Training Frequency and Muscular LegsFirst and foremost let us have a laugh at all the typical "leg-day" and "post leg-day" memes that are still going around. We do not laugh at them because we can relate, but because we can't.
Getting muscle soreness after having trained legs is a sign that you are undertrained, not that you had a particularly good session. What usually happens when someone new to the gym attempts a proper leg session is that their bodies are so unused to stimulating the muscles in their legs that they get a great backlash from the body in the form of muscle soreness.
However, if you train legs regularly this will soon cease to be a problem.
With this said you should train legs at least twice a week. If they are a lagging bodypart, which is the case for a lot of people, you could try training them three times a week.
Training legs once a week is sub-optimal and should be avoided. Forget outdated bro-splits where you train one muscle at a time, only once a week. That might be viable if you have top tier genetics or top tier drugs. For regular people you need to optimize your training!
Disregard foolish notions of "hitting the legs in the right angle" or "getting that special contact." You have to get stronger; there is no secret.
Improve Your Selection of Leg ExercisesWhat is the best exercise to build legs? This is a rather straight forward question and answer:
Squats, plain and simple.
Just regular good old squats. One of the best overall bodybuilding and strength exercises, it also contributes to your muscular development in the core region in addition to putting heavy pressure on the legs.
Related: How To Squat Frequently To A Daily Max
Quality is better than quantity. These are words to live by, and how you should approach your leg training. Disregard other inferior exercises that take time away from the squats.
When your goal is to gain hypertrophy in the legs, your full focus must be on the squats. With this said, you can still include complementary exercises, such as Romanian deadlifts for the hamstrings and some sort of ab work to further stabilize your core (which is always good to do).
If you are unable to squat you should first of all make sure you actually are completely unable to squat. Not being able to squat will not be beneficial to your overall gains. However, sometimes you have to work with what you've got. If you are unable to squat you should let the leg press stand for the heavy work and try to progressively overload there.
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Get Strong to Get BigAs with any muscle group you need to progress in order to grow. If you do not get progressively stronger your muscles will have zero incentive to grow.
Related: Progressive Overload: The Fuel That Drives Muscle Gains
Disregard foolish notions of "hitting the legs in the right angle" or "getting that special contact." You have to get stronger; there is no secret, that is really all that matters. So find a schedule which has a set plan of progression in the squats and the stronger you get the bigger your legs will get.
Squat Form and TechniqueExplaining how to nail the perfect squat technique can be difficult to do in just words. However, a key thing to remember when looking to get big legs; respect the depth. Go below parallel. That way you will get more out of each repetition.
Furthermore, should you be interested in powerlifting later on you already know how to perform a squat that will not get red lighted due to not being deep enough!
Going as far down as possible will get you a longer range of motion which will stimulate more muscles. This equals more growth.
So with this said, make sure to keep your form sound even when looking to continuously add weight and get stronger.
Leg Training Equipment
In the beginning you should have as little equipment as possible. This will help prevent the development of weak points. Eventually, however, you could probably benefit from having a belt to stabilise the core as you progress with the weights.
Even though the squat is a great overall body exercise, its primary focus is still to grow the legs. So if (or when) the strength in the legs are developing at a good rate and your core becomes a bottleneck, you could utilize a belt (a belt is also a good way to avoid injuries). However, still perform complementary core exercises in order to not neglect the core just because you rely on a belt for stability in that region.
Knee wraps should be avoided until you really need them. They will grant you extra strength, especially in the bottom of the movement so make sure that they are something you really need (due to bad knees) and not just there in order to improve your squat number. Don't get me wrong, you should have as heavy a squat as possible, but be mindful that you don't overuse them.
The same reasoning goes for knee sleeves or warmers. These are a better option (in my opinion) since they stabilize the knees but do not contribute as much to the strength as knee wraps.