How to Get Bigger Legs Below the Knee
To build bigger legs below your knees, remember to train your shin muscle as well as your calves. The muscle along the front of your lower legs might be hard to spot until you point your toes upward. Because your lower leg muscles are highly engaged when you walk and run, you must challenge them with highly intense exercises if you want them to grow bigger. Progressive resistance training exercises are excellent for getting bigger legs.
Single-Leg Calf Raises
Position a 25-pound weight plate on the floor next to a wall or bar that you can hold for balance. Grab a heavy dumbbell with your right hand.
Place the ball of your right foot at the rim of the plate; your toes should be firmly planted on the weight plate. Keep your left foot off of the floor.
Tip-toe on the plate with your right foot and hold the contraction for two seconds, working your calf muscles, your gastrocnemius and soleus. Repeat the exercise for 10 total repetitions then switch legs. Hold the dumbbell in your left hand and complete 10 repetitions of calf raises.
Grab a heavier dumbbell and complete another set for each leg. Continue to increase the weight you are using until you can only do six repetitions per set. Do a total of six sets.
Weight-Plate Toe Raises
Perform toe raises for your shin muscle, or tibialis, by sitting on a flat bench with a 25-pound weight plate and two 10-pound plates on the floor next to you.
Place your right foot flat on the ground, then position a 10-pound plate over the top of your right foot; adjust the plate to a comfortable position. Bend the toes of your right foot upward, focusing on your shin muscle, while keeping your heel on the ground. Hold the contraction for two seconds then repeat for nine more reps. Switch sides to work the shin muscle on your left leg for one set of 10 reps.
Use the 25-pound plate for your next set. Increase the resistance by placing the 10-pound plates on top of the 25-pound plate.
Switch to the 35- or 45-pound weight plates if necessary for it to be challenging to complete six reps per set. Do a total of six sets to achieve maximum efficiency.
Substitute the single-leg calf raises with Smith-machine calf raises every four to six weeks. Also, vary your foot position for a few sets by pointing your toes inward and outward. Record your leg training to ensure you are using progressively heavier weights. Stretch your calves and shins at the end of every workout to maintain the range of motion at your ankles.
Start with light weights and three sets per exercise to reduce your risk of extreme muscle soreness.
Paula Quinene is an Expert/Talent, Writer and Content Evaluator for Demand Media, with more than 1,500 articles published primarily in health, fitness and nutrition. She has been an avid weight trainer and runner since 1988. She has worked in the fitness industry since 1990. She graduated with a Bachelor's in exercise science from the University of Oregon and continues to train clients as an ACSM-Certified Health Fitness Specialist.