Building Great Legs

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Question: I want to shape my legs more. What is a good routine for women that will tone my legs without bulking them out more?
Answer: You may be the type that has an “easy” time building muscle and when you train legs you feel like your jeans get tighter. After leg training your muscles will swell slightly and if you’re wearing snug jeans anyway they feel tighter. To really build muscle, and plenty of guys try hard every day to do that, you need different hormones and a lot of hard training. So don’t feel like you’ll become the Hulk. A final item to remember is to adjust your food and cardio to make sure you’re losing fat because if you do build a little muscle without losing fat you’ll still feel larger.
Begin your training with Leg Curls. These build the hamstrings and often neglected in a workout. Do 4 sets of 12 – 15 reps per set. Alternate them with Standing Calf Raises 4 x 15.
Bench Step-ups are next on the hit list. Do 3 sets of 10 reps each leg alternating them with Inner Thigh doing 3 x 12. You can hold dumbbells in each hand to increase the intensity of the exercise. They should get you breathing hard and if they don’t then grab some dumbbells.
Follow those with Wide Stance Squats a.k.a. Sumo Squats for guys and Plie’ Squats for the ladies. Hold a dumbbell with both hands hanging it at your waist in front of you if you need added resistance. The wide stance hits your inner thigh more. Make sure that the center of your thighs go as low as parallel to the floor or you’re neglecting your glutes and only doing half of an exercise. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.
Finally, complete your workout with a Walking Lunge/Leg Press combo. Do the lunges first for 15 reps on each leg and move immediately to the leg press for an additional set of 20 reps. On Lunges keep your leading heel on the floor to reduce knee pressure and when doing the Leg Press keep your feet placement high and drive the movement through your heels to emphasize the hamstrings and glutes. Do 3 sets of each of these exercises and when you are finished stretch your hamstrings and quads. Use enough weight on each exercise to get a good burn in the last 25% of the set but not so heavy that you sacrifice form.
God bless and keep training.
Daryl

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