Fed up with getting named the person with bird legs, or sticks? Don't neglect your legs to improve your upper body strength. A balanced body is a stronger body. Recovery from the workouts doesn't have to suck either, use a massage gun to improve recovery rates and help build muscle faster.
Most people that neglect their legs and do heavy weight lifting to improve their upper body tend to end up looking misshaped. On top of looking better, a strong leg and actually help improve the function of your muscle building and fat-burning hormones.
How can I make my legs and calves bigger?
How is it done though, how can you turn your inadequate legs into strong trunks? There are a few key rules to remember when attempting to begin increasing the muscle of your legs:
- Use functional exercises like squats or deadlifts, not sitting lifts that can cause injury.
- Work on each side equally to ensure adequate and equal muscle building.
- Don't forget the support muscles in the hips, knees, and ankles!
- Warm up, and no, a jog on the treadmill isn't a warm-up. Stretch!
- Use the machines to tone, not build, muscle.
Working out your legs will require dedication and time. Heavy lifting while doing a squat and deadlift routine will give you the fastest results. However, be cautious of your limits, injuries will set you back for weeks or even months.
Remember after every routine to cool down and initiate the recovery of your muscle. In order to build muscle, the muscle you possess tears and is filled with new muscle cells. Percussion massage after workouts helps to speed the process and reduce the knots and pain from workouts.
How can I regain muscle in my legs?
After injury or illness, the muscles in your legs shrink due to inadequate movement and nutrition. This can lead to very weak legs that can barely walk with the weight of the upper body. On the other hand, maybe you just neglected to spend time on your once cut legs and the mass has decreased.
If you have had an unfortunate incident and your leg muscle has dramatically decreased, the best advice is to start slow. Begin with squats with just your body weight and low weight deadlifts and increase weight as your tolerance increases.
Number one rule for regaining muscle in your legs? Do not skip leg day! Make your routine an equal body workout. Enhancing your major muscle groups, like your legs, will help you to define the rest of your body faster. Read on to learn one of the best routines for your leg day!
What is the best workout for your legs?
Following a set of workouts is helpful to increase your legs size and power. The best workout for your legs is well, the one you decide actually works. Here are a couple of routines that are popular to begin your leg workout decisions:
The 4-week workout routine posted by TNation: Week One
- Barbell Back Squat
- Walking Lunge
- Lying Hamstring Curl
- Standing Single-Leg Calf Raise
- Two Minute Leg Press
Maximuscle's Exercise List:
- Barbell Back Squat
- Front Squat
- Leg Extension
- Romanian Deadlift
- Dumbbell Lunge
- Standing Calf Raises
- Zercher Squat
- Barbell Glute Bridge
- Leg Press
- Box Jumps
Regardless of if your work with a personal trainer to develop a routine, use the routines above, or create your own routine, there is one thing that should never be neglected. You will not create new muscle if you do not eat enough of the correct calories.
Your diet matters. Working out does help you remove weight but starving your muscles will just trick your body into storing calories to maintain your energy levels.
Pay attention to your body throughout the routine, you don't want to overdo it and not be able to walk the next day. Begin with lighter weights and slowly increase reps until you reach target reps, then increase the weight.
Should I do leg exercises every day?
On that note, should you work out your legs every day? Yes, and no. You should start the heavy weight lifting on your leg workouts no more than three times a week. That doesn't mean you don't need to spend time daily working those muscles out.
Prepare yourself to do bodyweight squats every day to help your muscles continue to develop. Spend time doing squat mobility work, staying in a squat for 5-10 minutes to increase your endurance and strength.
There are some sound reasons to continue movement every day:
- Sore muscles tend to contract and cause pain, movement helps keep the muscles loose.
- Even light routines continue to build muscle.
- Increased movement helps your body maintain the higher fat-burning and muscle-building hormones.
If you have knee or hip issues using a kettle ball or dumbbell held in front of you, otherwise known as a goblet squat, can help reduce the pain in the joints. Doing so takes the pressure off your lower back and holding the weight in front auto-corrects your form.
How many squats should I do a day?
Now that we have settled the fact that you should be working out those leg muscles daily, how many of the leg numbing squats are enough? There is no right answer. Like weight lifting, start slow and increase the reps and sets from there.
A basic rule of thumb is to get where you can do at least three sets of fifteen daily. Once you achieve this goal, re-evaluate if you can do more reps, more sets, or add light weights.
Do legs get skinnier with age?
Are you concerned that your age is a factor in the inability to gain muscle mass in your legs? You may be right. As we age, the ability to grow muscle mass quickly decreases. This is caused by two reactions to food in people over 65 years of age.
When a healthy young person eats, the protein feeds the muscle growth while the insulin released reduces muscle breakdown. This forces the muscles to gain mass instead of deteriorating. However, at night, the muscles begin deteriorating because of a lack of movement.
As we age, the protein isn't processed the same and therefore the muscle isn't fed well. Insulin production is reduced and therefore the muscle mass decreases. Sometimes you can see the effect on a person who is unable to consume solid food for an extended period of time.
The theory is that weight training in the elderly population can increase blood flow and therefore increase the hormones and proteins delivery into the muscles to prevent wasting. Using weights and working out daily can help maintain the muscles that they already have.
Why won't my legs get bigger?
As previously stated, there can be a few different reasons why your muscle mass isn't increasing. Take a look at your diet and identify the amount of protein and carb intake. If your diet is unbalanced and your intake is inadequate, then that might be an issue.
Another reason may be because of the lack of insulin preventing muscle breakdown, or inadequate growth hormones. Have a chat with your doctor to figure out if there is a medical reason why you are unable to produce a muscle gain.
Your training program may be inadequate. Either you aren't doing enough reps, don't have enough weight, or you are doing work daily. Evaluate your routine and adjust where needed to keep taxing the muscle.
If you think everything is in line with your hormones, diet, and routine, have you checked your form? Performing routines without the correct form can not only lead to injury but can also prevent you from targeting the muscle you need to build.
Rest is Key
No matter how hard you work yourself, for how long, and how great you feel about it there is always one thing your body will need after a workout. Rest. It isn't called shredding just because it's cool. Each workout tears the muscle a little and forces it to grow more mass to repair the damage.
You need to have an adequate cool down and pain relief routine for after workouts. Reduce swelling and soreness with a cold bath (or ice) and pair that with a deep tissue massage. Using a percussion handheld massager can help you pinpoint sore spots to relieve the ache.
Getting enough restful sleep is another key to recovery. Stressed muscles that do not have ample time to relax and rest tear tense up. The extra tension can cause anything from pain to muscle tears and ligament strains. Use good judgment and advance the routine slowly to prevent injury while keeping an eye on how much rest you are able to get.
Learn more about the top 10 muscle soreness treatments for muscle recovery here.
As with your upper body, bulking up is a time-consuming process that needs to have action daily. Adequate dietary intake, movement, and rest are essential to the process. Using tools like Vybe's Percussion Massage Gun can help speed up the process!
Contributing Writer: Tammy Jeannice