Pro Athlete Trainer Critiques The Rock’s Leg Workout

If you wanted to know all about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s leg workout that was recently posted online, then you’ve come to the right place. In this video, I am going to break down what The Rock’s leg workout looks like and give my thoughts on what he’s doing as well as why I think he is doing it. Just like I’ve done for every celebrity workout critique that I have done in the past, I am going to be respectful and provide an unbiased review of The Rock’s workout leading up to Wrestlemania.

The Rock’s leg workout starts with him walking into the gym and observing the equipment that he is going to be using. During this clip, you might notice something with his calf; one appears to have more muscle hypertrophy than the other. This is due to a muscle compensation that results from the fact that The Rock ruptured his achilles tendon back in 2006. So, knowing he has an injury history is important to understand some of the context of why he is doing what he’s doing.

The first exercise up in The Rock’s giant set is an ISO lateral leg press. You will notice that he does 10 reps on each leg before doing 10 reps together for a total of 20 reps on each leg. A few things to notice here – the high foot placement and torso angle of The Rock in the machine. The foot placement and torso angle looks to me like he is biasing his glutes and hamstrings more than the quads. This could very well be by design as we know that athletes need to train the posterior train just as much if not more than the anterior chain muscles so that they can perform to the best of their abilities.

The second exercise in The Rock’s leg workout is a vertical leg press. Again, you have to take note of the torso angle here – with the angle between the torso and the hips being fairly closed, compared to open, the shift of the focus is going to be on the posterior chain again. Now, I don’t love this exercise because of its ability to aggravate the SI joint. Anyone with SI joint pain or dysfunction is likely not going to find this exercise at the top of the list because of its biomechanics.

Next up in this circuit is the belt squat. I love this exercise and ranked it as one of the best you can do to build your quads if you have access to the machine. Looking at the torso angle, The Rock is definitely more upright which shifts the brunt of the work to the quads. Now, some might want to get on him for his depth, but I think his range of motion is chosen for a reason. With a history of knee injuries, there is a possibility that going deeper might cause discomfort. There is also the reasoning that The Rock is keeping constant tension on the quads by staying within the limited range of motion and not stopping at the top or the bottom.

Coming in the fourth spot of this 5 exercise giant set is the reverse hack squat. There are two ways to use this machine; facing in and facing out. The Rock chooses to face in, which means that he is, again, biasing the muscles of the posterior chain. Looking at the angle of the torso, which again is more closed, as well as the angle and direction of the feet on the foot plate shows that the quads are not going to be taking on the brunt of the work in this exercise. If he were facing outward with the angle of the torso being more open as well as the feet angle upwards instead of down, he would be biasing the quads.

The final exercise that The Rock chooses for his leg workout is the dumbbell walking lunge. The lunge is one of my favorite exercises for training the legs and it makes me happy knowing that The Rock chose it for his workout too. With a slight lean forward, I think he is again trying to bias the muscles of the posterior chain a little more favorably. The first thing to notice is the way he steps up and out, increasing his base of support to maintain balance throughout the exercise. Also, pay attention to the high step he takes – this allows for full knee and glute extension as well as provides a soft landing which can be useful for someone with a history of knee discomfort.

As a bonus exercise to finish the 3rd round of his giant set leg workout, The Rock finishes with a stiff legged deadlift.

Here is what The Rock’s leg workout looks like:

GIANT SET x 3 rounds:

A. ISO Lateral Leg Press x 20 reps
B. Vertical Leg Press x 12 reps
C. Belt Squat x 10 reps
D. Reverse Hack Squat x 10 reps
E. DB Walking Lunges x 20 reps

*BONUS* Dumbbell Stiff Legged Deadlift – 3 x 10 reps

Workout Like The Rock –
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