I used to hate my legs. I never wore shorts and would struggle to get my thighs in a lot of trousers. Training changed my shape to one where I can pick up my size and 90% fit me straight off the hanger.
I used to hate my legs. I never wore shorts and would struggle to get my thighs in a lot of trousers. Training changed my shape to one where I can pick up my size and 90% fit me straight off the hanger. I didn’t think it was possible to change the circumference of your thighs and thought muscle would only make them bigger…how wrong was I!
“I didn’t think it was possible to change the circumference of your thighs and thought muscle would only make them bigger…how wrong was I!”
I was made pear shape and grew up with thick legs, a small waist and a weak upper body. When I started training properly in the gym, I began lifting weights but was scared that my legs would only get bigger. I voiced this to another PT and he replied “just do weights with your upper body and do cardio” – the result? A strong and lean torso and legs that did not match. So I decided to ignore the advice and do weights with my whole body, the aim just to get myself as strong as I could. These three exercises were game-changers for me as I could see my legs shaping up the more I did them. Then that wonderful day when I was sat down and the pen rolled off my book and between my thighs, I never had a gap there before!
What is weight training?
When people say “weights” they often mean dumbbells or barbells but weight really is anything that offers resistance. Bodyweight training is still weight training and the weight of your whole body is significant enough for most people (to start with anyhow!) These three are bodyweight exercises although it is possible to hold weights in the first exercise and you can add ankle weights for the second and third if you like.
Exercise 1: The simple low squat
Start with your feet at ten to two anywhere between hip distance and shoulder distance apart, feet turning out slightly. Lift your chest, draw your shoulder back and pull your belly in tight as you push your hips back bringing your weight into your heels. Slowly lower down until your bum reaches your heels (or as close to as possible). If you feel your heels come up then roll a mat up and put it under your heels to support the movement.
Beginner: 2 x 6
Intermediate: 2 x 12
Advanced: 3 x 15
Exercise 2: Single leg raise in seating
Sit down on your mat with both legs extended out in front of you. Draw one foot in so that it is in line with the opposite knee. Hold the shin with both hands and gentle pull with your arms to help lift up your torso. Engage the thigh of the extended leg, pulling the knee cap up and choose to flex or point your foot. Raise the leg up and down minimising any movement in your torso. Choose to lean body back if it feels too intense as shown in the video below. Start small and work up!
Beginner: 2 x 6
Intermediate: 2 x 10
Advanced: 3 x 10
Exercise 3: Supine V’s
Beginner: 2 x 10
Intermediate: 3 x 15
Advanced: 4 x 20
How often do I need to do these exercises?
If your legs are a problem area for you then I suggest that you do these every time you exercise. If you aren’t training regularly then I suggest you start with walking 20 – 40 minutes three times per week and do them when you come in from each walk. Otherwise incorporate them into your gym routine and home training schedule. You could even just set yourself the goal of doing 20 minutes exercises for your body every night in front of the tv! Anything is better than nothing!
Feel like you need some support to get started?
Here are Free Spirit, we can make sure that you get the momentum that is needed to start training regularly and we can also teach you to train yourself doing the right exercises in the right quantities. Often people find that when they are more confident with what they are doing and now how to do it then they are more likely to make the time for it. Drop us an email today to book yourself a FREE CONSULTATION
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"One stone lighter, 20 times stronger and 100 times happier with my fitness thanks to 12 months with Freespirit Fitness"