How To Get Rid Of Skinny Legs – All Tips You Need To Know
Summary: These 4 awesome tips on how to get rid of skinny legs will make even Johnny Bravo smile.
Did you notice something? I bet you did. He's Johnny Bravo of course. And Mr. Johnny B is famous for his massive upper body and a little lower body that if you combine both of his legs, his arm will still be bigger.
Ever feel like this?
If you can't relate with Johnny Bravo, how about the chicken?
Ever feel like a chicken?
Thin legs. Big upper body. Beak. Feathers...
Well, maybe not the beak and the feathers, but you get the point.
Does this fact make you feel self-conscious? I know it did for me.
For years, I battled with this and almost gave up because I thought having skinny legs has all to do with genetics--that if you're born with a Johnny Bravo frame, you're forever doomed and you just need to accept it.
I was partly right and partly wrong. It is true that genetics play a big role on how our legs and other parts of the body develop. But it's also true that if we're not born with massive thighs and calves, we can still do something about them.
If you want to learn how to get rid of skinny legs, keep reading on. I have a couple of tips that you can use immediately to jumpstart that lower body growth and catch up with that well-proportioned upper body. But first, let's talk about "legs" in general, and how genetics and other factors affect lower body growth.
The Role Of Genetics
Maybe I don't need to tell you that genetics are everything(almost). Some studies show that scientists can even predict an offspring's future just by looking at their genetic makeup or DNA just before they were even born! This is to say that all of your muscles, their shapes, sizes, and lengths are due to your genetics.
When talking about the genetic potential of a given muscle when it comes to growth, the muscle fiber ratios are always considered. Fast-twitch muscle fibers have the most potential for growth, while slow-twitch muscle fibers have the least. The ratio of these muscle fibers is determined mostly by our genetics.
So if you're born with skinny legs, it is safe to tell you that you won't achieve that Guinness world record of having the biggest wheels no matter how hard you train it. That's a fact, and we just have to accept it--the same way most of us accept that we can't get that Brad Pitt's face.
On the other hand, just because you were born with skinny legs doesn't mean that you can't grow them to its full potential. A person born with skinny legs has the potential to outgrow those with above-average legs--only if he knows how to.
The Anatomy Of The Legs
Before we discuss the ways on how to get rid of skinny legs, let's look at their anatomy first.
The upper leg (thigh) is comprised of:
- Quadriceps or Quads
The quadriceps muscles consist of the rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, and the vastus intermedius.
These muscles play the biggest role in the upper leg development. Their function is to extend the leg also known as adduction.
The hamstrings, or what they call the "biceps" of the legs, are the muscle groups that are located at the back of our thighs. They are consist of : the biceps femoris, the semitendinosus, and the semimembranosus.
Their function is the extend the hip, and flex and bend the knee, also known as abduction.
The glutes comprise of 3 muscles: glute maximus, glute medius, and glute minimus. These muscles are one of the strongest muscle groups in the body. They are activated in almost all leg exercises although its main function is to extend the hips.
Developing the glutes will help one increase his strength overall, plus a nice set of glutes is damn hot.
The calves consist of two main muscles, and they make up most of the lower leg:
- The soleus - the muscle at the side of the calf.
- The gastrocnemius - located at the back of the calf and has two heads.
Their primary function is to move the feet--much like the forearm muscles in our arms.
Now that we have a good understanding of the anatomy of the legs and how genetics affect how much they will grow, let's now tackle the ways on how to get rid of skinny legs.
4 Tips On How To Get Rid Of Skinny Legs
1. Do the right exercises
If you want to build overall mass in your legs, you have to focus on these key movements. These exercises should be the cornerstones of your leg training or even overall training.
For maximum leg growth, I'm talking about the full back squats. No other lift comes close to the amount of muscle fibers activated during this exercise. It hits all the quadricep muscles, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and even create a spillover of stimulation to all the lower body muscles which is why it is considered the king of all leg exercises. Take note, just because leg presses imitates squat movement doesn't mean it's okay to substitute it to squats.
Squats also increases the amount of growth hormones the body releases when it is performed. An increase in growth hormone will allow overall muscle stimulation and growth, not just the legs.
However, as much as it stimulates large amounts of muscle fibers, full back squats is also considered one of the most dangerous exercise to perform. Proper form should be the number one priority when doing this exercise especially when you progress to heavier weights.
This is how you perform a proper back squats:
Since there are hundreds of arguments whether you should do high reps or low reps when performing squats, I suggest that you find the rep ranges that are most effective for you. My legs respond to lower rep ranges(5-8) but I always incorporate higher rep-ranges from time to time to fully develop both fast and slow twitch fibers.
If Back Squats is the king of all leg exercises, Deadlifts is the king of all exercises. This exercise specifically works the hamstrings(depending on the technique), and it is another staple for building massive legs because of the growth hormone it produces.
Again, same with squats, always make proper form the number one priority. Due to the demands this exercise puts on our skeletal system, safety should never be overlooked.
The proper way to deadlift:
Another great exercise for building the overall mass of the legs. This only differs from squats because it has less lower back involvement and you have the power to isolate each leg. Great for working on imbalances.
How to do lunges:
Standing Calf Raise Exercise
This is the best exercise that you can do to work both gastrocnemius and the soleus, the two muscles that make up for the lower leg development.
An important thing to note when doing this exercise is to focus both on the positive or concentric phase, as well as the negative or downward phase of the movement. This ensures that both muscles of the lower leg are doing its job and are getting stimulated.
Seated Calf Raise Exercise
Since there aren't many exercise to target and isolate the soleus directly, this exercise would be the best one.
The position of the knee joint during this exercise does not allow the gastrocnemius muscles to do any work.
2. Strive for progressive overload
In every exercise, you should always attempt for an increase in strength in whatever form--reps, weight, range of motion, and decrease rest between sets.
The muscles will only grow if they are exposed to greater intensity.
3. Up your calories
For the body to build muscle, it has to be in a caloric surplus state. This applies to all the muscle groups that we're training.
You have to determine your maintenance level of calories and strive to eat 200-500 calories above it for the muscles to grow.
Now that doesn't mean to say that you should just eat whatever junk you want just to get the calories needed. Because it can cause fat accumulation. You should always aim for quality calories, especially protein, for your overall calorie intake. Besides, you should provide vitamins for your body.
Aim for at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight to ensure proper recovery and building quality muscles. For some, this is quite difficult to consume through foods, that's why supplementing with protein powders is the most convenient thing to do.
4. Rest and recover
Remember, muscles don't grow at the gym, they grow outside the gym. When working out, your only purpose it to stimulate the muscles, not annihilate. When done, you should go out and do your best to rest and let them recover.
This means that you should manage your energy levels and avoid grueling activities that will hamper your recovery process.
When training your legs with great intensity, it is wise to limit leg training frequency to twice a week maximum. Start with once a week leg workout and monitor from there.
Also, you should always strive to get at least 7 hours of quality sleep every night.
So, we read through all tips on how to get rid of skinny legs. If you follow all the tips outlined in this article, I can assure you that your legs will grow like weeds in just a couple of months.
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