Not Building the Toned Leg Definition You Want? 4 Mistakes You're Probably Making

| Fitness
leg definition
(Photo: Shutterstock)

If you're a pro at leg day but you aren't seeing the definition you hoped for (no shame!), there could be a simple explanation as to why. It can be frustrating to know that your long hours at the gym aren't paying off the way you'd like, but after making these simple changes you'll be seeing muscle definition in your legs in no time.

MORE: Here's Exactly What to Do to Crush Leg Day

1. You're not stretching.

Go back to basics. Before starting your workout, it's always a good idea to stretch. But if you're not stretching to your full advantage and extending your range of motion, you could end up with sub-par results no matter how hard you push yourself at the gym. It also helps to cool down with some static stretches that focus on flexibility at the end of the workout.

2. You're only doing high-rep exercises.

This is one instance where 'more' might not always mean 'better'. Try switching between light high-rep and heavy low-rep exercises to increase definition in your legs. Not only will the change help your workout go by faster (something we love for leg day), but it'll keep your muscles guessing, which could mean better results.

3. You're not using enough weight.

It may seem obvious enough to be overlooked, but it is possible you're not using as much weight as you should be when working your lower body. Because your lower body does a lot of the heavy lifting in your day-to-day life, it may need more added weight than you'd expect in order to really make a change. Try adding more weight to leg-focused machines at the gym, or simply add ankle weights to your favorite freestanding workout routines.

4. You're not eating right.

A killer gym routine alone isn't going to give you the results you're looking for. Weight-training pros are known for counting their macros, but even if you're not keen on keeping a close eye on your diet, it's worth noting that what you eat can impact the effectiveness of your workouts. As exercise physiologist Pete McCall told Daily Burn, you won't see your muscles rebuilding after a strenuous workout the way they should if you're not refueling properly. "It’s important to have a protein-filled snack or shake within 30 minutes of exercise because that’s the most effective time to replace the carbs you just used and start the repair process," he explains. So make sure you're ready to replenish after you hit the gym.


Top-Rated High-Protein Snacks for Muscle Recovery
Reese Witherspoon's No-Gym Workout To Sculpt Lean Muscle
These Total-Body Fitness Challanges From Jillian Michaels Will Work Your Muscles Like Never Before