To build muscle mass in the upper and lower legs, Men's Health recommends performing weighted exercises, such as squats, lunges and block raises. Performing these movements with increasing weight bearings ensures that the muscles continue to grow over time. Additional movements, such as kick backs and seated rows, do not require the use of weights but are still effective at toning leg muscles and burning fat.
Men's Health reminds fitness enthusiasts that it is equally important to stretch leg muscles, warm up before exercise and cool down after exercise sessions to minimize the risk of injury. Incorporating the use of pre-workout nutrition shakes is a great way to provide the body with adequate carbohydrates and protein to fuel an intensive workout and ensure that the leg muscles recover quickly.
Whitney Cole and Byron Paidoussi from Muscle and Fitness explain that most people experience muscle dominance on the side of the body they use most often, resulting in an imbalance of muscle growth. To combat this, they recommend performing exercises with one side of the body at a time to ensure that each side trains with the maximum weight possible. For example, instead of doing squats with both legs, it helps to squat with the right and left legs independently. They also caution people against using seated leg machines at the gym as the devices have been known to cause injury to tendons and muscles.