MUTANT athlete Mark Sandor continues his grueling leg day with tips in his part II workout video.
Have you checked out part I of Mark Sandor’s intense leg workout? This advice-packed video is designed to help you build up your leg muscles and eliminate leg day dread! In this article, you’ll witness the brutal way this MUTANT athlete pumps blood to his legs and discover personal tips – including Bulgarian split squat hacks – to get the legs to grow in part II of his leg workout rendition. Check it out below:
@mutantnation Leg day just got a whole lot more intense! 🔥🏋️♀️With classic exercises and Mark’s pro tips, you’re taking things up a notch. And don’t forget those calves – we’re going for a complete leg transformation here! 😜 #legday #legworkout #gymtok #fittok ♬ original sound – MUTANT Nation – Supplements ☣️
When training your leg muscles, it’s essential to vary your exercises. This stops your legs from becoming accustomed to your routines and hitting a plateau. So even if you already have a trusted regimen, change it up sometimes and add a few different ones from the examples here to change your intensity.
As a general rule, however, squats, lunges, and leg curls should be a part of your leg day routine to hit all muscles of the legs. Squats help you enhance your leg strength, lunges work on your balance and stability, and curls build the back leg muscles, which are sometimes forgotten.
In this post, we look at a MUTANT athlete tackling some trusted leg exercises for leg day. According to Sandor, “If you want to build some tree trunk legs that shake the floor when you walk, do this workout right here.” See what workouts he’s talking about and why they work below.
MUTANT Athlete Mark Sandor’s Leg Workout
|Bulgarian Split Squats||3||12-15|
|Laying Down Hamstring Curls||3||8-10|
|Seated Hamstring Curls||3||10-12|
|Quad Extension Machine||3||10-12|
|Narrow Stance Leg Press||3||15-20|
MUTANT Athlete Mark Sandor Does Hack Squats
The hack squat is a total lower-body exercise to help you build leg strength. You do this exercise on an angled machine, driving the weight with your legs. There’s no quad builder that comes close, and the front of your legs will certainly feel this after.
Hack squats are a great way to begin your squat journey as it strengthens your legs. You’ll be better able to focus on the stabilization needed for free weight squat versions if your legs can carry weight already via a machine. You can also lift more when using a hack squat machine, and using more weight leads to better muscle growth and hypertrophy.
Doing a hack squat is a great way to work on your glutes, hamstrings, calves, and quads. The MUTANT athlete says, “One of the best exercises for starting off a leg day.” He does three sets for this movement and about 10-12 reps for each set.
Bulgarian Split Squats
Bulgarian split squats work on your glutes, hamstrings, calves, and quads. However, as a single-leg exercise, these squats activate your core as you use them for balance. In addition, Bulgarian squats remove the back from the equation and are great for avoiding back injury.
Although you can use just your bodyweight, recommended as a beginner, you can increase hypertrophy by using weights when doing them.
“If you hold the dumbbell like me, it’ll really hit the outer sweep of your quads.”
Lying Hamstring Curls
As the name suggests, the lying hamstring curl is an isolation exercise that targets your hamstrings. It’s a vital movement to add to balance your anterior and posterior leg muscles. Research shows this exercise works your lower hamstring muscles better than a Romanian deadlift (1). Although the main focus of this routine is your hamstrings, you can also use it to work your calves.
“Not doing a full range of motion to make sure we bring our calves into it.”
Seated Hamstrings Curls
While the seated hamstring curl is a shorter and easier way to build your hamstrings, don’t discount this exercise just yet. The seated leg curl places your hamstring muscles in a more lengthened position which could lead to more significant gains. In addition, this study says that although both exercises work on your hamstrings, muscle hypertrophy in the hamstrings was greater after the seated hamstring curl (2).
Seated hamstring curls are done in a seated position, and it’s important to brace your core and move slowly. Adding too much weight when doing them results in using momentum to swing, which is less effective.
Quad Extension Machine
Quad extensions are done with a lever machine and target the front thigh. Again, it’s a great exercise to build lower body strength and increase muscle definition in the legs. But, again, you want to avoid going too fast, so you don’t use momentum instead of your muscles.
When doing quad extensions, entirely contracting your quads at the top of the movement will give them a good growth. The MUTANT athlete confirms, “Really controlling the weight and make sure we get a good contraction every single rep.”
Narrow Stance Leg Press
This machine compound movement targets your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. However, the leg press primarily focuses on your quadriceps, and you can change your foot positioning to hit different muscles. This study shows that high, low, wide, and narrow leg placements during the leg press give different outcomes (3).
The narrow stance leg press places the focus on the quads. When doing the narrow stance leg press, it’s essential to keep your toes pointing up and not flaring out. The MUTANT athlete does three sets of about 15-20 reps to fatigue the leg muscles fully.
Calf raises are the finishing touch in this workout. This exercise is terrific at activating the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles of the calf. It’s another routine where modifying your leg position works. Calf raises are even better when done on a raised step because it gives you a full range of motion to contract the calves more.
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- Schoenfeld, B. J., Contreras, B., Tiryaki-Sonmez, G., Wilson, J. M., Kolber, M. J., & Peterson, M. D. (2015). Regional differences in muscle activation during hamstrings exercise. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 29(1), 159–164. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000000598
- Maeo, S., Huang, M., Wu, Y., Sakurai, H., Kusagawa, Y., Sugiyama, T., Kanehisa, H., & Isaka, T. (2021). Greater Hamstrings Muscle Hypertrophy but Similar Damage Protection after Training at Long versus Short Muscle Lengths. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 53(4), 825–837. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000002523
- Escamilla, R. F., Fleisig, G. S., Zheng, N., Lander, J. E., Barrentine, S. W., Andrews, J. R., Bergemann, B. W., & Moorman, C. T., 3rd (2001). Effects of technique variations on knee biomechanics during the squat and leg press. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 33(9), 1552–1566. https://doi.org/10.1097/00005768-200109000-00020