Purpose: To develop the front of the thighs and glutes
Execution: 1) Holding a barbell across the back of your shoulders, stand upright with your feet together. 2) Keeping your head up, back straight, and chest thrust out, take a step forward, bend your knees, and bring your trailing knee almost to the floor. The step should be long enough so that the trailing leg is almost straight. Push yourself back up to the starting position with one strong and decisive movement, bringing your feet together, then step forward with the other foot and repeat the movement. You can do all your repetitions with one leg, then switch and repeat with the other, or you can alternate legs throughout the set.
Purpose: To define and shape the front of the thigh. Leg Extensions are great for getting really deep definition in the thighs without losing size, and especially for developing the area around the knees.
Execution: 1) Using one of the various Leg Extension machines, sit in the seat and hook your feet under the padded bar. 2) Extend your legs out to the maximum, making sure you remain sitting flat on the machine (don't let yourself lift off and cheat up the weight). Extend your legs as far as possible until they are locked out to achieve maximum contraction of the quadriceps, then lower the weight slowly until your feet are no farther back then the knees and thighs are fully stretched out. To make sure you always extend your legs fully enough, have your training partner hold out a hand on a level where your feet will kick it at the top of the extension.
Purpose: To develop the hamstrings (rear of thigh).
Execution: 1) Lie facedown on a Leg Curl machine and hook your heels under the lever mechanism. You legs should be stretched out straight. 2) Keeping flat on the bench, curl your legs up as far as possible, until the leg biceps are fully contracted. Release and lower the weight slowly back to the starting position. Hold on to the handles or the bench itself to keep yourself from lifting up off the bench. This exercise should be done strictly and through the fullest range of motion possible.
Purpose: To work the hamstrings. Also works glutes and lower back.
Execution: 1) Take hold of a barbell as for Deadlifts and come up to a standing position. 2) Keep your legs nearly locked and bend forward from the waist, your back straight, until your torso is about parallel to the floor, the bar hanging at arm's length below you. Straighten up again, pull your shoulders back, and arch your spine to get the spinal erectors of the lower back to contract completely. Without your legs to help you as in regular Deadlifts, you will use much less weight doing this exercise. If you use Olympic weights, it is best to stand on a block or a bench so that you can lower the weight to the maximum extent without the large end plates touching the floor as long as your back doesn't begin to round.