What leg exercises should I do for my skinny legs?

Question:
What leg exercises should I do for my skinny legs? I work extremely hard at the gym and periodize my workouts which consist of: spinning 4x week, stairclimbing 2x week and I am currently working one body part per day. I weigh 132lbs have 16.3% body fat and take in 2,200 cals a day. The main problem I have concerns my legs, no significant changes are occurring. Could the problem be that, because I do so much cardio they are not getting sufficient recovery time?

Answer:
While I do not know how much protein you are taking in from those 2,200 calories, I would suggest that you have between 132 to 198 grams of protein every day.

You are doing a ton of work and if you have any lower than 132 grams you will be risking a catabolic state (state in which your body burns muscle for energy).

Regarding legs, a lot of cardio without enough protein burns them out. Assuming that you are taking in enough protein, my recommendation would be that on leg day you split your cardio and weight training at different times. Cardio right after a leg workout seems to also affect my leg size as well.

As a matter of fact, many bodybuilders do not even do cardio on their leg days. Therefore, if you don’t have enough time to come to the gym twice on leg days, then do not perform cardio on those days.

Another thing that I would like to recommend is having some l-glutamine after your workouts. This amino acid is very helpful in reducing cortisol levels .

Sample Leg Training Split to Improve Leg Development

Tuesday: Quads & Calves

Friday: Hamstrings and Calves

By splitting them you really focus on each specific part of the leg. Doing this has brought me incredible gains in the leg department which in my opinion was lacking.

So to re-cap in order to improve your legs:

1. Ensure adequate levels of protein.
2. Ensure adequate levels of L-Glutamine to reduce cortisol levels.
3. On leg days do cardio at a separate time from your weight training workout. If you don’t have the time to do this, then no cardio on leg days.
4. Split your leg workouts in two: Quads & Calves one day, two or three days later Hamstrings and Calves.

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