Having toned muscular legs is the dream, but achieving it takes much more than dreaming. Unlike people with thicker body types who can quickly reach their leg goals with a decent amount of exercise, skinny girls tend to have a hard time gaining and sustaining weight. Whether you’re chasing strength, endurance, good looks, or a healthy lifestyle, it all starts in the legs. Big legs are a sign of dedication to grow stronger and healthier, and they make hiking, cycling, and running much easier. Combined with optimal blood circulation, it’s no mystery why many women aim for them.
For skinny girls to get bigger legs, they must increase their protein intake, reduce fat consumption, focus on lower body exercises like squats, leg press, stiff-legged deadlifts, and walking lunges, Focusing on these weighted exercises will optimize the effects. Washington University explained that heavy leg workouts produce GLUT4, a protein known to burn fat.
If you want to learn how skinny girls can increase their leg size, then you’re in luck because we’ll be discussing that today. Throughout this article, you’ll also learn the following info about getting bigger legs for skinny girls:
- Diet changes for the best results
- The best foods for bulking up your legs
- Best exercises for bigger legs
- How you can gradually increase your leg strength and size
- Tips for bigger legs
- The importance of rest
Step 1: Diet Changes For The Best Results
It might seem unconventional, but to achieve your goal of having bigger legs, consider committing to a diet of 250 to 500 calories over your recommended daily intake. The excess calories provide the energy for workouts, and your legs need them to bulk up.
To achieve your calorie surplus, consider consuming healthy sources of carbs, proteins, and fats. These are some healthy foods you might want to check out.
Consume Carbs Before Workouts
You’ll meet your daily carbohydrate recommendation by consuming sweet potatoes, quinoa, buckwheat, oats, bananas, beetroots, apples, grapefruit, and kidney beans
Carbs have been known to be the enemy of the workout world. From famous fitness gurus shredding carbs from their dietary plans to everyday individuals completely removing carbohydrates from their meals, there’s a massive misconception about this essential component.
Carbs translate to energy in the body. When they’re consumed before workouts, your body uses them to fuel itself instead of reverting to protein. The protein goes to your muscles while you burn carbs as fuel. The biggest issue with carbs is that, without enough exercise to burn them, they turn to fat.
Heart.org explains that, without proper carbohydrate intake before a workout, it’s like driving without fuel. Balance your carbohydrate and protein intake to enjoy bigger legs without limiting your muscle growth.
Increase Your Protein Intake
Proteins are the building blocks of muscle. They form every muscle throughout your body, so it’s no secret that an increase in protein consumption will increase muscle mass. You’ll need to supply your body with sufficient proteins to effectively grow your muscles. However, don’t reach for any source of protein that you can get your hands on. Lean protein is crucial for clean muscle gains.
Chicken and fish are both lean protein sources, also consider adding low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese. For vegetarian options, you could combine black beans and rice to create complete proteins. Another option is to get protein powder. Much like all other protein sources, your powder should be lean.
Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder is an excellent example of lean, clean, energy-boosting protein. Two scoops come with 21 grams of protein, very little fat or carbs, and 6 grams of fiber.
Reduce Your Fat Consumption
Fat isn’t as bad as people typically think it is. Is an essential constituent of a balanced diet necessary for healthy living. However, there’s no denying that it gets in the way of clean, lean muscle growth. If you’re chasing striated, toned muscles, you can’t eat as much fat. Fast food, pizza, and other sources are bad for your health, but did you know that some fats are healthy?
Your fat sources should come from nuts, healthy plants like avocados, poultry, fish, and lean cooking oil. Fat is essential for cognitive functioning, natural bodily insulation, and more. Cutting it out entirely can be a health disaster. Don’t remove fats; Learn to use them properly.
You might want to steer clear of fast food and unhealthy eating patterns. Consider including supplements like protein powders, creatine monohydrate, or caffeine to help you meet your protein requirements and energize your muscles to work for longer. Since the FDA doesn’t regulate these supplements, they might contain over 100 toxic chemicals, so it would be best if you sought expert advice before use.
Note: in every meal make sure you have the 3 macronutrients protein, fat, and carbs
Step 2: Focus on Lower Body Exercises
Lower body exercises are the core component of muscle growth. Many people believe that leg exercises are too difficult and not worth the output. Even if you’re not focusing on leg muscle growth, they’re essential for any workout routine.
According to GQ Magazine, upper leg exercises produce testosterone. It increases muscle growth throughout your body, resulting in better gains in each limb. Kick off the session with the deep squats you’ll learn in the next section. Try to go as low as possible. The lower you go, the more your muscles will be activated to grow.
Contrary to popular belief, women have testosterone, too. Far too many people believe that it’s exclusive to men. Truthfully, all women should take advantage of lower body exercises to maximize natural testosterone and muscle growth.
Best Exercises for Bigger Legs
Not all exercises are compatible with your goal of bigger legs. The best form of exercise for muscle growth is strength training. The stronger your legs are, the easier it is for them to bulk up. You might want to consider lifting weights to help your leg muscles grow. Most of these exercises don’t require any gym equipment so that you can follow the workout at home.
Here are some of the best exercises for leg muscle growth.
Note: If you really want bigger legs you have to develop your strength, a good way is by doing more than 3 sets per exercise, (or what we call Supersets) to increase the reps-weight in every set.
Perform Barbell Squats
Squats gained insane popularity for helping to grow and shape the butt, but they can also be great for your legs. It targets the quads — a large muscle that occupies the front part of the thigh.
Barbell squats are the most common weighted leg exercise. If you’ve never done a weighted squat, follow these simple instructions:
- Grab a barbell at the gym or online and place it over your shoulders. Hold the bar with your hands shoulder-length apart. The bar should rest easily without sliding around. If you’re having trouble, remove the weighted plates, and use the bar to practice your form.
- Slowly squat down to the ground, keeping your back and chest straight. As you go down, make sure your feet are shoulder-length apart and facing straight. Keeping your back straight like you are trying to sit, stop the descent when your legs are parallel to the ground.
- Stand up slowly to engage all of your leg muscles. If you want to take it up a notch, finish the exercise with a calf raise.
Start with 3 sets (weight and reps you feel most comfortable with), however, a goal for you should be doing Supersets after you feel stronger and confident.
An example should be something like this:
|Set 1||10 lbs.||10 reps|
|set 2||10 lbs||12 reps|
|set 3||10 lbs||14 reps|
|set 4||10 lbs||16 reps|
|set 5||10 lbs||18 reps|
|set 1||10 lbs||10 reps|
|set 2||20 lbs||10 reps|
|set 3||25 lbs||10 reps|
|set 4||30 lbs||8-10 reps|
|set 5||35-45 lbs||6-10 reps|
Leg presses are great for those hard to reach muscles of the leg and thighs. It requires using a leg press machine, so you might have to visit a gym for this.
How to Do Leg Press
- Sit comfortably on the leg press machine. Some machines require you to recline on your back.
- Put your feet hip- or shoulder-width apart.
- The same as Squats lightly point out your tips
- Slowly down the platform (keep your butt and back against the seat all the time)
- Slowly return your legs without stretching the knees completely.
You can start with the weight and reps you feel most comfortable
Follow these examples:
|Set 1||25 lbs||10 reps|
|set 2||25 lbs||12 reps|
|set 3||25 lbs||14 reps|
|set 4||25 lbs||16 reps|
|set 5||25 lbs||18 reps|
|set 1||25 lbs||10 reps|
|set 2||35 lbs||10 reps|
|set 3||45 lbs||10 reps|
|set 4||50 lbs||8-10 reps|
|set 5||60 lbs||6-10 reps|
Stiff-legged deadlifts are great for toning the hamstrings. The hamstrings are the group of muscles that form the calf. It’s also great for your lower back and butt. This exercise helps you achieve bigger, toned calves. You can do it at home if you have dumbbells.
How to Do Stiff-Legged Deadlifts
- Stand upright with your feet at shoulders width apart.
- Use both hands to hold a dumbbell in front of you. Direct your palms towards your body.
- Contract your core and bend over at your waist to bring the dumbbells over your feet. Ensure your back remains straight throughout.
- Slowly return to an upright position while contracting your hamstrings and squeezing your glutes.
- Keep your core contracted and repeat (4-5 sets x 12-15 reps)
Try Walking Lunges
Walking lunges are another popular weighted leg exercise that leads to bigger, better legs. Here’s how you can try them:
How to Do Walking Lunges
- Hold dumbbells in both hands. Choose whichever size adds enough weight to strain your muscles but not enough to limit your movement. You’re not aiming for arm growth with this exercise, so don’t try to break the limits.
- Keep your feet touching. Contract your core muscles then take a long step forward with one leg and press your knee to the ground with the other.
- Push yourself up with the extended leg, return to your upright position then repeat the process on the other side. Notice you’ll be moving around quite a bit, so try to find an open space at the gym or in your backyard.
- Recommended: 4 laps of 16-20 steps
Complement your routine with these alternative exercises (leg workout)
Reminder: “Gradually Increase the Weight”
This is very important since many women don’t want to increase weight because they think they are going to look bulky and that is far away from the truth. Once your body gets used to the weighted exercises from this article, you won’t see as much growth (if any). It’s crucial that you increase the barbell or dumbbell weight every other week. You don’t have to add another 45-pound plate to both sides, but add a few pounds to raise your limits as I showed you in both tables above.
Aim for low reps (12-10-8 in progression) rather than shooting for absurdly high numbers. Too many people focus on hitting 100 squats a day. If you can do that many, there’s not enough weight on the barbell.
Step 3: Tips for Bigger Legs – Setting up a Schedule for Leg Workout
There are a few things to consider when setting up a workout schedule for bigger legs. Exercises like cardio and aerobics are counterproductive — they burn out fat to reveal a lean muscular physique underneath. While you might not want to cut them out completely, consider keeping them at a minimum.
In a bid to achieve bigger legs, there’s a tendency to neglect other body parts. You might end up with a disproportionate body if you focus solely on one body part. Women need a well-proportioned body to function normally.
Set days aside to focus on your arms, abdomen, chest, and back. It would be best to take some time to rest in between training specific muscle groups. Your muscles take this time off to rest, heal, and grow.
To achieve the best results, you might want to accompany your exercises with lifestyle changes. You could incorporate sufficient rest. Don’t overwork yourself; work your way up the exercises. Please eliminate alcohol and smoking and turn to healthier stress-relieving activities like meditation, music, or a new hobby. A healthy lifestyle complements your new body for your overall well being.
Don’t give up.
You’ll only see results when you’re committed to the process. It might take a while longer for skinny girls to see results, but they’ll come along soon enough.
Don’t Forget to Rest
Healthline claims that rest is perhaps just as important as exercise, in fact a rest day is part of the workout routine, your muscles need to recover to maximize your workouts, see results faster and avoid serious injuries. If you work your muscles too frequently, they’ll become exhausted and cease to grow. This issue is known as muscle fatigue, and in some cases, it can reduce or remove the effects of your workouts. Lack of rest also leads to muscle plateauing, which stops you from increasing weighted exercises.
Most sources recommend you rest for 48 hours between heavy workouts. Perform the three weight workouts mentioned in this article at noon on a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You’ll be blown away by how effective it is when you time your rest and workouts accordingly.
As you can see, it’s a long road of dedication, heavy lifting, and hard work to get the legs you desire. Paired with adequate rest, you can achieve bigger legs in as little as one to three months. Track your progress with measuring tape to view the results as you go. Gaining muscle is sometimes thought to involve only excessive exercises, but you might want to consider a holistic approach involving a healthy diet and lifestyle changes to achieve your goals.
Here is a quick rundown of the post:
- Optimal muscle gain typically requires weighted exercises.
- Don’t forget to rest for 48 hours between each leg workout.
- Increasing protein and carbs will boost your muscle growth and energy levels.
- Get healthy nutrition from whole foods that are a bit above your recommended daily amount.
- Incorporate strength training and resistance exercises that target your leg and butt muscles.
- Cut down on aerobics and cardio exercises that burn out fat to give lean muscles.
- Pay sufficient attention to other body areas like the back and shoulders to produce a balanced look.
- Anabolicans: Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift 101 | Form, Benefits, and Variations!
- Healthline: How to Gain Weight in Your Legs with Diet and Exercise
- Betterme: Skinny Legs Big Upper Body: Here’s The Fix You’ve Been Looking For
- Bonytobombshell: What Every Naturally Skinny Woman Needs to Know About Exercise
- Heart – Food as Fuel Before, During, and After Workouts
- GQ Magazine – Four reasons not to skip leg day
- Healthline – Are Rest Days Important for Exercise?