I love leg day. Like extra, super love. Well of course until my legs are shaking and feel like jello but hey it’s worth it. I love training legs for a few reasons: 1) I’m stronger in my lower body so I feel more powerful 2) I think leg exercises are more fun than upper body stuff, and 3) I can create lots of compound movements and supersets to get my heart rate and sweating UP so that I have an amazing workout.
When training for volleyball, i don’t get to do specific leg day focused lifts because our lifts are full-body 3 times a week with movements meant for volleyball players. But this past week, we had a rest week so I got to create my own leg day routine and kill it! It was seriously so great that I wanted to share it with you! Feel free to modify as needed.
I did warm-up exercises with a band: side-step walk, donkey kicks, fire hydrants, and glute bridges. Also, did 2 x 4 each leg single leg bench squats to warm-up.
1. Squats (5 sets; 8, 6, 4, 2, 1)
I always start with squats when I can because it is such a big movement that I don’t want my legs to be tired from other stuff before doing this otherwise I won’t be able to do my best or get the most out of it. The sets and number of reps can be however much you want, I just decided to work up to do a 1 rep “max” as close to my actual max as possible (since I didn’t have any spot). I did a set of 8 at 105, 6 at 125, 4 at 135, 2 at 155, and 1 at 165 (max = 170).
2. Dumbbell RDL (4 x 10) SS with curtsy lunges (4 x 8 each)
Next up was dumbbell Romanian deadlifts (RDLs) supersetted (SS) with curtsy lunges on each leg. I used 25 pound dumbbells for the RDLs and then after finishing my 10, go straight into curtsy lunges (without dumbbells) on each leg. Then rest and repeat for 3 more sets. Not gonna lie, my legs almost gave out here, but the booty burn and work is GOOD!
3. Barbell Bulgarian Split Squats (3 x 6 each) SS with Banded Hip-Thrusts (3 x 8)
I used a 50 pound barbell for both. Using a box (I prefer using a bench, but all the ones at the gym were taken so I had to make-do), step one foot and back and do 6 split squats on one leg, then switch to the other. Next, go straight into banded hip-thrusts (can do w/o band too) laying on the box and really squeezing at the top. Repeat for 2 more sets and I promise you, your legs and butt will feel it!
I didn’t do a bunch of exercises; however, I really focused on targeting certain muscles, squeezing and really working it when I was doing each exercise. That’s also why I superset a lot of exercises because it allows for minimal rest, which means higher heart rate and a better workout for me. And that night and the next day, my hamstrings and booty were so sore so I promise you, keeping it simple with just a few exercises can really work.