How to get thicker thighs and legs

Written by ilana waters
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How to get thicker thighs and legs
Strong legs look good, no matter who has them. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

You have weak, spindly legs, and they're an area of your body that you'd like to change. You want thick legs -- strong with lean muscle and very little fatty tissue. But it takes a lot of hard work to get there, especially if you don't have a body type that puts on muscle easily. Women often have a harder time than men, since their bodies contain less muscle mass in general, not just on their legs. Never fear -- with enough time and effort, you too can have the thicker thighs and legs you've always wanted.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


  1. 1

    Start with a nutritious, protein-rich diet to help your legs build muscle. Have protein with each meal; for instance, a breakfast with eggs or egg whites, lunch of tuna fish, and dinner with chicken or turkey breast (no skin). Take protein supplements or powders in low-fat milk. Vegans can use rice milk or a nut-based milk, such as almond. The amount of protein supplement to take depends upon your body weight, and whether you are male or female; heavier individuals and males can typically tolerate larger supplements. Eat beans -- they are also a source of protein.

  2. 2

    Do cardiovascular exercises that focus on the legs -- at least 40y minutes a day, six days a week. Go running or jogging to firm up the calves fast. Go biking to work on quadriceps (the set of muscles that comprise the front of your leg). Use elliptical machines to work both the front and back of your legs. Use a combination of forward and backward motions to hit the right muscle groups.

  3. 3

    Perform strength training exercises that focus on the legs. To do squats, for example, put your arms straight out in front of you, and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Hold the position for three seconds, then rise and repeat. To do calf raises, place a book under the front of your feet with the heels off the floor. Stand on your tiptoes as many times as you can in one minute. Rest for one minute, then repeat. Perform leg lifts to work the sides and backs of your legs. Standing up (hold onto a chair for support, if needed), lift your leg back, then to the side. Hold each position for thirty second. Rest for thirty seconds, then repeat. Perform three sets of squats, calf raises, and leg lifts each day on alternate days.

Tips and warnings

  • Check out exercise equipment, such as leg presses, at your gym.
  • Allow one day of rest between strength exercises.

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