Legs can be one of the most stubborn body parts for men to see a drastic change in.

If you’re just starting off in a muscle-building regimen—hoping to bulk your chicken legs, pull off some stylish short shorts, or get muscle definition like Cristiano Ronaldo’s—improving your leg musculature all begins with the basics.

In terms of training, a beginner should focus on a few fundamentals. You’ll want exercises that train each leg individually (aka “unilaterally”), which ensures equal muscle development. (Imbalances can throw off the quality of your bigger, more complicated lifts down the road.)

You’ll also want to train side-to-side (aka “laterally”), which helps build smaller stabilizer muscles crucial for injury prevention. Most importantly, you’ll want resistance training moves that’ll hit the major muscles in your posterior chain—like your glutes and your hamstrings—because they produce the most force in your body.