A brave policeman courageously saves a bunch of kids from danger, holding them all with his strong and pumped-up arms – a perfect picture from the cartoon – a massive and handsome hero who saves the world. But something doesn’t feel right, maybe his rod-like skinny legs? Although big upper body skinny legs guys look nice in the cartoons, real-life image is quite worrying and annoying. If you feel that you fit into this description, let’s see into the reasons for skinny legs big upper body problem and the ways to deal with it.
Skinny Legs Big Upper Body: Reasons Guys Get Stuck With Skinny Legs
This problem is mainly addressed by men as long as they keep focus on the strength of their shoulders and torso while training. Apart from that, extra calories and fat accumulate mainly in the upper body. Let’s get more specific on that:
You Are Not Switching Up Your Exercises
Having a workout routine is a ‘must’ when wanting to reach your goals. However, the key to success is change. A change of exercises, muscles you work out, time, speed, repetitions, environment, etc. Our body gets used to basically everything. That’s why it’s a good idea to alter the way you work out. This way, you’ll keep a proper balance and won’t get overtrained in some specific places.
You Might Have Weak Legs
Weak legs are skinny legs. Everyone tends to carry fat and muscle in different areas of the body. Your genetics can be the reason why you can’t grow big legs, even if you can easily build muscle in your upper body. It’s challenging to confront your genetics but possible.
You Need To Concentrate On Volume Training
Volume training is weight training. It involves high set counts and moderate repetitions. Lower and high-volume pieces of training will help you build your leg strength and forget about skinny and weak ones.
You Are Complicating Things
Don’t rush into doing as many diverse exercises as possible – keep your head cool. When you want to make an effective workout plan to build bigger legs, concentrate on the variations of squats and deadlifts, they are the foundation of bigger leg size workouts.
You Are Doing Too Much Cardio
Cardio exercises must cover 50% of the exercises you do because they make you fit and endurable enough to proceed with a strength workout. They won’t make your legs bigger, but the generally positive influence on your body is immense. Consider cardio as a basis for the fat upper body skinny legs workouts.
You Need To Take More Carbs
What? Are we talking about the carbs all the programs recommend limiting? Yes. Regarding fitness, carbs should be reduced, but when it comes down to muscle growth, there are some pleasant modifications to this rule.
It goes without saying that you need to add healthy types of carbs – porridges, fruits, bananas, homemade oatmeal cookies, etc. Go for the carbohydrates that give you energy and fill you with important nutrients.
Carbohydrates are an important part of muscle-gaining workouts. Plan your diet following the 60-30-10 rule. 60% of carbs, 30% – protein, 10% – fats. Of course, you don’t have to be that precise, but try to reach these limits +/- 10%.
You Are Neglecting Your Calves
Calves can play a joke with you because they are the most problematic muscles to grow. To win over, put them under more tension. For strength and size, you need to do calf raises for a minimum of 40-50 seconds with 3-5 repetitions.
You Are Missing Leg Days
Some people just don’t consider leg strength training as a serious one. And that’s quite a mindless approach. You can do the best exercises for your upper body, but they won’t make skinny legs big. And as a result, you’ll just have an inverted triangle – certainly not something you were looking for.
Make the leg days, concentrating on your upper body 15-20% of the time, and leave the rest for leg exercises.
Best Workout For People With Skinny Legs And Big Upper Body
Now, when we clearly see the big upper body with skinny legs, let’s get down to work. What exercises can make your lower body and thighs bigger and more muscular?
1. The Barbell Bulgarian Split Squat
A great lower body workout; however, a barbell Bulgarian split squat is more recommended for experienced lifters because it can be challenging to get into the correct positions with a barbell on your back. In fact, if you don’t have enough balance and coordination to do the exercise correctly, you can seriously hurt yourself.
If you’re a novice, try without barbells. Just learn to do it at first, to keep the balance, and only then add heavier weights.
- Stand with your back facing the bench.
- Place a barbell on the back of your shoulders and grasp it firmly with both hands.
- Place your foot on the bench with laces down so that only one of your feet is on the floor.
- Keep your back upright, and breathe in as you squat down until the knee of your back leg nearly touches the floor.
- Breathe out as you push yourself back up to the starting position, straightening your leg.
- Continue for the desired number of reps with one leg and that with the other.
As a rule of thumb, your front foot should be three footsteps from the bench; your back knee should go down to the floor.
2. Seated Dumbbell Calf Raise
One of the must-have exercises on your list for making skinny legs big. It helps burn more calories and make a bigger lower body.
- Have a sit on the bench, with a flat back. Place a moderate or heavy dumbbell across your thighs, just above your knees.
- Remaining seated, with your back straight, raise your heels as high as possible.
- Hold on here for a moment and slowly lower your heels back to the floor.
- Do as many reps and sets as you desire.
3. Romanian Deadlift
Deadlifts are one of the most crucial strength exercises to get a bigger lower body and legs, providing many benefits. The Romanian deadlift targets your hamstrings, glutes, and forearm flexors and provides a profound leg workout.
- Use an overhand grip to hold the bars at hip level.
- Draw your shoulders back and keep your spine straight.
- Push your hips back as you slowly lower the bar towards the floor, touching your feet.
- Press your hips forward to come into a standing position with the barbell in front of your thighs.
- The number of reps shouldn’t be higher than 5 at the beginning. Follow your senses.
4. Hack Squats
Squatting is a part of our natural movement; it recruits many joints and muscles and requires core stability to perform. It’s pretty effective at developing muscular strength and endurance and one of the most effective lower body workouts out there. The hack squat is a variation that relies on a piece of gym machinery to perform.
- Before getting on the machine, choose the weight you want to lift.
- The starting position is to place your feet flat on the plate and lean back into your back pads. Your feet must be far enough forward to let you squat down into a deep squat and be shoulder-width apart. You may slightly bend your knees at this point, which is okay.
- Hold onto the bars just by your shoulders. Release the safety handles, breathe in, and lower down, bending your knees.
- From the bottom of the squat, drive back up to standing. Push from the heels, glutes, and legs, not the knees. Once you’re at the top of the movement, breathe in, and go again.
- The number of reps and sets depends on you; increase them when you feel ready.
5. Barbell Side Lunge
One more workout, a must-have for a leg day. It engages abs, hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps muscles and, most importantly, gives enough tension to build more muscular calves.
- Stand straight with your legs shoulder-width apart; hold a barbell on your back (the weight of the bars is up to you. Choose the lightest at the beginning).
- Step your right leg out to the side and lower your body as you bend your knee; keep your left leg straight.
- Drive yourself back up to starting position and repeat on the other side.
- The number of reps and sets depends on your strength.
6. Good Morning
What a nice name for a challenging bodybuilding exercise. It activates muscle groups across your whole body.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and a light barbell rest across the back of your shoulders, not your neck.
- Stand upright, brace your core and pull your shoulders back. Take a breath and step forwards from your hips, not your waist, allowing a slight bend in your knees but keeping your back flat.
- Lean forwards until you feel a slight stretch in your hamstrings; then, reverse the move to stand up straight as you exhale.
- The number of reps is up to you.
7. Hip Thruster
When it comes to building strong calves and having efficient leg training, the hip thrust is among the leaders. It’s a simple exercise, only requiring a bench, a barbell, and (if possible) a bar pad.
- Sit on the floor with your back resting against a bench. Your shoulders should be resting on the middle of the bench.
- Roll a loaded barbell (start with the light one) over your thighs and place it in your hip crease (the point where your thighs meet your torso). Put a barbell pad or folded yoga mat between the bar and your hip bones to prevent bruising and make the exercise more comfortable.
- Put your feet on the floor about shoulder-width apart. Grab the bar with your palms facing toward the floor.
- Push the bar upward with your hips by pressing through your heels. As you thrust upward, tuck your chin to your chest to prevent you from overarching your back and straining your neck.
- Reverse the movement to return the bar to its starting position on the floor.
- The number of repetitions and sets depend on you.
The Bottom Line
Having a big upper body small legs problem is a widespread issue and can be the reason for frustration. In this case, you may want to read more data on that and improve your workout plan. It’s important to put more energy and focus on the growth of your calves. Dedicate more time to leg days during the workout week, and you will see how your work adds an excellent shape to your legs. When you train hard in the gym, you’ll see the muscle mass growing day by day and the body fat reducing. Besides, these changes will boost your self-confidence a lot. Worth the effort, isn’t it?
Don’t forget to set a few days to recover on your way to improvement. If you work out 7 days a week, you may soon face exhaustion and a loss of motivation.
Don’t try to catch up on the missed workouts in 1 day (for many reasons); just follow your regular routine as on any other day.
And here’s something most important to note – life is not about constant workouts and muscle building. Learn to enjoy your time in the gym, turn it into pleasure, not a burdensome routine, and then, every single day will bring you more than just muscles.
Good luck, and share your results with us.