The 3 Secrets You NEVER KNEW to Growing Bigger Legs
LEGS! I Command You To GROW!!
The 3 Secrets You NEVER KNEW to Growing Bigger Legs
A question I get all the time is: how do I get my legs and butt bigger?
The typical answer is use heavy weight & low reps, and that’s a very valid and correct answer. However, there are a few nuances that can help build stronger and more comprehensive muscle mass.
Use stability techniques.
These will strengthen your stabilizing muscles, rely more heavily on your core, and hit your muscles in unfamiliar ways.
Of course, now I’m sure you’re asking… but WHAT is a stability technique??
I’m so glad you asked!
Anything that adds an element of balance to an exercise is a stability technique.
Have you ever done a deadlift? You’re standing on two feet, right? Well, take one of those legs out of the equation and now you are using balance. Single leg deadlifts, single leg squats, planks with alternating use of each arm… just to name a few! The BOSU ball, an airpad, or a stability ball all offer varying degrees and different types of instability, which in turn gives us the opportunity to overcome aforementioned instability and get a few GAINZZZ in the process.
Hit every muscle in your leg from every conceivable angle. Hypertrophy (fancy word for building muscle) is all about overload. If you continually give your muscles more than they are used to, then they will continually adapt to the new workload.
Hitting the muscle from various angles is important because different exercises focus on different muscles. Even the same exercise done slightly differently can use the same muscles in different proportions. An example of this is lunges. When you do a lunge with smaller space between your feet, you focus more on your quadriceps (the front of the thigh). When you take a BIG step and put more space between your feet, you are still working your quads, but you get a lot more assistance from your hamstrings and glutes in that position. In the same way, squats with your feet closer together use more of your outer quadricep muscle, and wide sumo squats use more inner thigh and glutes. There are SO MANY variations of exercises, and so many people coming up with new ones every day! First, you must master the basics (a topic for another post) and after that, as long as you always keep good body mechanics, it’s fun to come up with new ways to test your strength and balance while increasing both of those elements at the same time.
Commit to clean eating.
Whether your aim is to lose fat and gain muscle, or you have no fat to lose and just want to hurry up and gain, you absolutely MUST eat right:
- Complex Carbs
- These are carbs with good amounts of fiber, minerals, and vitamins, like oatmeal, potatoes, and whole grains. These are the calories that give you energy. It is best to eat them in the most active part of your day, because carbs break down and are digested as glucose, which is sugar. Excess sugar will eventually be stored as body fat.
- Lean Protein
- Protein sources low in [saturated] fat, such as poultry, lean beef and plant proteins like beans, nuts, and seeds. Protein is the building block of your muscle. It is important to consume it every day, especially after a workout. it can also help stabilize your blood sugar, which will prevent the mid afternoon energy crashes too many of us are familiar with. Remember that meat is not the only source of protein. If you’re into supplements, plant-based proteins like pea, hemp, or pumpkin are alternatives! See my post about plant proteins I’ve tried and like here. (hyperlink?)
- Healthy Fats
- Plant-derived fats like nuts, nut butter, seeds, and avocados. Fats keep you feeling full and provide a backup source of energy when you run out of carbs. They also help proteins do their job and allow your body to absorb certain vitamins (A, D, E, K).
These all have their place in a clean diet, and depending on your goals, you will most likely have to alter your caloric intake as well. To gain muscle, you have to eat more, but the source of these calories matter. You will always hear about fitness people eating 5-7 times a day, because muscles require fuel, and calories are fuel. ‘Squat booties need more food’ is not a myth. To lose fat, you have to eat fewer calories (or expend more calories, or both), but often clearing your diet of junk food can make more room for foods that are filling and substantial, and simultaneously lower in calories.
Now, before you can apply these THREE MAJOR SECRETS, you have to do 3 things...
They sound easy, but they are the hardest part. The first key is to believe that it is possible for you to achieve your goals. Next you have to commit to and remember the goal, so you absolutely MUST be consistent. Working for 3 days before falling off for 3 weeks will get you nothing but frustrated, and of course you won’t feel like you’re making any progress. Sporadic adherence will not yield results.
For some people, committing includes accountability, so consider taking progress pictures (whether you decide to post them or not), so that you can have a visual representation of how far you have come. The scale never tells the whole story, and sometimes it’s hard to gauge changes when we see ourselves every day. The third and final key is PATIENCE. The process takes time. A lot of it. The greatest thing to remember, though, is that the time will pass either way. In a year, would you like to be a year closer to your goals, or still dissatisfied with your progress?
That’s what I thought. So hop to it! If you need help getting started, help keeping on the straight and narrow, or just a little reality check, I’m sure I have a program that can help you. Check out my Instagram and Facebook pages (links below), and email me if you want to work together to create an ongoing customized plan for you.
About The Author
Nia Akong discovered her love for health and fitness in 2011, during her own successful weight loss journey. She always knew she wanted a career in which she could help people improve their quality of life. After graduating from Kennesaw State University in 2013 with her bachelor’s degree in Human Services, she abandoned the idea of a career in social work to pursue her true passion, fitness. Working part time with Physical and Occupational Therapists as a Rehabilitation Technician at Emory Johns Creek Hospital, she earned her certification in personal training from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) in 2015. The work at the hospital led her to realize the importance of proper body mechanics, core strength, and adherence to a healthy lifestyle over the entire lifespan. Those experiences, combined with knowledge garnered from years of sculpting her own body, working with other personal trainers, and even a bodybuilding competition in 2015, further increased her expertise. She is passionate about motivating others to reach their fitness goals and change their lifestyles. She specializes in weight loss, weight training, and body sculpting with her one-on-one, small group training, and virtual clients.