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Want stronger, shapelier, leaner legs?

January 8, 2010

I store fat on my thighs, hips and butt. That’s where it goes, I’m afraid. (More so when I was younger, so I guess that’s one tiny perk of getting older.)

So I used to fear exercises like squats. I thought they’d only make my legs swell. NOT my intention!

Yes, squats DO make the muscle on your leg and butt grow. But, understand this: The added muscle only makes your legs firmer and shapelier. And the extra muscle on your body will boost your metabolism, so you’ll burn fat faster. Working your legs hard (no pink  DBs) makes everything tighter, more compact! You’ll look better in your jeans!

Here’s my leg workout for today. I worked out with my boyfriend, Alan.

SQUATS
2 warm-up sets, 12 reps each

  • one set with no weight
  • one set performed holding a 10-lb plate against my chest

3 work sets, using BB in squat rack

STIFF-LEG DEADLIFTS supersetted with GOOD MORNINGS
3 total sets of 12 reps each. We alternated a hip-width stance on the Stiff-Legs (fashionably called Romanian Deadlifts, or RDLs, these days) with a wide stance on the Good Mornings.

Rest about 45 seconds between sets. (Here’s a great place to drink some water and “regroup.”)

K-TIP: A SUPERSET is 2 or more exercises performed back to back with little, if any, rest between exercises. Supersets can be more intense than “straight sets” and can get your heart rate up nicely. You’ll have to use lighter weight during supersets. 

SUMO SQUATS, with BB (shown here, in my BF’s TV room) These are also called “plie squats.” They involve a very wide stance, which helps to target your glutes and inner thighs more.
3 sets, 10 reps

ONE-LEGGED CALF RAISES

3 sets of 12-15, each leg

CALF PRESSES (both legs, on leg press machine)

3 sets, 12-15 reps

AB WORK:

KNEE-UPS supersetted with BALL TOSS CRUNCH

3 total supersets, alternating 20 knee-ups on the vertical bench with a mat crunch/ball toss to my partner.

Tossing a light medicine ball to your partner while you’re doing crunches is more fun!

I mention my boyfriend here because he’s a tremendous help while working out! For years, I trained alone. But I must say that working out with Alan makes the whole business more fun. I still do work out alone, but save the “tough” days for Alan! He spots me on squats, so I am more confident about using heavier weight–I know he’ll give me a little support when I need it!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 8, 2010 4:26 pm

    I had a great leg workout with the routine you put together! I am really feeling my legs today, so I know I’m making progress.

    Alan

  2. kafe55 permalink
    January 8, 2010 7:20 pm

    Thanks, Alan. Just keep going to the gym, be patient and you WILL see changes! And check into a Gravatar, lol.

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