Building muscle mass on your legs and shoulders involves intense workouts with heavy weights. You’ll mainly find yourself performing compound exercises such as barbell squats and overhead presses. Don't be tempted to work out too frequently in your quest to gain muscle mass. Leave a minimum of one rest day between workouts.
Start your muscle mass routine with a warm up to reduce risk of injury and help your muscles work more efficiently. Do a gentle run for up to 15 minutes on a treadmill to elevate your breathing rate and core temperature. Complete dynamic stretches such as side bends, hip circles and shoulder circles to loosen up your lower back, hips and shoulders. Start each weightlifting exercise with a light warm-up set of 10 to 12 reps.
Barbell Squats for Big Legs
Barbell squats are sometimes deemed the king of all exercises due to their ability to make you stronger and develop all your lower body muscles. Squats primarily work your quadriceps, with a secondary effect on your glutes, hamstrings and calves. To gain muscle mass on your legs, do three sets of six to 10 reps of barbell squats. Work with a heavy weight that makes you work hard to complete the last two reps. Ensure you go through a full range of motion by squatting deep enough to get your thighs slightly below parallel on the downward phase of the movement.
Calves and Hamstrings Matter, Too
For balanced muscular development, you also need to develop your hamstrings and calves. Focus on your hamstrings with three sets of sitting or lying leg curls. Work with a heavy weight for six to 10 reps. Isolate your quadriceps with leg extensions. For a super-intense leg workout, pre-exhaust your quadriceps with three sets of leg extensions for eight to 12 reps before doing squats or leg presses. Hit your calves with three sets of eight to 12 reps of standing or sitting calf raises.
Hoist That Barbell
Perform a variation of the barbell clean and press as your primary shoulder exercise. Adopt the deadlift position by hinging forward at the hips, bending your knees and gripping a barbell on the floor in front of your legs. With a straight back, straighten up and lift the barbell in a continuous flowing movement, first to the front of your thighs, then to the front of your shoulders by bending your elbows. Then press the barbell overhead. The first phase of the movement -- the clean -- engages your legs and trapezius, and the second phase -- the press -- engages your anterior and medial deltoids. Complete three sets of six to 10 reps. Lift a heavy weight that ensures the last two reps are hard work.
Dumbbells for Big Shoulders
Seated dumbbell shoulder presses allow you to work your shoulders unilaterally and avoid any possible strength imbalances. With the backrest of a bench set at 90 degrees, brace your back firmly and press the dumbbells above your head. Keep your elbows slightly bent at the top of the movement to maintain the pressure on your deltoids. Lift a heavy weight for six to 10 reps. Do three sets.
Work Your Rear Deltoids
Don't ignore your rear deltoids in your quest for muscular shoulders. Hit them with dumbbell rear lateral raises. To do the exercise, grasp a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet approximately hip-width apart. Bend your knees slightly, hinge forward at the hips, leaning forward until your upper body is roughly parallel to the floor. Hold the dumbbells hanging straight down on each side of your body. With slightly bent elbows and palms facing inward, raise your arms sideways until your elbows are in line with your shoulders.
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