The reason you’re sporting branchlets for legs is obvious if you’re fond of skipping leg days. But for the diehards who log the time, reps, and sets yet still see no gains in the size of their quads or hammies, zeroing in on the “what” and “why” this is occurring can be as puzzling as is it is maddening.

For answers, we spoke with Nick Clayton, MS, MBA, CSCS,*D, RSCC, Personal Training Program Manager for the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Follow Clayton’s tips, and you might finally manage to turn those stems into tree trunks.

Bodybuilder AKIM squatting and working out his lower body with a leg exercise

30 Best Leg Exercises of All Time

Build strength from the ground up with these lower-body moves.

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