily, and it’s all in HOW you train your legs. It’s the little tips, tricks, and secrets other figure coaches aren’t willing to share, or just don’t know.
I have been seeing FAR too many competitors venturing onto the stage with absolutely poor leg development. Soft legs with no shape is not going to get you anywhere in a contest. The judges are looking for the complete package. This means that you need to build proportion – your upper body balanced with your lower body.
Are you ready to learn how you can build legs that will make the judges drool and the other competitors jealous? Let’s get to it…
Off-Season (What You May NOT Know)
To build sexy legs, take some time to dedicate to off-season training. Your off-season can last from about 8 months to a year or more. Off-season is not about eating junk and slacking off. Off-season is about taking your training to an advanced muscle-building level to build the core, the foundation. Allow yourself a few more quality calories during off-season, as well as less cardio, and crank-up the anaerobic intensity of your weight training! Pauline Nordin, IFBB Figure Pro and certified trainer explains the importance of off-season at About.com, “In the off-season your focus should be to gain some weight and work on your weak points.”
Leg Training Days (This is Important…)
If you want to build sexy legs it is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL that you devote leg training day to a day all its own. Train legs and calves only on your chosen leg day. Do not group legs with back, with chest, or with any other muscle group. Train legs and calves on leg day and nothing else. This is to ensure your legs get 100% focus and dedication. Got it? Good, let’s move on.
If legs are your main weak body part, then I STRONGLY urge you to train your legs on Monday when you are fresh, well-rested and mentally pumped. Make your leg training day the same day each week in your off-season program.
Leg Exercises (This Is The Key… Read This!)
Now, to build sexy legs that are gorgeous and well-rounded with that sexy ham/quad split that ties into your glutes you are going to have to squat! Yes, the squat is the daddy, and I mean the king of all leg exercises. The squat targets ALL the muscles in the legs and glutes in one motion. I mean, if you want to knock it out of the ball-park, start your leg training off with squats.
Improve Your Overall Leg Development a Full 20%!
NOW… Be cautious of your form when you squat. FIRST, squatting is a lower body movement so we want to keep the focus and tension on the lower body. How do we do that? We minimize upper body involvement.
You see, the problem is that when most people squat they just put the bar on the base of their neck and start squatting. THIS IS NOT ONLY WRONG, IT MAKES YOU WEAKER. IT’S POOR FORM AND CAN LEAD TO INJURY!
To build sexy legs you need to minimize upper body involvement. The CORRECT way to squat starts by placing the bar in the right area.
Here is what you do…
When you get under the bar, squeeze your traps together and then place the bar on your flexed traps. This gives the bar a STRONG resting place. It also takes the pressure off of your neck and allows you to put your focus on the movement of the squat because the bar will be well-supported and balanced on your flexed traps. In making this small adjustment, most lifters can increase their squat 10% instantly. Pretty neat huh?
But wait… there’s more. As you squat, squat down as if you are sitting in a chair. Ideally you should squat to where your hips are parallel with your knees if you are lifting moderate to heavy weight. If you are using light weight (can do 15+ reps) squatting past parallel is ok.
But here’s the REAL kicker. Most athletes rise from the squat using their toes, whole foot, and even other body parts and this takes away from the legs.
Here is what you do…
As you rise out of the squat, don’t just come to a standing position. Nooooo… Drive up, and I mean POWER UP through your heels.
You see, your power is in your heels, not your entire foot or toes. Squatting using your entire foot or toes can actually cause you to be imbalanced and rely on other muscles, and really make you weaker. You will find you are stronger and can squat more weight if you drive up via your heels. By making this small heel drive in your squat, you can increase your squat another 10%.
Practice Squatting Properly
If you can’t get the form of squatting properly just yet, practice with the bar only. Here is how you practice powering up through your heels… As you squat down and drive up, lift your toes (just point them up) to ensure your heels are planted.
Leg Press (This Machine DOES Have it’s Place)
While the squat is a GREAT exercise for building your legs, it is important to keep things mixed up as you progress your leg training. It would be a good idea to rotate squatting with the leg press every other leg training session.
The leg press is also a power movement in developing your quads and hams and it shouldn’t be neglected. It can be incorporated into your workout and give your lower body that little extra nudge in strength and leg development.
The leg press may seem like a simple exercise, but a lot of figure athletes do it wrong. First, you should be firmly planted in the seat during the entire movement. As you lower the platform, stop just before your hips begin to roll up and rise off the seat.
The same heel driving rule for squatting should be applied to the leg press to advance your leg press training and leg development. You would be absolutely AMAZED at the weight you can push by performing this exercise correctly.
Inner Development and Knocking off that Thigh Fat
I see a lot of figure competitors training on the leg abductor and adductor machines and they tend to over use them. These machines are okay for a light, high-rep workout now and then.
However, if your inner thighs are holding some fat you would be much better off doing wide-stance squats or wide-stance leg press using light to moderate weight.
Save the abductor and adductor machines more for contest prep training to really get the fine details of training and bring out various areas of the leg muscle.
Sets and Reps
There is no exact set and rep scheme you need to follow in your off-season leg routine. While you do need to progress your leg workout each week it is also important to keep your leg training mixed up using a variety of exercises, sets, and reps.
By keeping your leg workout constantly mixed up, your legs never have a chance to adapt and catch on to what you are doing training-wise, and they have no other option but to build and develop into a sexy pair of competitor legs you can be proud of.
Don’t Leave Without This Bit Of Info To Build Sexy Legs
Now that you have some useful information you can better tackle leg day and build legs that make your competition jealous. Keep in mind that it’s the quality of your training and the training techniques you use that build head-turning legs.
Download my free guide: 5 Leg Training Hacks and get started on those amazing legs.
Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT
Thanks for reading over my article! I hope you found the information helpful. If you have any questions you can contact me directly using the “Contact Link” at the top of the page. I answer all emails.
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