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3 Exercises for Strong and Lean Legs

By Genevieve Cunningham

Whether you’re a male or female, having strong legs is an envious goal. Our legs provide us stability and power. And it doesn’t hurt that a strong and lean pair of legs are also physically attractive. But the legs are one of the hardest parts of our bodies to sculpt and build. They contain very large muscle groups that require very specific attention in order to grow. If you want to get started on building the legs of your dreams, check out these three great exercises to begin as soon as today.

The Donkey Kick

The donkey kick is a move that works the entire leg from the glutes all the way down. To do this move, you’ll start on your hands and knees. Make sure that your knees are under your hips and your hands under your shoulders. With one leg, pull your knee toward your chest, and then kick back and up. It will be fast and strong, much akin to a donkey’s powerful kick … thus the name. For proper form and a great example to follow, a quick YouTube search will get you what you need.

Calf Raises

Sometimes we forget to work these muscles in our legs. We tend to gain fat on our upper legs, and so these little muscles get forgotten.  But a strong and lean calf muscle can balance out your leg and add to its appearance. You don’t need any equipment for a calf raise. You’ll just stand with your feet shoulder width apart, and then lift yourself up onto your tiptoes. You’ll then repeat this move multiple times without completely lowering yourself all the way down in between. To make it more challenging, you can hold weights or simply use a step in order to make the move’s range of motion greater.


This is a move that is tried and true. A good squat (actually many, many good squats) can really shape up your backside and upper legs. To perform a proper squat, stand with your legs shoulder width apart. Then bend at the knees until you are in a seated position. You’ll keep your rear back as far as you can, so as to ease any tension on the knees. On the way back up, squeeze your legs and glute muscles. The great thing about squats is that they can be done with no equipment for beginners, or you can use weights for a challenge. You can also vary the position of your feet in order to work different muscle groups in your legs.

Building the legs will take time, dedication, and focus. You might feel like you’re not getting anywhere at all, but stick with it. Those muscles will grow and that fat will burn if you stay at it. Use these exercises to give yourself a headstart, and enjoy your stronger, leaner legs in no time.

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