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What are some good exercises that utilize free weights to increase leg strength?

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Squats are probably the most common and are a very effective leg exercise. There are a lot more options that are available to you depending on your weight set and any available equipment.

For a good increase in raw leg strength, you can also do Chair Jumps. Get a (solid, stable) chair, and standing 6" away from it, jump up onto it and back down. This doesn't require any weights at all and is incredibly effective at working nearly every muscle in your legs.

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+1 for deadlifts. Single most effective exercise there is! – Greg Mar 15 '11 at 20:16
I agree, Squats are the best! – Meade Rubenstein Mar 15 '11 at 20:46
I agree with @md5sum on the squats. Apart from squats you can focus on your gluts with dead lifts and on your calves with calf raises, which are quite easy to do with free weights and a step or bench. – Tass Skoudros Mar 20 '11 at 5:30
  • Squat (back squat, front squat, overhead squat)
  • Deadlift
  • Clean & jerk
  • Snatch
  • Lunge
  • Step-up
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