10 Best Leg & Shoulder Workout Exercises You Must Know

Good things happen to people who sweat for it. Physical activity is very important for everyone regardless of age, gender, BMI, profession, or lifestyle. Tailoring exercises according to individual needs is the requirement of the new era. Both isolation and compound leg and shoulder workout exercises can benefit people.1

An appropriate warm-up phase is very essential. Exercising certain muscle groups like leg and shoulder workouts on the same day can be beneficial as big muscle groups help you burn more calories and build muscle mass.

Usually, the leg and shoulder workout exercises are done on different days. Shoulder muscles and leg muscles are big muscle groups. Hence, leg and shoulder workouts can be done on the same day as they both have larger muscle groups, which can be very beneficial in maintaining an individual’s overall health.

Usually, the upper-body and lower-body workouts are done on different days. Leg and shoulder workout together saves you time and increases your work capacity. Performing both shoulder and leg workouts simultaneously are compound exercises. The combination of both leg and shoulder workout exercises yields more results.

Let’s now dive into briefly knowing about isolation movements and compound movements.

1. Leg Exercises

Leg exercises are extremely beneficial as individualized, but a combination of both leg and shoulder workout exercises gives you better results if compared.

1.1. Leg Presses

This leg exercise specifically isolates legs. Leg press primarily works on the quadriceps but also on your hamstrings.

It helps in establishing greater muscle strength 2which further improves squat strength.

Your body should be in a specific position when using a leg press machine. Place your head and back against the padded support as you comfortably sit on the machine. Make sure your heels are flat and place your feet on the footplate about hip-width apart.

Instead of lifting your bottom, it should be flat against the seat. At the knees, your legs should form a roughly 90-degree angle.

Your glutes will be put under strain if your feet are on the plate too high; if they are placed too low, your knees will be subjected to needless stress. Your knees shouldn’t be bowed inward or outward and should be in line with your feet.

How To: Seated Leg Press (Cybex)

1.2. Leg Extension Exercise

Leg extension constitutes one of the open kinematic chain leg exercises.

Leg extension exercise primarily focuses on the quadriceps muscle group. it requires a lever machine.

You take a seat on a cushioned seat and lift a cushioned bar with your legs. The rectus femoris and vastus muscles of the quadriceps, located in the front of the leg, are primarily worked throughout the activity.

This exercise can be incorporated into your strength training routine to develop lower body strength and muscular definition.

Do three sets of 8 to 12 repetitions. People with ligament injuries should take proper precautions because they can damage their anterior cruciate ligament.3

The person should not fully lock their knees if he has an existing knee problem or is prone to developing a knee problem.

How To: Leg Extension (Cybex)

1.3. Leg Curls

The leg curl is also called hamstring curl, an exercise that strengthens the hamstring muscle.

As you exhale, knees slightly bent, try to bring your ankles as close to your buttocks as possible. Make sure your hip is in intact contact with the bench. Briefly maintain. Inhale as you slowly and carefully bring your feet back to the beginning position.

How To: Prone Leg Curl (Cybex)

1.4. Dumbbell Squat

This is a beginner exercise that builds muscles in the lower body. Dumbbell squat targets the quadriceps and gluteus Maximus.

As you begin to lower your body by bending at the knees, move your butt backward. Keep your back from arching forward.

Bend until your thighs are parallel to the ground. A shorter distance is acceptable until you find your proper form.

Hold for a few seconds. Push firmly into your heels to straighten your knees and hips and stand back up. Keep your chest up high to maintain a neutral spine. 8-10 repetitions for 4-5 sets.

Dumbbell Front Squat | Exercise Guide

1.5. Bulgarian Split Squat

It works on your leg muscles; it specifically targets the quadriceps, hamstring, gluteus, and calves.

Turn your back on your “bench” and stance. Put the top of your right foot on the bench with the shoelaces down while keeping your left foot on the ground a few feet in front of the bench.

Put your hands behind your head and tighten your abdominal muscles. If it feels more comfortable, you can clasp your hands together at the chest or keep them at your sides.

To descend into a split squat, bend your knees. Ideally, your right knee should be hovering over the floor, and your left knee should make a 90-degree angle with your thigh. (Quick position check: If you can’t do this without allowing your left knee to extend past your left toes, step your left foot out further away from the bench).

Return to the starting position by driving through your left heel. Reps should be continued, and once they are finished, switch sides.

How To: Bulgarian Split Squat

2. Shoulder Exercises

Shoulder exercises are extremely important in maintaining the stability of the shoulder joint4, but a compound exercise of both leg and shoulder workouts is more beneficial.

2.1. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Shoulder workouts are important to promote healthy movement patterns and improve posture and muscle function.

The Dumbbell Shoulder press helps build big deltoids, get wider shoulders, work stabilizing muscles and attain symmetry. Dumbell shoulder press is a great way to increase muscular activation and build hypertrophy. In the Dumbell shoulder press, the primary muscles are the deltoid, and the secondary muscles are the triceps.

To perform a dumbbell shoulder press. Put your hands forward and sit erect on a bench while holding a shoulder-high dumbbell in each hand. Keep your chest up, your core engaged, and your forward gaze throughout the movement.

Press the weights directly upward when your arms are straight, and the weights are touching your head. Start the following rep after pausing while you controllably drop the weights back to the starting position.

When you bounce back up from the bottom position, you’re using momentum to lift the weights rather than your muscles, which puts more stress on your shoulders. 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions.

How To: Dumbbell Shoulder Press

2.2. Side Lateral Raises

Side lateral raises is a shoulder exercise in which a person lifts a pair of dumbells away from the body in an external rotation; it works on the deltoid muscle in the shoulder and trapezius in the back.

How To: Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise

2.3. Dumbell Front Raises

Dumbell front raises are extremely important to work your anterior deltoid muscle specifically.

Your feet should be shoulder-width apart as you stand. Dumbbells should be placed in front of your thighs, and your arms should hang in front of you (palms facing the thighs).

Your feet are flat on the ground, your back is straight, and your abs are contracted. Inhale and raise the weights upward.

How To: Dumbbell Front Raise

2.4. Overhead Press

The overhead press is beneficial for muscles of the back shoulder as well as the chest. It works on the shoulder, deltoid, back, trapezius, and chest muscle pectorals.

Keep your back straight and posture upright. Hold a dumbbell at the shoulders in each hand with an overhand grip. Knuckles are facing up, and thumbs are on the inside.

Exhale as you steadily elevate the weights above your head. At the peak of the motion, pause briefly.

Dumbbells are brought back to the shoulders by inhaling.

How To: Standing Straight-Bar Military / Overhead Press

2.5. Lateral Raise

This shoulder exercise is very useful for shoulder muscles and tricep muscles. This exercise can be performed in standing and sitting with palms facing inward towards your body with elbows bent, raising the arms, so your arms are parallel to the floor.

The trapezius muscle in your upper back and the deltoid muscle group in your shoulders, especially the anterior and lateral deltoids—are worked during lateral raises. Aside from increasing your range of motion, lateral raises improve muscle growth (often referred to as hypertrophy.

How To: Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise

3. Compound Exercises for Leg and Shoulder Workout

Compound exercises are which target multiple joints and multiple muscles. They are being used a lot to train muscles in this new era. The leg and Shoulder workout is an example of a compound exercise.

Compound exercises strengthen your heart because they need more muscles to contract, which increases the resistance the heart must overcome to pump blood.

3.1. Alternating Squat Thruster

This exercise can be included in a combined leg and shoulder workout. The thruster is a combined exercise as it uses more than one joint and comprises both front raise and overhead press.

It targets the Legs, glutes, hamstring, quads, hips, shoulders, and core

With your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent, stand up. Hold a dumbbell at your shoulders with each hand (front-rack position, overhand grip, palms facing in).

Aim for a 90-degree angle between your hips and knees as you squat down while supporting your weight with your heels.

Drive into your heels after that while contracting your glutes to stand tall. Perform a single-arm squat thruster while standing, pushing the dumbbell in your right hand directly overhead.

Squat once more while lowering the weight to shoulder height. This time, while standing, alternately perform a squat and a left-arm single-arm thruster.


3.2. Push Press

This exercise can be included in a combined leg and shoulder workout. The push press is beneficial for both the upper and lower body.

It works on the glutes, pecs, triceps, deltoids, quadriceps, and lower back muscles.

Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent, hold a dumbbell in each hand at your shoulders with your palms facing inward (neutral grip).

Drop into a 2-inch-deep shallow squat. Once your arms are completely extended, press through your heels and raise the dumbbells overhead. While locking out the dumbbells above your head, visualize doing so (elbows fully extended).

Repeat by lowering the dumbbells to their shoulder-level starting position.

The Push Press

3.3. One Dumbbell Overhead Reverse Lunge

This exercise can be included in a combined leg and shoulder workout. Holding one dumbbell overhead while reverse lunge helps in strengthening the upper per and lower body.

One dumbbell overhead reverses the lunge and targets the legs, hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteus maximus, shoulders, trapezius, and core.

With your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent, stand up. One dumbbell should be held overhead with the right hand’s elbow locked out and the bicep by the ear. Alternatively, you might support the dumbbell with your right shoulder (front rack position, overhand grip, palm facing in).

Step your right leg back into a reverse lunge while keeping the weight in your right-hand straight overhead. Lower your hips until both knees make a 90-degree angle, with your front thigh parallel to the floor.

Then, when you stand back up to your original position, squeeze your left leg glute while propelling your right leg forward and your back.

Then, step your left leg back into a reverse lunge, bringing your front thigh parallel to the floor as you lower your hips to a 90-degree angle at both knees. Keep the burden in your right hand raised at all times.

Repeat, switching between the reverse lunge and maintaining the dumbbell aloft for the duration of the set. On the following set, switch the dumbbell to the left hand.

One dumbbell overhead reverse lunge

3.4. Dumbbell Clean Press

This exercise can be included in a combined leg and shoulder workout5. It targets fast-twitch muscle fibers and works on the hamstrings and the upper body.

Starting with your feet shoulder-width apart, squat down to the floor with your dumbbells. Your starting point is here.

As you squat and push yourself up to standing, start to thrust upward, bringing the weights to your shoulders. Then, shove the dumbbells overhead into a press. Repeat from the original location.

Dumbbell Clean & Press Tutorial // Obi Vincent

3.5. Step-Up Press

This exercise can be included in a combined leg and shoulder workout. It targets the hamstring glutes and deltoids.

Sit on a 12-inch step box or chair with your left foot while holding a dumbbell in your right hand.

Bring your weight up to your shoulders.

As you lift your right leg to parallel and shift your weight above, step up onto the box with your left leg.

Repeat switching legs.

Full Body: Step Up Shoulder Press


Exercising no doubt helps you but working out your larger group of muscles benefits your muscle strength and heart health.

This article includes many beneficiary exercises that can be included in your leg workout and shoulder workout. These exercises are very effective in body weight management. Compound exercises mentioned can be added to your leg day workout routine.

This article helps you understand compound exercises, their uses, and how leg and shoulder workout on the same day is beneficial. These compound exercises help you in building strong legs and shoulders.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Are Some Effective Shoulder Exercises?

Shoulder presses, lateral rises, front raises, upright rows, and rear delt flyes are some effective shoulder exercises.

2. How Many Sets and Reps Should I Perform for Leg and Shoulder Exercises?

It is typically advised to perform 3–4 sets of 8–12 repetitions for each exercise when performing leg and shoulder workouts.

3. Can I Exercise My Shoulders and Legs on The Same Day?

Sure, you may work your shoulders and legs at the same time. Making sure your muscles have adequate time to rest and heal between workouts is crucial, though.

4. What Precautions Can One Take to Prevent Injury when Performing Leg and Shoulder Exercises?

Using the perfect form, warming up before your workout, stretching afterward, starting with lesser weights, and gradually increasing the weight as you get stronger are some prevention strategies for injuries during leg and shoulder workouts.

5. How Frequently Should I Exercise My Shoulders and Legs?

Your fitness objectives and total training schedule will determine how frequently you should perform leg and shoulder exercises. It is generally advised to exercise each muscle group two to three times per week, with at least one day in between sessions.

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  2. Burr, David B. “Muscle strength, bone mass, and age‐related bone loss.” Journal of bone and mineral research 12.10 (1997): 1547-1551. ↩︎
  3. Duthon, V. B., et al. “Anatomy of the anterior cruciate ligament.” Knee surgery, sports traumatology, arthroscopy 14 (2006): 204-213. ↩︎
  4. Veeger, H. E. J., and F. C. T. Van Der Helm. “Shoulder function: the perfect compromise between mobility and stability.” Journal of biomechanics 40.10 (2007): 2119-2129. ↩︎
  5. Trzaskoma, Lukasz, József Tihanyi, and Zbigniew Trzaskoma. “The effect of a short-term combined conditioning training for the development of leg strength and power.” The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 24.9 (2010): 2498-2505. ↩︎

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