Build Leg Muscle With This Four-Move Gym Workout And Finisher

Woman uses smith machine in gym
(Image credit: Michael Edwards / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Leg workouts have a fearsome reputation in the fitness world. This session, which promises to “murder” your legs, will make you realize why. 

Designed by trainer Ella-Mae Rayner, the workout combines four exercises with a fiery finisher. It includes traditional hypertrophy training moves like the barbell back squat, as well as a plyometric exercise to help you develop explosive power. 

You’ll need a barbell, kettlebell, dumbbells and weights machines to complete this workout so grab your kit bag and head to the gym. 

Complete the first four exercises—the barbell back squat, leg press, leg extension and split squat—for the number of sets and reps specified in Rayner’s video below, resting for 60-90 seconds between sets.

For the finisher, perform 15 goblet squats and 15 squat jumps as a superset, rest for a minute, then repeat two more times. 

If you want to stimulate muscle growth, the last few reps of each set should feel challenging. If they don’t, you need to increase the weight.

To get the most out of this workout, try to use a full range of motion during each of the exercises, ensuring your thighs are at least parallel with the floor at the bottom of each squat and lowering your rear knee to just above the floor while completing the split squats. Moving slowly through the moves enables you to maximize your muscles’ time under tension and focus on using good form.

You’ll move faster during the finisher as you test your muscular endurance, but that doesn’t mean you should let your technique slip. Keep your chest up during the squats and avoid rounding your back. 

Looking for more leg day inspiration? Step right this way for a hamstring workout, quad workout, dumbbell legs workout or five-minute leg workout challenge.

Alice Porter

Alice Porter is a journalist who covers health, fitness and wellbeing, among other topics, for titles including Stylist, Fit & Well, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, VICE and Refinery29. When she’s not writing about these topics, you can probably find her at her local CrossFit box.