Nick Jack – CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach and Personal Trainer
For many women having toned legs and a butt comes way before the belly. They are constantly searching for the elusive secret to having sexy legs. In fact, many believe that they need to spend hours on the treadmill running or even better, walking up stairs, endlessly, to tone their legs. Although these can be great forms of exercise to get started with, the secret they are searching for is in many ways a lot easier to carry out and much more time efficient.
The secret they search for exists in two things.
The first is obvious, Nutrition.
The second is Weight Training. When I say this, most girls will respond by saying, “I don’t want my legs to get bigger”!
It is important to note here that females only have 1/10th of the levels of testosterone that males do. Meaning that it is near on impossible to make their muscles grow bigger. In my experience, of more than eight years as a personal trainer, all the girls who have become great at lifting weights have shrunk in measurements. The bigger the weights they lift, the smaller and tighter their muscles became.
Both Nutrition and Weight Training are often misunderstood and applied with poor knowledge and planning, consequently not giving the desired results the person is looking for.
Over training is another reason for not obtaining your goal of sexy legs. Training too often can create an environment where improvements become impossible, as there is not enough time to replenish and repair. Therefore, in order to keep it simple, I have made a list of the essentials to gaining those sexy legs that you have always been looking for.
Nutrition Key Points
- You must eat breakfast.
- Don’t go any longer than four hours without eating.
- Eat 5-6 meals per day, and make sure you eat a good variety of proteins and vegetables with every meal.
- Avoid high energy carbohydrates such as breads and pastas.
- Eat good quality protein within 30 minutes of working out.
Weight Training Key Points
- Aim to do 3 x 40-60 minute weight training sessions per week. E.g. Monday, Wednesday & Saturday.
- Your program should include whole body exercises with multi-joint movements in a standing position. This promotes great strength in the legs and more importantly promotes a massive increase in your metabolic rate, which helps you to change body composition.
- Each weight session should include – Squats, Lunges, Step Ups, Deadlifts, and Pushing, Pulling and Twisting exercises.
- Avoid machines, and stick to cables and free weights as the energy demand is greater and you will also become stronger for real life movements.
In conclusion, as long as you eat good quality foods frequently, and include weight training exercises that are completed standing up, you will achieve the result of “Sexy Toned Legs That Are To Die For”.
Nick Jack is a qualified CHEK Exercise Coach, Level II Holistic Lifestyle Coach and personal trainer. He runs a personal training business called No Regrets Personal Training.
Nick likes to lift weights, cycle, run and triathlon. He has played almost every sport at one time in his life. Now, he enjoys spending time walking his dog and relaxing with his wife and friends.
Vanessa Auditore – Human Behaviour and Wellbeing Specialist
Sexy Legs are a work of art. The legs are a major component to our overall physique. However, many woman are engaged in a love/ hate relationship with them and often get upset because they have what they refer to as “saddlebags” or cellulite and they don’t like their bum, which is an extension of our legs.
First up, learn to love yourself as you are. This creates acceptance and frees up your mental, physical and emotional energy, so that you can actually make changes to size, strength, functionality and definition. For example, when we look in the mirror we often see ourselves in a negative way, we are critical and our relationship with our bodies makes it difficult to actually create change, because the emotional and mental toxicity is simply de-motivating and self-defeating.
Secondly, decide what you want your legs to look like, and then set about creating an exercise and nutritional habit that will facilitate this. Some excellent leg toning exercises include weights, whether body or resistance weight, such as squats, lunges for glute work, step-ups, and dead lifts etc., (see your exercise professional for more information). My favourite leg exercises are circuit and compound programs as they incorporate many body parts, increase my cardiovascular fitness, and as an added bonus, add variety and fun to my training routine.
Ladies don’t be afraid to lift weights. Believe me, it takes many hours in the gym to put on muscle! (See my comments in the InShape News Feature on body building ‘The Art of Natural Female Body Building’ for more information).
Other excellent leg exercises include the following:
Walking – Yes, even those lovely gentle daily walks can change the shape of your legs, especially when you change the scenery and gradient. This keeps your legs in tip-top shape, is very gentle on the joints and fun to share with someone. Walking and talking with friends or family is a lovely way to trim those legs and clear the mind.
Stretch – Lengthen to strengthen. When we work a muscle it contracts and can get stiff, sore and create poor posture. Ever seen dancers legs? Well, get yourself on the floor and remember to breathe deeply into the belly to oxygenate your muscles and hold until the tension releases. Don’t bounce or overstress the joints though. It is important to be gentle. Try Pilates or yoga and join a group if this is your thing.
Thirdly, hydrate. That’s right, drink good quality H20. It is recommended that a person drink at least eight to 10 glasses (.033 x your bodyweight) of water per day, and more if you are engaged in demanding physical activity or experiencing emotional distress. By “good quality”, I mean, filtered water. Tea and coffee etc., are not the same as water. These are actually diuretics that will send you to the bathroom more and deplete your essential body fluids further.
Another consequence of dehydration is that it fools the body into thinking that you are hungry. This often sends you to the fridge rather than in search of aqua. Plus, by the time your body sends a thirsty signal you are often already dehydrated.
Proper nutrition is vital not just to keep your body healthy, but also in order to maintain a well functioning brain. Minimise your consumption of starchy carbs and refined processed foods. This will help you gain those gorgeous legs you crave. This means eating regular well-balanced meals as well as having sufficient fluid intake. It is possible for the human body to go for days without food and to overcome the hunger pangs, to some degree by distraction, but a day or two without water will have severe effects on your physical and mental function.
Therefore, it can be said that water the universal solvent, it is the most important and abundant inorganic substance within the human body. We cannot create water within the body, which is why we need to add it. Water clears toxins from the body that are created when we exercise. In addition, it enables us and go about our lives and it helps to create smooth, sexy strong thighs. Water makes up between 45 to 75% of our bodyweight and up to 90% of our brain weight.
Beauty Treatments and Pampering
Treat yourself every once and while. Exfoliate and choose a hair removal process that works best for your skin. Try out a few different techniques such as, waxing, shaving and even the epi-treatments to see what feels best. When you feel good you look good, plus there is nothing better than smooth legs. Exfoliating with a loofa helps to stimulate blood flow and also eliminates toxins and reduces cellulite, especially when combined with proper nutrition, hydration and exercise. When you’re done, generously lather those luscious legs in your favourite moisturiser. Remember your feet too, as these are extensions of your legs. Have a pedicure and foot massage regularly, and why not even paint those toes a colour that makes you smile whenever you look down.
Vanessa Auditore has been working in the health and wellness industry since 1998, when she graduated as a master personal trainer. Since then, she has continued her professional development to include transformational life coaching, counsellor QMACA, presenter and lecturer for the Australian fitness industry, expert advice consultant for national magazines including Cleo, Cosmopolitan, Fitness First, Blitz magazine and has developed a successful online presence via the SuccessheadQ blog. In addition, Vanessa features regularly as a guest on many Australian based health and wellbeing blogs, and has also competed in natural figure competitions, at a national level. Vanessa is continuing to expand her academic pursuits with a double degree in behavioural science and communication and media, and is applying her expertise to achieve personal goals by integrating holistic practices.