Chicken Legs Workout: Wear Shorts With Confidence

By Ire | Workout

Nov 11

CHICKEN LEGS WORKOUT
Let’s talk about “leg day”. Just saying that phrases starts rushing chewed food up people’s throat. Brutal repetitions, exhaustion, nausea and soreness leave you no choice but to buy yourself a wheelchair, so you can roll out once you are done. Some love it, some hate it, no matter what, it must be done. Because, you know you look stupid walking around in these:

Long basketball shorts for hardgainers without any leg mass (with chicken legs)

There are billions of leg workouts out there. But you never know which one to follow? Through my “hardgainer workouts”, I show people how to design their own workouts. I explain the ideas and structure on how to make your own workout. That way you can always adjust/change exercises based on your personal needs while still knowing that you are doing all the right things.

Chicken Legs Workout is no different! Too many leg workouts are strictly only based on quad-dominant, double legged, sagittal plane exercises only. In this article, I go through a structure that targets different muscle groups, working in both sagittal (forward, backwards) plane, as well as frontal (sideways). What is more, single leg training will for once not be ignored!

Human anatomy Koerperebenen

We will go through five muscle groups: Quadriceps, Hamstring, Adductors, Abductors and Calves. Each muscle group will have explained anatomy as well as different exercises on how to target it. If you do not want any of that, and are just looking for a leg workout, skip down to an actual “Chicken legs workout example”.

chicken legs workout. Bearded guy squatting with a shirt saying lift heavier

EVERY CHICKEN LEGS WORKOUT SHOULD INCLUDE:

1. ISOLATION:

Key to muscle hypertrophy is to break as much muscle fibers as possible during the workout. More muscle fibers that gets damages, more muscle fiber can be repaired (eat your proteins). Those new muscle fibers increase in thickness and number, which means bigger muscle. We do this by performing high repetitions with increasing time under tension.

Time under tension should be increased doing full range of motion and by performing eccentric part of the movement slowly.  That is why key to every Chicken legs workout is to isolate a muscle group and perform the set until you really feel the burn. Functional movements like squat and deadlift are great, however they will drain your energy since they work so much more than just the legs. Only performing those movements will leave you feeling extremely fatigued quickly, even though your legs might have more to give. That is why we do isolation; to target only that specific muscle group in order to make it grow.

2. FUNCTIONALITY:

I assume nobody wants to turn into a big goofy meat head that moves like a robot. Functional movements move more joints at the same time. Squat moves your ankle, knee and hip joint while performing it. Due to that reason, so many more muscles are required to activate in order to do the movement. With that, we are killing more birds with one stone. We are training more muscles at the same time as well as working on enhancing communication between different muscle groups.

girl squatting on a box, with a shirt saying full power

CHICKEN LEGS WORKOUT STRUCTURE:

1. For a perfect chicken legs workout, we will focus on each group separately.
2. Within every group, we start with a functional movement and end with an isolation movement.
3. In a complete workout, we include 1-3 single legged movement
4. It does not matter which group you start with, just make sure to do calves last

REPETITION GUIDE:

For maximizing hypertrophy, we want to work in a range somewhere between 3-5 sets per exercise and 8-12 repetition. Adjust the weights accordingly, so that 12th repetition will really look like you cannot do 13th.

SUGGESTED TOTAL REPS PER MUSCLE GROUP PER WEEK:
Quadriceps: 60-100
Hamstring: 60-100
Adductors: 30-50
Abductors: 30-50
Calves: 30-50

TOTAL REPETITONS PER LEG WORKOUT (per week): 210 – 350

QUADRICEPS

Big muscles in the front of your leg. Usually the only one’s people think about when training legs, since they give your legs more defined look. Due to its name, we know that quadriceps consist of four muscles. They all insert just below the knee, which means they are all responsible for extending the knee. They are also responsible for hip flexion (hip flexes when we lift the knees up).

Quadriceps

EXERCISES:

1. FUNCTIONAL
High bar squat
Barbell step ups (single legged)
Bulgarian split squat (single legged)
-Front Squat

2. ISOLATION
Leg extension
Narrow stance leg press

HAMSTRING:

Muscles on the back of your leg, just opposite of hamstring. It consists of three muscles. Hamstring muscle group is most likely to get injured, mostly due to muscular imbalance in between quadriceps and hamstring. Hamstring muscle act in the opposite way as quadriceps. They help with knee flexion and hip extension.

Gray434

EXERCISES:

1. FUNCTIONAL
Stiffed legged deadlift
Low bar Squat
Deadlift
Good morning

2. ISOLATION
Leg curls
Standing Cable Leg Curls

ADDUCTORS:

Usually not given any attention, since people usually only think of training in a sagittal plane. Adductor is a group of five muscles that lie on the inner side of your leg and contribute to movements when you are pulling your leg toward your body (sideways).

Anterior Hip Muscles 2

EXERCISES:

1. FUNCTIONAL
Side lunges (one legged)
Side step ups (one legged)

2. ISOLATION
Adductor machine
Cable hip adduction 

ABDUCTORS:

bodies showing what abduction, adduction, flexion and extension of the hip means


Just like adductors, they often get ignored. Abductors is a group of six muscles that lie on the side of your leg. They assist the movement when we are pushing our leg to the side of our body.

Muscles of hip abduction. Glute maximus, Glute medius, Biceps Femoris, Sartorius, Rectus Femoris, Vastus Lateralis

EXERCISES:

1. FUNCTIONAL
Monster walks
Hip Thruster

2. ISOLATION
Abductor machine
Cable hip abduction

CALVES:

Let’s unsubscribe from “team no-calves” by applying some of the following concepts.
Calves are forearms of the leg. Just like forearms, many people think they do not need any extra work, since they should be assisting most of the other lifts anyway. Partly true, however if we want to build as big legs as possible, we don’t want to skip this part. Due to calf’s functionality, location and size we divided calf’s workout into something that targets both heads separately.

It is a muscle group that consists of two muscles: gastrocnemius and soleus. They are responsible for plantar flexion (bringing the foot down). Gastrocnemius works when performing plantar flexion with straight knee, while soleus requires knees to be bent.

Calves muscle anatomy. Soleus and gastrocnemius location

EXERCISES:

1. GASTROCONEMIUS EXERCISE:
-Calves raises (toes straight, toes in, toes out)

2. SOLEUS EXERCISE:
Calves plantar flexion with toes hooked to the bench
Calves sitting raises

CHICKEN LEGS WORKOUT EXAMPLE:

Workout below is designed for once a week purpose only. Feel free to lower the total number of repetitions, if you decide to work your legs more than once weekly.

QUADRICEPS:
1. Functional:
High bar squat 4×8
2. Isolated:
Leg extension 5×12

HAMSTRING:
1. Functional:
Stiffed legged deadlift 4×8
2. Isolated:
Leg curls 5×12

ADDUCTORS:
1. Functional:
Size step ups 2×8 (each side)
2. Isolated:
Adductor machine 3×10

ABDUCTORS:
1. Functional:
Hip Thruster 2×8
2. Isolated:
Abductor machine 3×10

CALVES:
1. Gastro:
Calves Raises (1x toes in, 1x toes out, 1x toes straight) 3×10
2. Soleus:
Calves plantar flexion with toes hooked to the bench 2×8

PLATOUE

There is a reason why I do not give you a strict workout and tell you: ”Here you have it, this is the best workout ever. Follow it for the rest of your life!” We all know that doing the same workout repeatedly will only work for so long. We stop getting stronger and our legs will stop growing. At that very point is where people always get stuck. That results in losing the momentum, that fire in our body that makes us excited to go to the gym. In worse case, not having workout structure will lead toward stopping the whole “gym thing” all together.

If doing the same thing repeatedly is not working, what do we do? WE CHANGE. We change everything we can, as long as we are still following the structure rules (discussed above). That is done correctly by knowing with what you are substituting the exercise and why. Having a set structure will answer both of those questions and enable us to train through platoues.

Girl deadlifting with a shirt saying stronger than ordinary

CONCLUSION: LEG WORKOUT

Here you have it folks. Chicken legs workout is structured in a way that targets every single muscle group. It focuses both on functionality and size. It doesn’t get much better than this when it comes to leg training. Make sure you understood all the principles and apply it them to your next workout.

Remember that workouts need to be combined with proper nutrition in order to “escape hardgainer’s hell”. See you at the next article. Until then, remember to LIFT,EAT, SLEEP, REPEAT!

About the Author

Hey, my name is Ire.I am a Personal Trainer/ Strength Coach based in Stockholm, Sweden.When you don't find me in the gym, I will most likely be on a Track and Field stadium throwing around a discus.

  • […] Chicken Legs Workout: MuscleBulker Edition […]

  • You have brought up a very excellent points, appreciate it for the post.

  • […] Chicken Legs Workout: Wear Shorts With Confidence […]

  • […] Chicken Legs Workout: Wear Shorts With Confidence […]

  • >