Adding Size to Those Skinny Legs

Get Stronger LegsTired of looking like an apple on a stick? Are you ready to round out your musculature?

Leg Exercises to Increase Mass

“Ugh, I hate doing my legs,” is a common complaint because training legs doesn’t come easy. Sure, leg exercises are a challenge. Squats are principal, compound movements; leg presses are principal, compound movements; lunges are auxiliary, compound movements; and straight-legged deadlifts are principal, compound movements. We’re talking about one or more big muscles – from glutes to quadriceps – being involved in lower body workouts. So what is the relevance these being principal and/or compound movements?

The principal exercises are intense! We’re talking intense in absolute physical terms; they’re physically draining and that tends to reduce people’s enthusiasm. The degree to which muscle is fatigued within a particular unit of time with principal exercises is high because of the total quantity of fuel (calories) required.

In contrast, auxiliary exercises, despite their “bonus” status, can place greater relative intensity on a specific muscle or a head of a muscle. An auxiliary movement will not be as exhausting to the whole body; but, the higher relative intensity also means a higher proportion of energy drawn from carbohydrate (muscle glycogen) oxidation than fat (plasma fatty acids) oxidation. So, the burn felt from lunges can still be severe even though it takes fewer calories than squatting.

Compound Exercises

Compound exercises require more than one joint or muscle to complete a full repetition. They work large amounts of muscle at the same time and are the best for developing power and coordination and increasing strength, size, and endurance. Those muscles not directly involved in the exercise must still contribute to successful execution of the movement.

A full range, butt-to-heels squat, for instance, results in spine, hip, and knee articulations and stimulates a lot of muscle on both sides of the body in its upper and lower sections. They are a significant effort. If you’re willing to work, the payoff is a big growth response and promotion of balanced total-body development. In addition to squatting, you should perform

  • Leg presses
  • Lunges
  • Straight-legged deadlifts
  • Bent-knee good-mornings
  • Hamstring raises.

These exercises give attention to the flexion and extension articulations of both the hips and the knees.

Only with the aforementioned exercises in place should leg curls and leg extensions be added into the mix. Expecting to substitute auxiliary, isolation movements such as leg extensions in place of squats is not going to have the same return. While leg extensions are good for assuring complete stimulation in every fiber of the quadriceps, they are more useful after performing compound movements – like the squat – for the same muscle.

Isolation exercises involve only one articulation and, on account of this, are best used for increasing definition. Basic definition in the legs comes from first building enough mass, using the principal and compound movements, in two adjacent muscles to show their existence. There will be a growing distinction where one muscle ends and the other one starts as the quadriceps and hamstrings begin envelope the femur bone.

If you want maximize thigh size in the shortest amount of time:

  • Use moderate resistance (70 to 85 % of your one-repetition maximum)
  • Perform at least 6 repetitions per set
  • Perform 3 to 6 sets per exercise
  • Keep your rest periods under 5 minutes (this will vary from 1 to 5 minutes based on your age and the intensity of each set) to ensure leg muscle stay swollen with blood
  • Train the legs at least once a week

With this approach, you can inflate your scrawny thighs into thick columns.

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