This week I am starting a program of squats twice a week - Mondays and Thursdays.

They will not be heavy squats, but a volume training.

10 sets of 10 reps with 100-110 Kg

Squats in this case, are the powerlifting style, when you go down below parallel.

After this sometimes I do some leg press, not so heavy.

should I include anything else on this routine so that it is complete for the legs?

As it is, I already feel it after 36-48 hours.

I have just noticed that there is a very good question/answers here:

Leg exercises that complement squats?

but there it does not mention the situation when you are doing squats twice a week.

  • What type of squats are you talking about? Half-squats, Parallel Squats, ATG Squats, Front, Back?
    – Yousend
    Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 16:43
  • @akadian I have updated the question to reflect that Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 16:48
  • 1
    What's your definition of a "complete exercise"? What you consider a "complete exercise" may not be what others accept.
    – rrirower
    Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 18:38
  • @rrirower very good point - by complete in this case I meant activate all the muscle groups Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 9:08

4 Answers 4


Squats do activate all muscle groups in the legs to some degree. With that said, I do not think it is the only exercise that should be done for your legs. I noticed that you mentioned powerlifting. Even powerlifters aren't specializing in just the Squat. They also train their lower body/back with deadlifts.

Most powerlifters also include variations of Squats in their routines (front squats, pause squats, etc).

The degree in which it hits each muscle group is going to depend on depth and width of your foot placement. Narrow stance squats will hit your quads a little more than wide stance squats, which will focus more on your posterior chain.

Squatting twice a week will be fine. The volume you have is a little high for my liking, but it can be done if the weight isn't unrealistic. You said you might do Leg Press after your Squats. I wouldn't. Instead, I would do some Romanian Deadlifts to target your hamstrings more, which I feel are are the least activated with Squats, besides your Calves. Calves can be trained with some simple calf raise exercises thrown after the Squats and RDLs.


There are enough squat types that would allow you hit legs in a complete way. Back, front, goblin, hack...

That being said, in the case of regular (e.g. Back) squats, I would consider train calves with some sort of isolation exercise.

Another consideration necessary to answer your question, is to understand the goal. What is your goal? If it is just general aesthetic, then the above holds true. If your goal is setting new powerlifting records, obviously it won't be enough

  • 1
    Minor correction: "goblet", not "goblin". Cheers. Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 14:46

I like @MiloMartinovich's answer, and want to add a couple of things:

  1. You don't indicate which type of squat you do. I recommend the low-bar back squat, because it uniquely engages the hamstrings as well as all of the other musculature engaged in other squat variants. It is the most-complete exercise for the legs and the posterior chain. Conventional (not "sumo") deadlifts are extremely valuable for the legs, posterior chain, and back, too.
  2. Ten sets of ten repetitions comprise far too much volume. Three sets of five reps is more reasonable and trainable. Consider using a program such as Starting Strength to structure your training.

Am I missing something, or are all these exercises bilateral? You definitely want some unilateral exercises in your training. Some proponents of unilateral exercises are Mike Boyle and Brent Brusbrook. Now, some caveats. On the internet, the unilateral exercise you see most often is the Bulgarian split squat. Lots of people at my gym started doing it recently (before the virus), but for me the Bulgarian feels a bit harsh on my sacroiliac joint. Stuart Mcgill also has a negative opinion of the Bulgarian SS. However, there are lots of other unilateral exercises, besides the Bulgarian Split Squat. So if you don't like the Bulgarian Split, there are lots of other unilateral options. Second caveat is that I'm not recommending you abandon bilateral training. Please, let's not get on a pendulum and swing in the reverse direction. Unilateral and bilateral training can both fit into a workout.

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