Do you suffer from chicken leg syndrome like I do? Don’t you just wish there was a quick trick to get your chicken legs to be the beastly thighs and monster calves you see on some guys or even some ladies?
Have you been trying different leg routines but don’t seem to get any visible or measurable results?
There are two factors—at least from my experience—that cause someone to have underdeveloped legs.
One, which I am the guiltiest of, is not training them at all. How are they supposed to get big anyway if all I’m doing is skipping leg day? I’ve been working out on a regular basis since I was twenty-two years old, and before then on and off since I was eighteen. Sure, my workout routines have slowly transformed over the course of six years when I realize I’m doing something that isn’t producing results or when I get more motivated to push myself further. It’s pretty evident when everyone else around you seems to be gaining and you are not—kind of makes you lose motivation right? But what I’ve had to tell myself are these:
You can’t give up just because someone is doing better than you.
Don’t be afraid of playing catch up.
You just haven’t found what works for you specifically.
And with those thoughts I knew the day would come where I’d be happy with a leg routine that works for me. I’ve had plenty of workout blunders in the past, and all I could do was try something different and to adapt. Thanks to some gym buddies, and tips from exercise science friends, I learned to change my leg workout routine into one that delivers the best results. Maybe my workout can work for you as well. (You can skip to my leg routine at the end of the article or you can continue reading)
Two, which is pretty obvious and I’m sure all of you have witnessed this, has to do with genetics. Do you ever see people with huge calves and then notice that they have no definition in their upper bodies? Or maybe you’ve had friends who have told you themselves that they never or only seldom workout and yet they have very large calves? Yup. How naturally big or small your calves are pretty much has to do with your genes, so thank your parents!
So why are they so resistant to growth? If you think about it, we have been on our feet since the day we learned to walk. Since we use them so often, they develop this sort of resistance which makes it very hard to gain mass in the area. Muscles that are used for endurance tend to develop endurance fibers versus those muscles that have explosive fibers. What makes it worse is the fact that when you grow your quadriceps and hamstrings, your calves are pretty much isolated and seem smaller than ever. So what’s the solution?
No matter how hard you try—if you’re like me and have “stick” legs, “scissor” legs, “chicken” legs, or whatever else you want to call them—nothing can really make the difference that you truly want. All you can do is to continue finding different workouts that can enhance their appearance. All our muscles, from the way they are shaped, to their sizes, and to their lengths are due to our genetics. Sometimes it’s okay and best to accept and let go.
Although I’ve accepted that my chicken legs can only improve so much, I have at least found a routine that shows me enough results to keep me motivated.
- Squats – A total of 5 sets. Do 3 sets of increasing weight. Start with 12, 10, then 8 reps. Then do the set again but as a drop set, meaning you do 2 more sets decreasing the weight. For example, I would start my squats at 30 kilos (12 reps), 40 kilos (10 reps), then 50 kilos (8 reps). For the drop set I would do another 40 kilos (10 reps), and end with 30 kilos (12 reps).
Leg Extensions – For this workout just do 3 sets of increasing weight. 12, 10, and 8 repSeated Leg Curl – Also do 3 sets of increasing weight. 12, 10, 8 reps
Leg Press – Do 3 sets of increasing weight. But this time do 25, 20, then 15 reps
Seated Calf Raise – For the final exercise, do 4 sets of increasing weight, starting with 30 reps, 25, 20, and ending with 15 reps.