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  1. #1
    Registered User eiselt3's Avatar
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    Problem with skinny legs

    Hi

    Ive been going to the gym for about 7 years and got a decent physique at the time. Now Im not working out anymore but doing some allround exercises at home (chins, resistance bands and heavy dumbbells).

    My problem as the title suggests is my skinny ass legs, they have always been skinny and even when I went to the gym and trained legs it barely showed any results. I think this is genetic since my dad also has very skinny legs, he dont have a big upper body though so it doesnt look as weird on him.

    To give you an idea I give you some measures
    Biceps 13,8''
    Calves 12,6''
    Thighs 20,4''

    Im in my mid 30s now and still have this problem. Im reaching out to see if anyone has the same problem or like a solution to it? I plan to continue do home workout, with different dumbbell squats and such. But will it make a difference? Ive read somewhere that running might do them bigger but Ive also read the opposite.

    Hope someone out there got any tips/advice besides "go to gym and do heavy squats every day" because that didnt do much back in the days. Im thinking that maybe if I do dumbbell squats everyday at home, it might make a difference? Or do I just have to quit train my upper body and cut until my entire body is proportionally skinny? But I dont know, thankful for any help I can get.

    Thanks in advance


    Edit: sorry if its in the wrong section. didnt know where to post this
    Last edited by eiselt3; 08-28-2020 at 03:26 AM.
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  2. #2
    Wha? AlexSays's Avatar
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    It is pointless to try and cut your upper body away to even out proportions, waste of time and effort (and mass).

    Like any muscle your legs will respond to progressive overload and calories. Try and create a decent lifting routine that hits your quads, hams and calves and continue to increase the load (weight, sets, reps etc). Make sure you're eating in a surplus and they should grow like any other muscle. Unfortunately there isn't really anything you can do about genetics but you can certainly make the most of what you do have and the way to do that is to train them and try and gain.

    Ama little confused as to why you think doing squats with high weight will somehow give you less progress than dumbbell squats at home? Any leg routine should include some squatting movement and that movement should ideally be heavy weight. What were you squatting before when you used to do them?

    With regards to standard running in a cardio sense, no it won't give you large legs although short interval, very high intensity sprints can be beneficial I believe.

    Do not neglect the rest of your body for this one problem, it's hard enough getting a nice upper body physique, don't throw it away
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  3. #3
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Squats didn't do much? What was your max effort squat for say a set of 10 reps? How many sets per week do you do in total for legs?

    Leg development is a lot of hard work, you probably just need to ramp up the total volume and effort levels, there is no way around that.
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  4. #4
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by eiselt3 View Post
    I think this is genetic since my dad also has very skinny legs, he dont have a big upper body though so it doesnt look as weird on him.

    To give you an idea I give you some measures ... Biceps 13,8''

    ... do I just have to quit train my upper body and cut until my entire body is proportionally skinny?
    Don't stop training your upper body & cut to try to balance out your skinny legs. Your upper body likely isn't as big as you think.

    Originally Posted by eiselt3 View Post
    they have always been skinny and even when I went to the gym and trained legs it barely showed any results. ... Hope someone out there got any tips/advice besides "go to gym and do heavy squats every day" because that didnt do much back in the days. Im thinking that maybe if I do dumbbell squats everyday at home, it might make a difference?
    If you used to train your legs by doing "heavy" squats every day, and that's your plan now - you probably weren't actually lifting heavy and weren't following proper program that would allow your lifts to improve and your legs to grow. Try following one of the programs in the stickies on the Workout forum page (for the whole body, not just your legs) and eat at a cal surplus.
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  5. #5
    Registered User eiselt3's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AlexSays View Post
    It is pointless to try and cut your upper body away to even out proportions, waste of time and effort (and mass).

    Like any muscle your legs will respond to progressive overload and calories. Try and create a decent lifting routine that hits your quads, hams and calves and continue to increase the load (weight, sets, reps etc). Make sure you're eating in a surplus and they should grow like any other muscle. Unfortunately there isn't really anything you can do about genetics but you can certainly make the most of what you do have and the way to do that is to train them and try and gain.

    Ama little confused as to why you think doing squats with high weight will somehow give you less progress than dumbbell squats at home? Any leg routine should include some squatting movement and that movement should ideally be heavy weight. What were you squatting before when you used to do them?

    With regards to standard running in a cardio sense, no it won't give you large legs although short interval, very high intensity sprints can be beneficial I believe.

    Do not neglect the rest of your body for this one problem, it's hard enough getting a nice upper body physique, don't throw it away
    Thanks for quick response.
    Well the thing is I dont want to go to gym anymore. I cant motivate myself to go to the gym anymore, so I try to do home workout. I bought adjustable dumbbells up to 88lb each and Ive got two different resistance bands. So maybe my question is if its possible to get more mass on the legs with only home workout.

    When I went to the gym I did squats up to 260lb two times/week and used various isolation-machines but the results was barely visible, and my upper body just continued to grow. I have no intention to get as big as before, I realize it will be a lot harder with only my dumbbells and my imagination. But I feel that I need a different strategy/approach to get my legs to grow.
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  6. #6
    Registered User WolfRose7's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by eiselt3 View Post
    Thanks for quick response.
    Well the thing is I dont want to go to gym anymore. I cant motivate myself to go to the gym anymore, so I try to do home workout. I bought adjustable dumbbells up to 88lb each and Ive got two different resistance bands. So maybe my question is if its possible to get more mass on the legs with only home workout.

    When I went to the gym I did squats up to 260lb two times/week and used various isolation-machines but the results was barely visible, and my upper body just continued to grow. I have no intention to get as big as before, I realize it will be a lot harder with only my dumbbells and my imagination. But I feel that I need a different strategy/approach to get my legs to grow.
    IT's going to be extremely difficult without a barbell, there's some movements you can do with db's and or bands but a lot of the time you are going to be restricted by holding the dumbbells.

    Best you have got will be Bulgarian split Squats, walking lunges, hamstring curls with band, some sort of glute thrust with band, db stiff leg deadlift
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  7. #7
    Registered User daudi81's Avatar
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    Speaking from personal experience (skinny leg crew), train your legs like any other body part - progressive overload, eat food, hard work, and don't leave out specific body parts (ie don't neglect your hammies). Give it a solid 12-24 months of consistent hard work and your legs will grow. I'm not blessed with great leg genetics by any stretch, I thought I would be eternally cursed with skinny quads and no calves, but they grew like weeds with the right stimulus. They're still not tree trunks by any means, but nobody would accuse me of having chicken legs any more - not by a long shot.
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  8. #8
    Registered User RapidFail's Avatar
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    Genetics are a funny thing - your squat is way above mine (154lb for 4 reps), but I have 24 inch thighs and 14.3 inch calves (and 13.5 inch biceps) at about 16% body fat. Stubborn body parts aren't uncommon, you just need progressive overload, adequate volume and a small calorie surplus to grow. I'd look into a good dumbbell-based workout routine that emphasises lower body - an upper/lower split could work well. Check out Stronger by Science's guide to home workouts too. De-training your upper body is not a good idea.
    Last edited by RapidFail; 08-29-2020 at 08:27 AM.
    Age: 36
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    Bent Over Row - 9 x 55kg (121lb), 12 x 50kg (110lb)
    Front squat - 8 x 60kg (132lb)
    Back squat - 4 x 70kg (154lb), 8 x 65kg (143lb)
    RDL - 9 x 85kg (187lb), 11 x 82.5kg (182lb)
    Deadlift - 6 x 95kg (209lb), 9 x 90kg (198lb)
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    Chin Ups - 5 x bodyweight + 10kg (22lb), 13 x bodyweight
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