What Workout to Do After Leg Day

Wondering what workout to do after a killer leg day? Check out our top 5 exercises to help you recover and get stronger.

Cool Down

After a hard leg day workout, it’s important to properly cool down your muscles. Cooling down will help reduce soreness and allow your body to transition between intense workouts. Cooling down can range from stretching to light cardio, depending on your goal. In this section, we will explore some of the best cool down exercises for after leg day.

Stretch your leg muscles

It is just as important to cool down after leg day as it is to warm up beforehand. Your cooldown should include dynamic stretching and foam rolling exercises, which will help reduce muscle soreness and improve your flexibility over time.

Dynamic stretching involves completing a series of movements that flex and extend the muscles you worked during your leg day workout, such as bodyweight squats, lateral lunges, and calf raises. These exercises help facilitate recovery by deactivating the stressed muscles while activating motor neurons. Furthermore, dynamic stretching can help prevent injury by improving the elasticity of muscles and supporting range of motion.

Foam rolling exercises involve using a foam roller or massage ball to target tender areas (trigger points) and provide therapeutic massage that increases local blood flow, reducing stiffness in the impacted area for better recovery later. The most effective way to foam roll after leg day includes moving slowly as you target your calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, IT band (outer thigh) and hip abductors with both short strokes that knead an area for 10-20 seconds from various angles – all at medium pressure – or longer holds of up to 90 seconds on especially tender spots.

Foam roll your leg muscles

Foam rolling is a great way to reduce soreness and promote muscle recovery after a leg day workout. Foam rolling works by using your body weight to massage the muscles and other soft tissue, helping to break down knots, improve circulation and reduce tightness. Start by focusing on your quads and glutes, then move your foam roller up and down from the top of the thigh to just above the knee. You should feel a slight discomfort, but stop if it becomes painful. Then move on to your IT bands—the muscles that run along the sides of your legs—and hamstrings so you can get an all-over massage that’s perfect for recovery after leg day. Finally, be sure to target any specific areas that might be feeling particularly tight or sore. Once you’ve finished foam rolling your legs, spend some time doing dynamic stretches that help promote increased flexibility and range of motion while also helping with muscle recovery.

Take a cold shower

After a hard leg workout, taking a cold shower can be beneficial for your muscle recovery. Cold showers help to restrict blood flow to your legs which helps to reduce inflammation that often accompanies post-workout soreness. Additionally, the shock of the cold water helps to stimulate the nervous system, promoting endorphin release and reducing pain.

Although it might seem counterintuitive, taking a cold shower also helps promote better circulation in your legs after an intense workout. Cold water on your legs helps constrict the blood vessels; when the constriction wears off, fresh blood is circulated faster and deeper than when it was hot. This means that nutrients can be transported quicker and later into sore muscles resulting in better muscle repair and recovery time.

So after you finish your next leg day session, take a few minutes out of your day to treat yourself with an invigorating cold shower! The benefits are sure to leave you feeling refreshed and energized for the day ahead!


After an intense leg day workout, it’s important to remember to take it easy during your recovery. Your legs need time to rest, recover, and rebuild after such a strenuous workout. Fortunately, there are many workout options that can help your legs recover without straining them further. In this section, we will cover some of the best recovery workouts for after leg day.

Eat a balanced meal

Eating a balanced meal after a leg day workout is an important part of the recovery process and sets you up for success with your next leg session. The most important thing to remember is that nutrition matters. A balanced meal should include proteins, carbohydrates, fats, fruits and vegetables.

Protein: Proteins provide the building blocks necessary to build and repair muscle tissue. Include lean meats such as chicken, turkey or fish as well as plant-based proteins like beans, nuts and seeds in your post workout meals for optimal results.

Carbohydrates: Carbs provide the body with energy and help refuel muscles after a strenuous workout. Aim for whole food sources like oats, quinoa, sweet potatoes or other produce options with each meal.

Fats: Fats are essential for muscle growth and repair and should be included in all meals in order to ensure that you’re getting adequate nutrition post workout. Good fat sources are avocados, nuts, nut butters and olive oil.

Fruits & Vegetables: Ideally you should aim to include multiple colors of fruits and vegetables at each meal due to their large nutrient diversity profile. Eaten raw or cooked they can provide many nutritional benefits while promoting recovery from your leg day session.

Drink plenty of water

After exerting your legs during an intense leg workout, it is essential that you rehydrate your body to replenish the fluid that was lost. When engaging in strenuous physical activity like a leg day workout, you lose an excessive amount of moisture and electrolytes through sweat. It is important to remain hydrated to reduce the risk of cramps, dizziness, dehydration and fatigue. Drinking plenty of fluids such as water, Electrolyte drinks or low-sugar sports drinks will help your muscles recover more quickly and improve performance on subsequent workouts. Additionally, try to drink frequently throughout the day rather than drinking all at once for optimal electrolyte replenishment. Aim for 8 glasses of fluids 24 hours post workout and fuel up with carbohydrates to aid in muscle repair and growth.

Take an Epsom salt bath

After an intense leg day, you may feel some stiffness, inflammation, and muscle soreness related to the workout. To ease these symptoms and speed up your recovery time, taking an Epsom salt bath is an effective way to relax tight muscles and help them heal.

Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfur which helps flush away lactic acid buildup in the muscles – a common cause of muscle stiffness and soreness. By soaking in warm water mixed with Epsom salt for at least 15-20 minutes post-workout, you’ll be able to reduce inflammation and enhance muscle relaxation. In addition, the warm temperature helps bring healing oxygenated blood flow to your lower body which can accelerate recovery.

If you find that taking a hot bath is too intense for your body after a challenging workout session, try immersing yourself in cold water instead – it has been shown to be just as effective for faster recovery following exercise. Soaking for as little as 10 minutes has been proven to be beneficial in reducing inflammation and improving range of motion post-workout.

Active Recovery

After a hard leg day, you may feel like you need a break before you can do anything active again. But there are benefits to active recovery after leg day that can help your body recover faster and even help you build strength and mobility. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of active recovery after leg day and some active recovery workouts you can do to maximize your gains.

Go for a light jog

After completing a leg day workout, your legs may be feeling sore and your energy reserves might be running low. A light jog right after your workout is a great way to jump-start the recovering process. As you move, you’ll be able to loosen up any tight muscles and get the blood pumping through tired limbs. Pay attention to how you’re feeling and keep the intensity light — let your body guide you in determining what pace works best for you. Additionally, as part of a post-leg day routine, many personal trainers suggest adding in an additional cardio component such as a light jog or swim. This can help speed up recovery by pumping oxygen-filled blood through tissues, flushing out comedogenic wastes such as lactic acid and helping to reduce swelling.

It’s important not to push yourself too hard at this point or risk burning out or injuring yourself further — take it easy and pay attention to what your body is telling you! A good rule of thumb is that if it hurts too much to jog without limping or showing signs of stress, go for a brisk walk instead. Keep the length of your active recovery period shorter than the duration of your original leg day workout so that it doesn’t affect muscle gain.

Do low-impact cardio exercises

One of the best ways to begin the active recovery process is by doing low-impact cardio exercises. Low-impact aerobic activities like walking, cycling, swimming, rowing or using an elliptical are far gentler on your muscles and joints than high-impact fitness classes and running. Aim to keep your heart rate up for at least 20 minutes at a relatively low intensity. This approach helps to increase blood flow to your muscles, delivering much-needed nutrients while flushing them out with toxins. Reducing tension also helps you loosen up tight areas that might be causing discomfort or limiting flexibility–all important aspects of recovering adequately after a leg day workout.

Try yoga or pilates

If you have just completed a hard leg day workout, it is important to give your body the time and active recovery it needs to repair and rebuild muscle. Yoga or pilates are two great forms of active recovery that can help your body adapt to the stress of workouts.

Yoga is a form of physical fitness that focuses on flexibility, balance, strength and posture. It can help improve range of motion, help increase blood flow, promote relaxation and reduce soreness. Through its meditation techniques, yoga can also help you de-stress from the day-to-day grind and remind you of your core values in life.

Pilates is a low-impact exercise system that focuses on strengthening the core muscles along with ligaments and tendons around the joints in your body. Training with pilates helps to increase muscular control in movements while giving the entire body a balanced workout though resistance training using bands or light weights. It will also improve joint mobility while increasing focus and concentration while performing exercises. In addition to helping restore overall movement patterns in our bodies, it can also be very therapeutic mentally as classes include breath work as part of each session.

Through both yoga and pilates practice, active recovery can provide therapeutic benefits for both mind and body after an intense leg workout session.

Strength Training

When it comes to post-leg day workouts, strength training can be a great way to continue to build your leg muscles and improve your overall strength. Strength training can help to increase your muscle size, strength, power, and flexibility. Plus, it helps to improve your overall physical fitness, agility, and coordination. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of strength training after leg day.

Do upper body exercises

After a leg day workout, it is important to allow for adequate recovery time for your lower body muscles. However, this does not mean that you should take a complete break from exercise. In this case, working out your upper body can be helpful in promoting recovery and taking advantage of the momentum that is created after an intense leg day workout.

Upper body exercises are great to do after a leg day workout because they help you maintain your strength and conditioning workouts while resting your lower body. When selecting the specific exercises to include in your upper body routine, it is important to prioritize compound movements, such as the bench press and chin-up/pull up, over more isolated ones like lateral raises and triceps kick-backs. This allows you to engage larger muscle groups and generate a higher training stimulus with fewer exercises. Additionally, including single arm and single-leg variations of most upper body exercises can help you improve imbalances between the left and right sides of your body which often arise due to our activities in daily life.

Dynamic stretching or myofascial release techniques may also help prepare the muscles in some cases because they can target specific muscle groups which commonly get tight or overactive; however individual preference can vary when recommendation what type of movement should be included before engaging in strength training activities post-Leg Day

In conclusion, doing upper-body exercises after a Leg Day provides an excellent opportunity for recovery while maintaining conditioning gains achieved during the metabolic stress response of leg workouts intensity sessions. With proper selection techniques for exercises beforehand, both dynamic stretching/myofascial release techniques plus compound movements becoming useful tools to better engage larger muscle groups with fewer numbers of movements along with single arm/single leg variations as possible ways increase training stimulus levels as well as balancing augments related with recovering from Leg Day Workouts.

Do core exercises

Core exercises are essential for achieving overall fitness, so it’s important to incorporate them into your workouts after leg day. Strengthening your core muscle groups — which include abdominal muscles, lower back muscles, and segmental stabilizers such as the glutes and hamstrings — will improve balance, posture, and overall muscle coordination.

A variety of exercises can be used to strengthen the core muscles. Some of the most common include planks, deadlifts, lunges with rotation, and mountain climbers. When incorporating core exercises into your post-leg day workout routine, be sure to focus on form first for maximum results. Your movements should be slow and controlled; conscious effort should be taken to engage the right muscles in each exercise. Additionally, you should alternate between types of exercises (for example: planks one day and deadlifts the next), as well as increase the intensity slowly over time.

To ensure that you’re adequately strengthening your core while keeping your muscles protected from injury, it’s best to consult with a trainer or coach who can customize a program specifically designed for you and guide you through proper execution of each exercise.

Try an ab circuit

Incorporating an ab circuit on leg day is a great way to get one step closer to your fitness goals. Movements such as planks, crunches, hanging oblique raises and reverse crunches target your abdominal muscles, helping to develop strength and stability in the core while also providing a boost of more intense cardio. Try doing three sets of 10-15 reps per exercise and repeat the circuit 2-3 times for the best results. While ab circuits on leg day might not seem like much, these workouts will help you gain strength from all angles, providing a strong base for your legs throughout each exercise.


After a tough Leg Day, it’s important to incorporate some mobility exercises into your routine. Mobility can help improve range of motion, as well as help reduce stiffness and soreness that can develop after a strenuous workout. Mobility exercises can also help reduce the risk of injury and improve athletic performance. Let’s explore the different types of mobility exercises that can be done after leg day.

Use a foam roller

Using a foam roller is one of the best ways to restore mobility after a lower body workout. Foam rolling helps to break up adhesions in the muscle fascia, allowing for better recovery and improved range of motion. Furthermore, it helps to promote blood flow in order to bring oxygenated blood to sore muscles and flush out lactic acid buildup. This can help reduce post-exercise inflammation and speed up your recovery process.

To use a foam roller, begin by finding a soft but firm spot on the roller that can fit into your muscle (using one size of a roller may be too uncomfortable). Roll back and forth slowly through the area, making sure that you aren’t pressing too hard as this can cause more harm than good. You should be mindful of any areas that need more attention or that cause sensations of pain or discomfort. Spend an extra minute or two on these spots, as they are likely areas with deeper tension and adhesion built up over time from training or everyday life.

Do dynamic stretching

Dynamic stretching is an important part of any post-workout routine. After a leg day in the gym, it is essential to perform dynamic stretching exercises to ensure that all the muscles of the legs are elongated and conditioned while also increasing their flexibility. This type of stretching involves movement and can help to reduce inflammation and improve mobility. Examples of dynamic stretches that can be done after a leg day session include walking lunges, high knees, butt kicks, carioca runs, toe touches, side planks and high kicks. It is important to ensure that all these stretches are performed with proper form and that the movements are slow and controlled for maximum benefit. Additionally, for optimal movement recovery it is recommended to stretch as soon as possible after working out so as to increase blood flow which helps with lactic acid flushing away from the muscles faster.

Try a mobility exercise routine

After a leg day workout, it’s important to work on restoring full range of motion, as other leg exercises will be difficult or even painful if you have built up tension and tightness from earlier workouts. A mobility exercise routine can do just that, letting you reduce stiffness and focus on improving your flexibility. Some simple exercises for post-leg day recovery include:

– Foam Rolling – Use a foam roller to alleviate muscle tension in your legs. Roll along the full length of your major muscles, stopping at any point where you feel tightness and rolling until the area loosens up. This can help promote better blood flow which may improve healing time after your workout session.

– Stretches – Hold stretches for 10-20 seconds each. You can stretch the calves, the quads, the hamstrings and adductors; holding each one for 10-20 seconds should be enough to restore some range of motion for these larger muscles in your legs.

– Yoga Poses – Yoga poses like pigeon pose or Downward Facing Dog help open up the hips and loosen tight muscles in the thighs as well as helping promote relaxation of tense parts of your body.

By taking some time to work on restoring range of motion after leg day workouts, you reduce chances of injury from later workouts while allowing yourself to enjoy more freedom in movement while exercising further down the road. Additionally incorporating mobility exercises into each workout session means stretching out any accumulated tension prior to training further staving off injury risk down the line!

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