Build Your Own Legs

Sculpt an eye-catching lower body with our comprehensive how-to guide

February 11, 2013

What woman doesn’t want legs that are long, lean, strong, and defined? you can thank—or blame—your parents for the “long” part, but the rest is up to you. you likely know a lot about training legs already, but who couldn’t use a refresher on exactly why you’re doing what you’re doing in order to target the exact areas you need to improve? read on for all the building blocks you can use to give yourself a great set of stems. Depending on your area of focus, just pick two exercises for each muscle group and keep these three basic principles in mind:

1 / Prioritize your weaknesses. For instance, if your quads overpower your hamstrings, work hamstrings first in the training session while you’re strongest.

2 / Tailor your rep ranges to your goals. To put on size, use weights heavy enough to allow you to achieve failure with- in six to eight reps. to lean out, lighten up and shoot for 12–15 reps per set.

3 / Take differences into account. Calf muscles tend to be smaller and slower to develop than glutes, hams, or quads. If you need to bring yours up, consider working them while you recover from a set focused on one of the larger muscles.