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Wellness > Health


The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UVA chapter.

One thing about me is I LOVE a really good leg day. I mean who doesn’t love a juicy pump? I’ve tried so many combinations and exercises throughout my gym journey to get the MOST PERFECT pump! So, whether you’re new to the gym or have been training for years, this guide can be used for a whole range of gym girlies.

I am definitely not a certified trainer, but I do know and have learned a few things in the gym to have an effective leg day. With these exercises, you can split them up into two different split days like I do. I personally do one for glutes and quads and glutes and hamstrings, but you can design it however you’d like!

Before I go into the nitty gritty, all you need is a squat, a hip hinge, and some kind of lounge and then if you feel up to it some kind of accessory movement at the end.

So, to start, I love to begin every leg day with a squat. It targets every part of my legs: my quads, my glutes, my hamstrings, and a bit of my calves. Back squats, sumo squats, and goblet squats are all viable squat movements, it just all depends what you’re comfortable doing!

The next movement is a hip hinge movement. I’ll be the first to preach this to the entire world. DO YOUR HIP THRUSTS. This exercise has been the most helpful exercise to increase muscle mass. Yes, they hurt, but I promise you they are SO worth it. So whether or not you decide to do another hip hinge exercise I list, I’d 100% recommend hip thrusts!

Other than hip thrusts, RDLs and Good Mornings are great hip hinge exercises that mainly target your hamstrings but also glutes if you do them a certain way.

The last type of movement is a lunge. Reverse lunges, Bulgarian Split Squats and Walking Lunges are all good lunge movements that you can try. Most of these will target glutes and quads, which again will depend on how you position yourself.

I also mentioned you could add accessory exercises at the end of your leg day which can act as a finisher or just target a specific muscle group to enhance your pump a bit. My favorite to target your glutes are back extensions. These help get you to that shelf look. Another one you could do are cable kickbacks which also target your glutes for that shelf look. Another one I’ll add are quad extensions and hamstring curls which you can probably guess target quads and hamstrings. These are all great exercises to target specific muscle groups and all except back extensions are typically done on machines which make it easier!

Nya Mason is on the writing and social media team at the Virginia Chapter. This is her first semester with HerCampus. She's also from Northern Virginia. Beyond Her Campus, Nya is involved with a national mentoring program called College Mentors for Kids and the Active Minds club. She is currently a first year at the University of Virginia with an intended pre-law major. In her free time, Nya loves to go to the gym, go on walks, get coffee, grab food, and watch movies with her friends. She also loves to read all different types of books. Nya also loves to binge watch her favorite shows like Grey's Anatomy, Friends, New Girl, and Suits.