How to Build Leg Muscle in 5 Moves

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In shorts or bikinis, powerful legs always make a statement. Although some of us enjoy a lean and toned lower body, others enjoy having definition and growth in our legs. In order to achieve those results, you’re going to need to isolate your muscles. Our guide to building leg muscle is the perfect way to bulk up and make your legs a pair of powerhouses.

leg workout

How to Build Leg Muscle in 5 Moves

Equipment Needed: medium-heavy dumbbells (12-20 lbs), bench/chair

What to Do: Perform each exercise for 12 reps. For alternating exercises, doing your left and right equals 1 rep. For exercise 4 and 5 complete both sides of your leg before moving on. Rest 1 minute after each exercise. Perform this workout twice a week on non-consecutive days.

Beginner’s Level: 3 rounds
Intermediate-Advanced: 4 rounds


1. Alternating Dumbbell Lunge
2. Romanian Deadlifts
3. Alternating Step Back Lunges
4. Stationary Dumbbell Lunge Pulses
5. Bulgarian Split Squat

Instructional Videos:

Alternating Dumbbell Lunge

Romanian Deadlifts

Alternating Step Back Lunges

Stationary Dumbbell Lunge Pulses

Bulgarian Split Squat

Additional Tips for Success

1. Your leg muscles are large and need heavy weights in order to see results. Start with medium weights to get a feel for the movements. After a week take on more challenging weights.

2. Isolating your leg muscles will have them sore for awhile. In order to speed up the healing process, stretch in the morning and night. You can also try foam rolling which offers faster relief.

3. Lunges require a lot of balance. Before you start an exercise make sure your body is supported correctly.

4. Keep your cor tight throughout the exercises to avoid back strain.

5. Switch the routine up occasionally so your body doesn’t get used it. This will help to promote growth.

In order to gain definition and mass, eating right is a must. Try some of these protein-rich options:

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8 Comments on "How to Build Leg Muscle in 5 Moves"

  1. Jordy  October 19, 2015

    How many days to you completed these exercises for?

  2. Desiree  July 6, 2016

    Just wondered onto the Skinny Ms. site. LUV IT, LUV IT! SO GRATEFUL 2 FIND THIS IS AWESOME. THANK U….

    • Gale Compton  July 6, 2016

      Hi Desiree, We’re so happy you found us. Enjoy! 🙂

  3. Alicia  August 21, 2016

    How long does it take before I start noticing a difference in the size of my thighs?

    • Gale Compton  August 22, 2016

      Alicia, It will depend on many variables, including your current fitness level, size of legs, age, and so on. For me, I worked really hard on building my leg muscles and have consistently done so for many years now. My legs have more definition for sure. Looking back, I saw results after a few months. I’m happy with my legs now but I’ve been consistent with my workouts too. Also, eating whole foods, drinking plently of water, and eating enough protein play an important role.

  4. Sarah  March 4, 2017

    Hi Gale. These work out look like they would definitely make your body look amazing! But I was wondering if any of these work outs specifically target “saddle bags”? That’s my biggest issue.


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