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Glute Activation Drills To Help You Boost Your Squat & Grow Massive Legs…


I used to hate my legs. When I say HATE, I’m not exaggerating! Look at how skinny they were…

how to build big legs

I had skinny little chicken legs, and I would do anything to avoid wearing shorts!

I remember once wearing jeans on the beach and telling people I’d forgotten to pack my shorts – when the reality was that I was too embarrassed about my legs!

I felt ashamed about my two little matchstick legs and didn’t want anyone to see them!

how get rid of skinny legs

No more chicken legs…

Enough was enough, so I started to buy Men’s Health magazine and the other mags such as Muscle & Fitness, Flex magazine, etc. I copied the workouts of the fitness models, and bodybuilders and my legs started to grow. 

The only problem was that I also started to get lower back pain. I would follow a squat program for six weeks, BUT then I’d have to stop for the next two weeks because my lower back hurt. I would also get knee and hip pain.

I got increasingly frustrated because as soon as my legs started to fill out, I’d have to stop, and they’d quickly return back to matchsticks again!

Finally…I found the solution!

I went back to the drawing board and did more research, and that’s when I stumbled across some fantastic things about glute activation and how having strong glutes and hamstrings is key for boosting your squat, which ultimately leads to BIGGER legs. Bingo.

I discovered some things (Which I’m going to share with you in this post), and my back pain went away within a couple of weeks. I also added 30kg to my squat in less than ten weeks, and most importantly… my legs started to grow! 

Now when it comes to summertime, I’m the first to get my short shorts on and strut around the beach… I finally like my legs…

In this article, I’ll be sharing my four-stage success formula. I’ll also be giving you a free leg workout program that is guaranteed to add inches to your legs over the next 8-12 weeks.

Does this sound good?

If you said YES, please read on…

Why Do I have Small legs? 

To those of you out there who are tired of having small legs, it’s usually down to the following areas:

  • Wrong exercise selection
  • Incorrect exercise execution 
  • Lack of training intensity
  • Not consuming enough protein
  • Weak glutes and hamstrings
  • Lack of training frequency 
  • Poor mobility 

I have created a 4 step method to ensure you get your glutes strong and boost your squat. I’ll share this with you later in the post. 

BUT before we dive into the strategy, let’s gain a good understanding of why you need to activate your glutes to get the most juice out of your leg training.

Why train your glutes?

Why train your glutes?

Most people don’t feel their glutes when they train, glutes are often lazy, tight and weak. This means when you squat, you aren’t going to be able to lift as heavy, and it also means that you are going to likely experience lower back and knee pain, especially as you put more weight on the bar.

Strong glutes will enhance your squat, improve your posture, and give you a bigger and stronger backside! They also cap off a rounded and well-balanced physique. 

Squats Are King…

Squats Are King for bigger legs

Squats are a great exercise if done properly, and when all the right muscles are firing correctly. There’s no doubt that they are the best leg exercise for building muscle in the legs. Look at all the top bodybuilders; they could all squat crazy heavy weights – Ronnie Coleman and Arnold Schwarzenegger come to mind!

To get the most out of your leg training and to boost your squat, there are four stages that you need to go through. I’ve applied these stages myself and noticed huge benefits. I’ve also done this with lots of my one to one coaching clients – who have all gotten amazing benefits too!

Stage 1 – Foam rolling and glute release drills 

Before training legs, I would recommend spending 5 minutes foam rolling out your lower back, quads, and glutes. This will help release tight muscle tissue, which comes about through regular resistance training. 

I would also recommend doing this drill to release tight glutes. Use a lacrosse ball and copy the demo in the video below…

Stage 2 – mobility work

Once you’ve loosened off and released your tight muscles, it’s time to spend 5 minutes improving your mobility. This is so that you prevent injury and also to increase your range of motion, for example…being able to squat deeper and get more glute and quad activation. 

Here are two of my favourite mobility drills that I do before every leg workout. 

I’ll typically do 20 reps on each exercise. 

Stage 3 – Glute Activation Drills

Now that we have loosed off tight muscle tissue and mobilised, it’s now time to activate those glutes to give you a stronger and more efficient squat. 

Here are six drills I recommend doing. 

I would recommend doing 20 reps on each exercise.

Stage 4 – Single Leg Work

Before going into the major lifts such as squats, leg press, and hack squats…I recommend doing single leg exercises such as lunges, split squats, and the Bulgarian squat. There’s no need to do all three, just pick one per workout. 

I typically opt for the squat ramp split squat as I really feel it in my glutes and quads, and it gets each leg activated, warmed up, and ready for my two-legged squat. 

I don’t go to failure on this exercise. I just do 2-3 sets on each leg and aim for around 50-60% effort.

Time To Squat…

Now that you’ve done all your prep, your good to squat!

Before going into your main sets, do 1-2 warm-up sets – make sure both legs are firing correctly – so you can put as much weight on the bar as possible and grow those legs. 

The ultimate leg building program 

So now we’ve covered all the essentials, what would an effective leg workout program look like for building some HUGE legs? 

Here’s what I’d recommend: 

  • Monday – Leg Workout 1
  • Tuesday – Push Workout 
  • Wednesday – Leg Workout 2
  • Thursday – Pull Workout
  • Friday – Leg Workout 3
  • Saturday – REST
  • Sunday – REST

If you want your legs to grow, I recommend training them 3x per week, and for the next 8-12 weeks. 

Leg Workout 1

Follow the four-stage formula in this post, then go into:

  • Back squats – 5 sets x 10 reps
  • Alternating lunges – 3 sets x 20 reps
  • Lying hamstring curl – 3 sets x 10-15 reps
  • Leg press calf raises – 3 sets x 10-15 reps

Leg Workout 2

Follow the four-stage formula in this post, then go into:

  • Hack squats – 5 sets x 8-12 reps
  • DB Bulgarian squats – 3 sets x 15 reps each leg
  • BB Romanian deadlift – 3 sets x 6-10 reps
  • Standing smith calf raises – 3 sets x 20-25 reps

Leg Workout 3

Follow the four-stage formula in this post, then go into:

  • Front squat – 5 sets x 6-10 reps 
  • Leg press – 3 sets x 15-20 reps
  • Seated hamstring curl – 3 sets x 15-20 reps
  • Seated calf raises – 3 sets x 15-20 reps 


You are capable of building an impressive set of legs! You just need to follow the tips in this post and complete the workout program written above for the next 8-12 weeks.

Track your progress using a logbook and aim to beat your numbers each week, or at least every other week.

Alongside training hard and progressing your numbers – make sure to consume at least 2.5g of protein per kg of body weight. So if you weigh 80kg, make sure to consume at least 200g of protein per day. 

If you benefited from this post or have any questions, please drop me a message – it would be great to hear from you. 

Here’s to bigger legs!

Personal Trainer Sheffield | LEP Fitness

Coach Nick LEP Fitness