Ok so my whole take on the fitness thing is this… Building muscle is probably the most worth while endeavor in all of fitness. all of fitness !!!! Muscle is a major determinant on how you burn fat.. and who doesn’t want that?? It also helps you control glucose and aesthictallly makes you look and feel amazing! If you are saying to yourself.. but Yvette I have tried everything… and nothing works.. I never gain muscle. I hear you loud and clear! Trust me I have experienced this … and its actually very common. >So I am sure you already know if you want to get stronger anything.. I ll pick a muscle.. say biceps.. you have to train and train and train that particular body part over and over and over again. YES!!! this is true but what you may not realize there is also another important factor need to grow which comes down to hormones. No matter how many curls you do .. if you don’t have the proper hormonal stimulus for growth all the bicep curls in the world are not going to change your shape. Males and females require the same hormones to grow muscles. Testosterone and human growth hormone are what I am talking about. The reason why men build more muscle than us is because they have higher resting levels of testosterone. But bottom line male or female if these hormones do not get triggered we will not grow our muscles. So what is the key to triggering these hormones you ask? great question! There are two factors that trigger the release of these hormones intensity and the amount of muscle tissue involved. So the more muscle mass involved the more we release and the higher the intensity of the workout the more hormones are released. So here is the key to all this… the simple secret is this.. if you want to grow your muscles anywhere on your body you have to work you legs. This is probably the most ignored principle in the weight training world. I am sure you have seen it.. all these big guys at the gym with huge chests and no legs. The legs are the strongest and biggest muscles in your body. together they represent a massive hormonal stimulant. Working these muscles will release large amounts of testosterone and human growth hormone. The thing to keep in mind.. is that these hormones do not act locally .. they send signals of growth to ALL the muscles. So as you can imagine working biceps and chest.. 2 much small muscle groups cannot compare to the stimulus you will get from leg training. So in essence leg training will not only give you a killer lower body but it will also help your upper body respond with growth .. crazy right? So what leg exercises are best? Compound leg exercises like squats lunges deadlifts and leg presses. they yield the highest rate of return on hormones. Leg extensions, calf raises and and leg curls fall short on this one because they do not involve as much muscle mass or intensity. Now ladies do not be afraid of testosterone or human growth hormone … these are so important for us… they are what build muscle and burn fat!… the very definition of leaness! So how do you make it work? It depends on your fitness goals. Some people like to work full body and incorporate their leg training that way.. or some prefer training splits and dedicate a whole workout to leg training. Whatever the case make sure you get those squats, deadlifts and lunges in! Happy training… and don’t forget if you want your body to become a fat burning machine you need to train legs! Here is a quick dumbbell workout that will train your legs with a bit of mix with your arms as well.