Skinny legs are shared by both men and women, fitness buffs and slouchers, weight lifters and runners. And regardless of what many people do to try and improve their chicken-like leg appearance, it can still be hard to build attractive leg muscle. Now, through modern research, several old and new fitness approaches have been shown to help grow skinny gams into muscular masterpieces. It really comes down to both diet and exercise.
Weightlifting is a great way to improve overall appearance; and when it comes to improving leg size, some bodybuilders get it right. Unfortunately some don’t. And all the squats in the world won’t make a difference if there isn’t a targeted diet to go along with exercise. That’s why many bodybuilders fail to build their skinny legs into powerhouses to match their mammoth bodies. The diet part of their exercise equation is missing.
As for runners, they often see worse gains than their bodybuilder buddies. In fact, runners are often notorious for having skinny legs — even men and women who once had impressive drumsticks end up with skinny runner legs.
It’s important for runners to include some resistance-based exercises (like weightlifting) into their routine, especially with their legs. Not only can this shave a few seconds off their overall time, but it can help runners maintain or even build full, attractive legs.
For anybody with skinny legs, the following tips should build some muscle when followed for 6 months to a year. As for muscle tone, most people see gains within a couple weeks.
FUEL YOUR MUSCLE GROWTH
To make a long story short, protein builds muscle — even leg muscle. But not all protein is equal. Some foods are better than others at providing adequate protein to fuel muscle growth. To build leg muscle, start with the foods listed below:
* chicken and turkey
* milk, yogurt, and cheese
* some grains (especially barley)
Don’t overcook meats. Overcooking your food can actually breakdown and damage protein and other nutrients your body needs to build muscle. Try baking meats instead of frying, it’s easier to control the temperature. Steaming vegetables instead of boiling also keeps more nutrients in your foods.
Most nutritionist advise 1 1/2 grams of protein for every pound of body weight each day, for maximum muscle growth. With this type of diet, it’s easy to fuel the muscles in your legs for proper growth.
DRINK, DRINK, DRINK
You’ve probably read it before, but it’s got to be said again. Drink plenty of water. I personally try to make 8 glasses of 12 ounce water per day part of my diet. And all that water doesn’t need to be from the tap. Include fruits and vegetables as part of your daily amount. Melon (like watermelon and honeydew) are a huge source of water. They’re really flavorful too.
Exercise is the most important thing you can do to build leg muscles. By focusing on just your legs and making most of your workouts push those muscles to their limits, you’ll definitely build more attractive legs.
Perform the leg press at the gym using a machine by the same name.
* Sit on machine with back on padded support. Place your feet on platform and grasp handles to sides.
* Push the platform away by extending your knees and hips. Return and repeat.
This is one of the best overall exercises for your legs and butt muscles:
* Stand with feet 3 to 4 inches apart, with hands on hips. Starting with your right leg, take a giant step forward. Your toes and knee are pointed directly in front of your body.
* Bend your right knee slightly, with your whole foot on the floor. Your left heel lifts up.
* Lower your body straight down from this position. Your front knee must lower down over your ankle, or behind your shoelaces.
* Raise your body and bring your left leg in to return to the standing position.
* Repeat with your left leg. Alternate right and left each time.
* Grasp a dumbbell in one hand to side.
* Position toes and balls of feet on calf block with arches and heels extending off.
* Place hand on support for balance. Lift other leg to rear by bending knee.
* Raise heels by extending ankles as high as possible. Lower heels by bending ankles until calves are stretched. Repeat. Continue with opposite leg.
Fuel your workouts, drink plenty of water, and perform exercises that really hit those leg muscles. Before you know it, you’ll turn your skinny poles into shapely legs you’ll be excited to show off in shorts