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What Exercise Helps Increase Size in My Lower Body?

author image Patrick Dale
Patrick Dale is an experienced writer who has written for a plethora of international publications. A lecturer and trainer of trainers, he is a contributor to "Ultra-FIT" magazine and has been involved in fitness for more than 22 years. He authored the books "Military Fitness", "Live Long, Live Strong" and "No Gym? No Problem!" and served in the Royal Marines for five years.
What Exercise Helps Increase Size in My Lower Body?
Build bigger legs with squats. Photo Credit Ibrakovic/iStock/Getty Images

To build muscular size in your lower body you'll have to hit the gym and lift weights. Bodybuilders commonly perform a variety of leg exercises, use moderate to heavy weights and perform sets of six to 12 repetitions, and so should you. Try to increase the number of reps you perform, the amount of weight you lift or the number of sets you complete from one week to the next to keep your muscles growing. Make sure you eat a healthy diet that contains adequate protein, carbohydrate and fat to fuel muscle growth.


Squats are frequently called the king of leg exercises -- and rightly so. Squats work every muscle in your legs and a lot of upper body muscles too. Weightlifters and bodybuilders have big legs, and the exercise that unites all of them is squats. To make your muscles grow, you must load them with a substantial amount of weight, so barbell squats work best. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a barbell across the tops of your shoulders or upper back. Lift your chest, brace your core, push your hips back and bend your knees. Squat until your thighs are roughly parallel to the floor. Do not round your lower back. Stand back up and repeat. For safety, perform this exercise in a squat rack.

Leg Press

The leg press allows you to perform a squat-like movement with without having to rest a barbell across your shoulders. As your back is supported, you are free to focus on working your legs as hard as you can. Sit on the machine and place your feet on the footplate, about hip-width apart. Bend your knees and lower the weight, then push it straight back up. Do not round your lower back at the bottom of the movement as this can lead to injury. As the design of leg press machines vary, get expert instruction if you are unsure how to safely use the machine..

Bulgarian Split Squat

The Bulgarian split squat, also known as the rear foot elevated split squat, is a unilateral leg exercise, which means you work one leg at a time. This ensures that you build both legs equally and develop balance, mobility and athleticism. To perform this exercise, stand with your back to an exercise bench. Bend one leg and place your foot on the bench behind you. Hop forward into a split stance. Keep your front shin vertical and your torso upright. Bend your legs and lower your rear knee to the floor. Stand back up and repeat. Perform the same number of repetitions on each leg. Make this exercise more demanding by holding dumbbells or wearing a weighted vest.

Stiff-legged Deadlifts

Stiff-legged deadlifts, also known as Romanian deadlifts, work your hamstring and gluteus maximus muscles. These important leg muscles are all too easy to forget about as they are behind you and "out of sight, out of mind," as the saying goes. To hit these important muscles, hold a barbell in front of your legs with a shoulder-width overhand grip and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees slightly and then push your hips back. Simultaneously lean forward and -- without rounding your lower back -- lower the bar along the front of your legs. Stand up straight and repeat. This exercise can also be performed using dumbbells.

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