Legs are not the most popular body part to work, but they are very important for overall fitness and strength, as well as for most sports. A lot of your body weight and power resides in your legs, so they should not be neglected. Besides, a muscular, well defined upper body can be ruined by having a skinny or flabby set of legs. Legs are often considered to be a body part that requires higher reps than other muscles. There is probably a lot of truth to this, simply because of the nature of legs. After all, their job is to move your body around all day long, walking, running, climbing stairs, etc.; thousands of repetitions per day.

If you are using weights or machines, you may need three leg exercises: one for the calves; one for the front of the legs or quadriceps; and one for the back of your legs, made up of the gluetals or glutes and hamstrings (the hip muscles and the back of your thighs respectively.) For instance, a leg extension on a machine, where you sit and raise the weights up by straightening your legs out in front of you, works the quadriceps. In this case you need another exercise for the back of your legs, like hamstring curls done on a machine. On the other hand, some leg exercises, such as squats, leg presses, dead lifts, running, jumping and so forth, work the entire upper leg at once, so you don’ t need a second exercise. It is usually fairly obvious if a particular leg exercise is only working one part of the upper leg.

The calves are considered a separate muscle group altogether. So there is a lot of work involved in just legs. If you find yourself leaning toward a split routine, one in which you don’ t work your entire body in one day, legs are a group that lends itself to being split off. An example of such a split routine, which avoids overtraining, is to work legs twice a week, and upper body twice a week. You are working out four times per week, but probably only for half an hour on the legs and forty-five minutes on the upper body. You are very focused on the particular area each workout, so you tend to get an intense workout, while at the same time, you get plenty of recuperation time since you are only working either muscle group twice a week. Also, since the two groups are completely separate, you can work legs one day and upper body the next without much danger of overtraining. Abdominals can be thrown in with whichever group you prefer,
legs or upper body. If you are having a hard time gaining muscle, try this type of split routine for a few months.