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How To Get Powerful Thighs

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I have a confession to make. I am a thigh man. In a workout sense, that is. Which, in the world of fitness, makes me a bit of a deviant because us thigh men are in the minority. There are plenty of chest men around and even more biceps men, but not many thigh men.
 
You can spot a thigh man in your gym pretty easily. He'll be wearing shorts and he'll never stray very far from the squat rack. The shorts are worn to make sure that his movement isn't restricted during his leg workouts, rather than to show off his quad muscles. If he was into showing off his muscles, he wouldn't be a thigh man – thigh men leave that to the chest men, the biceps men and occasionally the traps men, who like the way their singlets hang over their shoulders.
 
The reason the thigh man is always near the squat rack is because squatting exercises are the foundation of his workouts. As well as building lower-body power, they're also increase upper-body power, because they recruit a huge amount of muscles, which floods your body with growth hormones. They also give you functional strength because they're similar to the kinds of movements you make in everyday life. And if you play sport you have to squat, because it teaches your body to generate power while coordinating and stabilising several joints.
 
The squat rack is always near the free weights area, so when the thigh man isn't squatting he's doing moves that give him useful strength. If you'd like to be more of a thigh man, try the following workout.

Front squat

Sets 3  Reps 10

  • Rest the bar on the front of your shoulders.
  • Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor and keep your elbows as high as you can. 
  • Push back up through your heels.

One-leg barbell deadlift

Sets 2  Reps 10 each side

  • Stand on one leg and hold a barbell so it's resting on the front of your thighs.
  • Lean forward at the hips to send the bar down your legs.

Side lunge touch to row

Sets 2  Reps 10 each side

Side lunge touch to row

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  • Lunge to one side, then bend at the hips and touch the dumbbells to your leading leg.
  • Row the dumbbells up to your chest.

Side lunge touch to row

(Image credit: unknown)

More lower-body strength workouts

  • Schedule a WFH day tomorrow, because you might not feel like walking after this 500 rep dumbbell legs workout
  • Test your legs, glutes and core with this six-move leg day workout that will strengthen your lower body
  • This nine-move glute and leg workout can be done anywhere

Jon Lipsey worked for Men’s Fitness UK, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Jon was deputy editor and editor from 2007 to 2013. He returned as editor-in-chief from 2016 to 2019. He also co-founded IronLife Media (opens in new tab) and the New Body Plan (opens in new tab)