Leg and shoulder workouts can be tough if you don’t know what you’re doing, but when you do, the results are amazing.
A strong pair of legs will make all the difference in your daily life and sports performance, and an improved pair of shoulders give you that powerful V taper look everyone wants (especially when coupled with your chest workout).
In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about leg and shoulder workouts so that you can get the results you want.
Is It OK To Work Legs And Shoulders Together?
Working legs and shoulders together is a great idea if you’re trying to improve your overall strength.
Since these muscles groups are so different, it can be beneficial to train them on back-to-back days.
For example, you might do leg presses for your quads one day, then do bench presses for your shoulders and chest another day.
And it’s fine to work both in a single workout session.
But be careful that you don’t place too much strain on one muscle group; work hard but not so hard that it interferes with other training sessions.
When you train with the main compound exercises you’re going to be hitting your whole body anyway so pairing up legs and shoulders is not a problem.
Should I Do Legs First Or Shoulders?
When you look at fitness routines, you’ll see a wide variety of approaches.
Some say that working legs first keep your metabolism running high all day long, while others say that working shoulders first is a great way to start building muscle.
In reality, most experts agree that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer; what works for some people won’t work for others, so trial and error are key in finding what feels best.
The important thing is finding what fits into your lifestyle and motivates you on a daily basis—and then doing it.
That’s how you stay committed, get results, and reach your goals.
Why You Shouldn’t Skip Leg Day
While men tend to focus on upper-body strength more than women, there are a number of reasons why they should be including lower-body workouts in their routine.
It’s well known that weight training is crucial for building muscle, but it’s not just about how your body looks—it’s also about how your body functions!
The bottom line is that building up your legs will make you stronger all over.
In addition, training your legs can have the added benefit of improving endurance, since leg muscles are responsible for powering much of our movement.
If you’re trying to lose weight or just generally look better, have we mentioned squats?
Squats are an exercise that builds strong legs while helping to improve your balance and posture.
If you’re looking for an easy way to add variety to your workout, simply squat while holding weights!
Simple changes like these can go a long way toward keeping things interesting so you keep showing up at the gym week after week (or month after month…).
Just remember: no matter what type of leg workout you choose, start with low weights until you get used to performing each exercise correctly; while working out is important if one of your goals is injury prevention, getting hurt certainly won’t help!
Want to know the 15 best squat accessory exercises? Here is a list of the best exercises to help improve your squats!
What is the best 5 day split workout?
When it comes to working out, you have a few options.
Each day of your week could be filled with a different workout or routine, or you can divide your week into three days of full-body workouts, with two days as an active rest.
There are many ways in which you can split up your workouts for each leg and shoulder day; many of these routines come from bodybuilding experts who have tried them all.
It’s important to find a five-day split workout that works best for you in order to reach your goals without burning yourself out.
Working out can help keep your legs and shoulders strong, but there’s always more information to learn.
To build muscle mass through leg and shoulder exercises like squats and deadlifts over time, you need something more than just information—you need results!
That’s why we’ve put together some effective tips for reaching your fitness goals via workout splits.
If there is one secret weapon available today that will help people transform their bodies faster than anything else known today, it has got to be exercise (along with eating right).
Exercise helps strengthen not only muscles but also bones making our bodies stronger while fending off diseases like osteoporosis or osteoarthritis later on in life when they set in.
The 9 Best Leg Exercises
Leg exercises are crucial for building a strong lower body that not only looks great but also helps you stay healthy.
You’ll want to focus on key leg muscles like your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glutes.
Target these muscles with moves such as leg presses, squats, lunges, leg extensions/curls, deadlifts (for hamstrings), calf raises/presses/extensions.
For some added challenge you can try single-leg variations of these moves too!
1. Barbell Squats
Squats are arguably one of, if not THE best leg exercises around.
They work your quads, hamstrings, glutes, core, calves and they are easy to perform.
When it comes to working your legs effectively and efficiently squats win every time! If you want a great leg workout, start with squats.
Squats target all of your major leg muscles—including your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and lower back—as well as your abs.
For instance, doing squats not only requires you to stand up with weight in hand; it also causes you to bend forward at a 90-degree angle.
This will force you into an upright position on your return stroke, which increases stress on those abdominal muscles.
2. Bench Squat
To start simply hold a bar in front of you while on a bench.
From here lower yourself down until your hip joint is below your knee joint, pause for a second then squeeze your glutes as you push back up.
Make sure you keep good form throughout by making sure that your knees don’t cave in or point outwards (which can result in injury).
3. Dumbbell Step Up
Start with holding two dumbbells at arm’s length next to each other with palms facing towards you.
Lift one leg off the ground and step onto an elevated surface with that foot. Next, drive upwards using your stepping leg until both feet are now elevated, and repeat using alternating legs.
Keep alternating stepping legs raising up slightly higher after each rep to change things up a bit.
Be sure to bend both knees keeping them over your ankle and pointing forward throughout.
For added intensity try doing those last few reps where you’re struggling to get back up.
Go slow, be safe but most importantly be consistent and give each set you’re all.
If you find yourself unable to move up in weight slowly increase it over time as long as you continue performing well before any possible injuries occur.
4. Bulgarian Split Squat
This exercise targets your quads, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, core, arms, and shoulders.
Start with a dumbbell in each hand on your left side with feet about three feet apart.
Then lower down into a lunge until your back knee almost touches the floor.
Hold for one second then raise yourself back up.
Switch sides after you complete all reps on one side.
Now that’s leg day done!
The deadlift works muscles including hamstring, quadriceps, adductor magnus, erector spinae, trapezius, rhomboids, middle and upper traps – basically everything especially really big ones like your legs!
So even though you aren’t directly targeting these muscles they still benefit from them indirectly.
Many would say that there’s no better exercise when it comes to building strong leg muscles than deadlifting.
Power cleans are another leg exercises that often gets compared with deadlifts. Find out what here.
6. Romanian Deadlift
This exercise strengthens your hamstrings, glutes, hips, lower back, calves, and core.
Hold a barbell with an overhand grip, shoulder-width apart.
Keeping your knees slightly bent, lift it off the ground by extending at your hips while also keeping your back straight.
Your torso should be parallel to the floor at top of the motion.
Slowly lower weight back down until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. That’s one rep.
Do 10 to 12 reps for one set. Complete three sets total.
7. Leg Press
While it might look intimidating, leg presses actually a simple machine that focuses only on leg strength rather than total body strength.
This will help isolate individual muscles which makes them ideal for someone who wants to focus their efforts and see results specific to certain muscle groups such as your legs rather than build overall strength without focusing on specific areas.
8. Leg Extensions
These machines provide resistance to extension of the quadriceps at a constant pre-determined angle within a range of motion similar to deep squatting.
This helps strengthen and shape muscle fibers which reduces risk factors for developing torn knee ligaments/meniscus, patellar tendinitis/jumper’s knee, anterior cruciate ligament rupture.
9. Calf Raises
Don’t have a loaded barbell?
You can use your own body weight for calf raises.
Stand on one leg, using a wall or chair for balance if necessary.
Push up onto your toes, raising yourself about 6 inches off of the ground.
Hold for two seconds at that height before lowering yourself back down.
Repeat 20 times, three times per day.
Your calves are a bit different from other muscles and need to be worked with higher reps.
Check out this video below where I do 100 Calf raises a day for 30 days!
Have you heard of Zercher squats?
Check out more on this crazy squat variation here!
The 7 Best Shoulder Exercises
Knowing which exercises will best develop your shoulders can be overwhelming.
Although it seems that every person has a unique preference for shoulder workouts, there are some general rules about how you should best exercise your shoulders for maximum development.
First, always warm up before doing any of these exercises by performing 10-15 minutes of cardio on an elliptical machine or treadmill.
Second, try to avoid training your shoulders too frequently (no more than 2 times per week).
Finally, always perform compound exercises first in your workout so that you can use heavier weights with great form while still building muscle.
Compound exercises like bench presses, dumbbell rows, and dips recruit multiple muscle groups at once as opposed to isolation exercises where only one muscle group is targeted at a time.
Here’s a list of the 19 best pressing exercises!
1. Shoulder Press
The shoulder press is a foundational movement for every upper-body workout.
It effectively works your deltoids, triceps, trapezius, biceps, pectorals, forearms, and core.
To complete it properly:
Start with a weight that you can easily press overhead 10 times.
Rest 30 seconds.
Then reduce your weight by about 15 percent so that you can still do at least 8 reps.
Finish your set by completing as many additional reps as possible without dropping the weight.
2. Arnold Press
The Arnold Press is an essential bodybuilding exercise that builds muscle in your shoulders and legs.
While it looks a lot like a shoulder press, there are key differences: namely, it targets your triceps as well as your shoulders.
The Arnold Press works in much of the same way as other shoulder exercises, but with a few key differences.
When you do your regular bench presses or shoulder presses, you’re isolating certain muscles—your deltoids, for example—by pushing or pulling against some sort of resistance.
This type of isolation does have its place in weight training; however, research suggests that compound movements (i.e., those that work multiple muscles at once) are often more effective for building total-body strength and power than single-muscle exercises.
3. Reverse Flies
The key with these is not to use too much weight, or you’ll struggle with form.
Grab a pair of light dumbbells, about 2-4 pounds, in each hand, stand upright with your feet together, knees slightly bent, and your shoulders back. Your arms should be extended down by your sides.
Begin slowly by raising your arms out 90 degrees so that they are parallel to the floor while keeping them stationary at all times as if you were holding up a glass.
Bend over from your waist until your upper arms touch your lower biceps; exhale and then squeeze for two seconds.
Return to starting position and repeat for 10 repetitions.
4. Lateral Raise
Performing lateral raises is a great way to get that extra pop when working out your shoulders.
To do them, grab a pair of dumbbells and stand up straight with your feet together.
Slowly raise your arms over your head until they are parallel with your shoulders.
When you have them there, slowly lower them back down again in an arc motion so that they end up where they started at hip level in front of you.
Complete 3 sets of 15-20 reps per set while resting 90 seconds between each set.
You can also perform these on an incline or decline bench if you have one available, as it targets different muscles than simply doing them from a standing position (inclined) or lying flat on a bench (declined).
5. Front Raise
For a workout that works both your front and side deltoids, try front raises. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold weights in each hand.
Hold your arms at shoulder height with your palms facing forward (like you’re holding two plates).
Now raise them up until they’re in line with your chest.
To make it more challenging, keep a wider grip on those weights or use heavier ones.
And remember: Don’t swing!
Instead, lift them up slowly, pause for a second at the top of your range of motion, then lower down slowly as well.
Shrugs are an effective exercise that targets your traps, which is a large muscle group at the top of your back.
They can be tricky, however, so make sure you follow a few important guidelines when doing them.
Always keep your shoulders pulled down as far as they will go to ensure you’re not wasting energy by trying to shrug up muscles that aren’t supposed to move during shrugs.
Always lift with straight arms so you get an even range of motion throughout your body.
Finally, make sure you keep proper form—not only during full-range reps but also on partial lifts at both ends of each rep.
7. Upright Row
One of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s favorite exercises, upright rows can not only build thickness in your shoulders but also add some beef to your traps.
The exercise is performed by grabbing a barbell with an overhand grip and lifting it directly in front of you.
Then pull upward until your elbows are at ear level.
Be sure not to let any movement come from your lower back as you perform each rep.
Do 12 reps for 3 sets on both sides.
Have you got your FREE copy of my EBook yet? Train wherever the f*ck you want!
The Best 45-minute Leg And Shoulder Workout
For this workout, we’re going to plenty of supersets.
I find this such an effective way to get more done in less time.
To keep it simple do 3 sets of 10 repetitions on every exercise.
Except for your last set, you’ll see why.
But feel free to up the anty the next time you do it.
Add sets, reps of weight each time you go through to workout.
Dumbell Squat and Press (Or Thrusters)
Going through a squat and press motion is a great way to get this workout started.
It’s going to get all your muscles moving that you’re going to need for this workout.
Super Set: Romanian Deadlift – Arnold Press
Going back to back on sets of 10 on these two bad boys are going to get you sweating!
Super Set: Front Raises – Lateral Raises
Now it’s time to really burn your shoulders out before we finish off in style!
Overhead Walking Lunges
Take a dumbbell or kettlebell in one hand and hold it above your head, lock your arm out for safety.
Now walk out lunges from one end of the gym to the other.
Once you get there swap hands and lunge back.
Have a rest and repeat two more times to finish.
There is plenty of evidence to suggest that hitting legs and shoulders on the same day is fine and even a good choice in terms of splits.
And by doing the workout I showed you above it’s very easy to do in under an hour.
Exercise programs should be tailored to your individual goals.
Just like you diet. But did you know if you don’t build the right habits non of it matters.
To find out how I can help you put it all together, book your FREE evaluation call.