Leg Workouts: Why Men Over 40 Should Never Skip Leg Day

Written by: Stuart Carter,

Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1
C.O.O., The Fit Father Project

Written by: Stuart Carter,

Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1
C.O.O., The Fit Father Project

Leg Workouts

The legs are often overlooked, but they're an essential part of any workout. With our leg workouts for men, you'll never skip leg day again!

In this article, we're going to walk you through some of the most efficient leg workouts for men. But we will also attempt to encourage you to work your legs more often!

The leg muscles are among the largest muscles in the body. Their size and strength are important for a variety of reasons, which is why it's so unfortunate they're so overlooked.

Believe it or not, leg workouts are one of your most powerful tools. A regular leg routine is one of the best things you can do to gain strength, burn more calories, and improve your fitness.

Keep reading to get started with some amazing leg workouts for men!

Got bad knees? Try these leg workouts!

Why Leg Workouts For Men Are So Important

If strong, sculpted legs are on your wish list, it's time to learn the most efficient leg workouts for men. But here's the kicker — leg workouts offer much more than strong legs.

Did you know that leg workouts play a crucial role in maintaining your nervous system? Research has revealed that the signals sent from your leg muscles to your brain are just as important as the signals your brain sends to your muscles, and reduced leg muscle mass can negatively impact your nervous system.

But wait, there's more! Leg workouts strengthen your legs, supercharge your core, and improve balance. Every leg strengthening exercise requires balancing and supporting your weight, making your core muscles work harder. This means you'll build leg muscle and enhance your overall stability.

Want to avoid embarrassing falls? Leg workouts are your secret weapon.

Think leg exercises can't get your heart pumping? Think again. Leg workouts count as cardio exercises, as your blood has to be pumped faster to your extremities. Burn calories and get your heart pumping with every leg exercise!

Your leg muscles are the largest muscle group in your entire body. So, when you engage in compound leg exercises that target multiple leg muscles, you're blasting calories like a pro. These workouts burn loads of calories during your sweat sessions and continue burning calories at rest. That's right — even when you're chilling on the couch, your leg muscles are working hard, torching those calories away. Talk about a win-win situation for your weight loss goals!

Are you suffering from lower back pain? No worries, leg workouts have got your back, literally. Leg exercises can reduce lower back pain and prevent injuries when done correctly. By strengthening your hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, and glutes, you'll enhance the support for your back and reduce the risk of injury. Finally, some relief for your achy back!

But hey, let's not forget the aesthetic benefits of leg workouts. Sculpted, well-defined legs catch the eye and boost your self-confidence. When you feel great about your appearance, amazing things start happening. You'll tackle challenges with newfound confidence, accomplishing things that once felt impossible. Your life will transform, all because you believe in yourself. That's the power of proper leg workouts for men!

Now, let's talk strategy. To optimize fat burning and muscle building, it's all about finding the right resistance level.

  • For fat burning, go for low resistance with high reps (think bodyweight exercises for 15-20 reps). This will rev up your metabolism and trigger your body to burn that extra fat.
  • For building muscle, choose high resistance with low reps (dumbbells for 6-8 reps). This intense approach pushes your muscles to their limits, encouraging growth and strength.
  • To achieve the best of both worlds, mix it up! Alternate between compound leg exercises on different days to build lean muscle while torching fat.

Are you ready to unleash the power of leg workouts? Get ready to crush your goals and transform your physique. It's time to rock those leg exercises and unlock a life of strength, confidence, and undeniable appeal!

best exercise for men 40+

What Are The 5 Best Muscle Building Exercises For Men 40+?

best exercise for men 40+
The secret to building age-defying muscle in your in 40s, 50s, & 60s is to modify the best muscle building exercises (bench, squats, rows) to make them safe on your joints…

Leg Workouts That Really Work!

They say talk is cheap. You’ve seen the benefits, but what you need is some exercises to get you started. Check out the following leg workouts for men and try the routines. It will quickly make a difference in your strength, stamina, and self-confidence!

The Wall Sit

  • Stand approximately 1-2 feet from the wall, then slowly lower yourself into a seating position as though sitting on a chair.
  • Your hands should remain by your side during this, and your back should rest against the wall.
  • If it doesn't re-position your starting position, try again.
  • Your legs should be bent at 90° with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Hold for a count of 5, return to the starting position, and then repeat.


  • Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart, and slowly lower yourself down by bending at the knees.
  • You need to keep your back straight but at a 35°-45° angle forward; if you don’t, you’ll fall backward.
  • Hold for a count of 5 and then repeat.
  • To make these more challenging, add some dumbbells.
  • Dumbbells are better than barbells, as you’ll need to maintain balance, forcing you to engage your core.

Dumbbell Lunge

  • Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Move one leg forward, bending it 90° at the knee so your thigh is parallel with the floor.
  • Your other leg goes behind you, bent with the knee nearly touching the floor.
  • Hold for 2 seconds and then return to the starting position before repeating with the other leg; that’s one rep.
  • You should use the dumbbell that fits your goals: lighter for fat burning and heavier for muscle building.


  • The deadlift is a fantastic exercise that works nearly all the muscles in your body; the key is to get your form right.
  • Place your barbell in front of your feet and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend your knees, keeping your back straight but angled forward.
  • Grip the bar firmly; for safety, you should grip one hand facing inwards and the other with the palm outwards.
  • Lift, pushing up through your legs until you are standing straight.
  • Your arms remain straight, and the barbell will be approximately waist height.
  • Hold for a moment, then lower back to the floor.

Calf Raises

  • Stand on a step or the bottom stair in your house.
  • The rear half of your foot should be off the stairs.
  • Slowly push yourself upwards onto tiptoes and then back down.
  • You may need to hold on to balance when you first do this.
  • If you wish, you can go lower than your starting position and return to the start point.

Goblet Squat

  • This is very similar to the standard squat.
  • Your feet start wider apart than a standard squat, and you’ll need a kettlebell or dumbbell, which is held just below your head, in front of your chest, with both hands.
  • Lower yourself down as you would a normal squat.
  • Your elbows can briefly rest on your knees before you drive back up to the starting position.

Reverse Lunge

  • This is very similar to the dumbbell lunge previously described.
  • However, instead of driving your leg forward, you drive it backward, creating a 90° bend at the knee.
  • The difference is that both legs will be at a 90-degree angle.
  • Drive back through your front leg to bring yourself back into the starting position.
  • The real benefit is that you’re less likely to go too far and overbalance, and you’re more closely mimicking daily activities, like walking and running.

Donkey Calf Raises

This is a step up from the standard calf raise. You’ll definitely feel the burn with this exercise. You can do donkey raises one of two ways:

  • Get a volunteer to sit on your back, or
  • Strap a weight to your waist with a belt so that the weight hangs below your stomach.

The first option is preferable if you have a willing partner. If not, you’ll be stuck with number two. You’ll need to stand on a step and complete the moves described in calf raises. The real difference is the extra weight. It doesn’t matter how good you are at standing calf raises; you’ll feel the burn.


  • It’s best to do this with a cable machine in the gym or a resistance band.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and something for your hands to rest on.
  • Then attach the resistance band to one foot; the other end should be secured in front of you with no slack.
  • Slowly lift your leg, so it is straight behind you; you’ll be fighting the resistance band to get it there.
  • Hold for a count of 2 and then return to the floor.
  • You can swap legs straight away or do your reps with one leg and then the other.

Glute Ham Raise

  • This one will test your limits, but you’ll need a friend to help.
  • You'll also need a bench in which you can lie flat, with your feet tucked into place, preventing them from moving as you exercise.
  • If you don’t have a footplate, your friend will need to hold your feet in position.
  • It’s worth noting that the more room you have between your knees and the footpad, the easier this exercise will be.
  • Now squeeze your glutes, hamstrings, and abs, forcing your body to bend at the waist and move into an upright position. It’s hard but worth it.

Choose the Right Workouts for Your Goals

The exact workout you choose will depend on what you are trying to achieve.

Here are some ideas to help you choose the right routine:

Hamstring Emphasis

  • Squats – 3 sets of 8-10 reps with maximum weight possible
  • Deadlifts – 4 sets of 8 reps with a 1-minute break between sets
  • Glute Ham Raise – 3 sets of 8-10 reps or until failure

Target Your Glutes

  • Dumbell squat – 4 sets of 8-10 reps with maximum weight possible
  • Reverse Lunge – 3 sets of 10-12 reps without rest
  • Kickback – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Deadlift – 4 of 8-10 reps; the last rep should be nearly impossible for you

Starting Out Workout

  • Goblet squat – 4 sets of 10-12 reps with 1-minute rest between sets
  • Calf Raises – 3 sets of 15 reps with a 60-second rest between sets
  • Wall Sit – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Donkey Calf Raises – 2 sets of 8-10 reps

Stuart Carter, Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1
C.O.O., The Fit Father Project

Stuart gained his Diploma in Personal Training & Sports Medicine through Premier Global, back in 2001. In 2018, he completed his Level 1 Precision Nutrition qualification.

Throughout his career in Fitness, Stuart has trained hundreds of clients, worked in almost every position in the industry, and ran his own successful training studio.

After a hiatus away from the Fitness industry, working in Corporate Management and Finance, Stuart returned to what he loves… Fitness! This return led to a chance meeting with Dr. Balduzzi, and a place in the Fit Father Project team.

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*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on leg workouts for men.

Written by: Stuart Carter,

Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1
C.O.O., The Fit Father Project

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