Along with the core, the legs are the most important muscle group for overall body movement. You’ll feel lighter and stronger and be able to move and complete daily tasks and other exercise routines easier with strong legs. They’re also the biggest single muscle group including the biggest muscles in the body (the butt!) So when you work out your legs, the metabolic boost is higher than any other workout.
Putting more lean leg muscle on further helps you burn fat and work towards your perfect body. Everyone wants nice legs but working out your legs can also get you a flat stomach! Here’s how to build leg muscle for women.
First up, eat properly. This is step one for effective muscle gain. Eat quality protein, complex carbs and essential fatty acids. You’ll workout better and get better results. Consider taking protein shakes after working out if you can. Eat things like lean meat, fish, dairy, fruit, vegetables, whole grains and eggs.
You can engage in explosive cardio (sprinting, basketball, fast cycling and the like) and get stronger legs but there’s nothing quite like a leg focused resistance workout. Let’s move onto some sample exercises. Remember to warm up and stretch first!
We’re going to be focusing on compound exercises (involving multiple muscles at once). These are good for faster gains in strength and performance and better lean muscle growth (you can also tailor these exercises for increased mass if you want larger, stronger legs).
The classic leg and lower back exercise – you will need weights for this. Dumb bells are fine but an olympic bar is preferable.
These can be performed with or without weight. The weight can be a dumb bell in each hand by your side or an olympic bar (weighted or not) on your shoulders.
These are great for explosive power and quick results. You’ll likely begin with the non-weighted version but can move onto progressively heavier weight as you develop your legs.
Do 3 sets of 10 – 12
Once you’ve completed these sets of compound movements, you can rest or complete some optional exercises focused on your calf muscles (we’ll look at some examples in another post)
Remember to never push yourself too hard when taking up a new routine. You need to give your body the time to rest and recuperate after each workout so that the damage (micro tears) from training is repaired and you see results.