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How To Build "Leg Armor"?

In MMA the target for the outside leg kick is on the side of the leg just aboove the knee (bottom of the vastus lateralis).

The target for the inside leg kick is the sartoris and the gracilis.

What are the best exercises to build up some muscle mass in these areas?

@Chris_Colucci would you mind putting this back into Coach CTs forum please? I understand this is combat related but really I’m asking how to build muscle is specific areas not for combat advice

The thing is, building specific leg muscles will do little, if anything, to help protect against taking damage from leg kicks. If it did, Muay Thai fighters would spend a lot more time doing lunges and step-ups.

Technique, fight strategy, and general conditioning drills will deliver a lot more bang for the training buck.


I do agree. We do conditioning drill for taking leg kick. Similar to this. However, extra meat between the skin and the nerves cannot hurt.

Best strategy would be to condition the shins and improve your checking technique. Obviously having better foot work and distance management comes before that.

There is a difference between he abs acting like armor and the legs (or arms) acting like armor.

The abs protect the internal organs. Thicker/harder abs (mostly a higher muscle tone) will less the impact of a blow to those internal organs and can thus have a real significant impact.

However leg and arm muscles are not the same way as a blow to those muscles will hurt almost the same regardless of the muscle mass you have.

I’m not saying that you should not make those muscles stronger, but that it will not have the protective effect that you think.


Muscles themselves have nerves and can hurt. With abs vs. internal organs there is a huge difference because the pain from getting hit in the abs is minimal compared to if the impact of the blow makes it to the internal organs.

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