ZZ Top famously sang, “She’s got legs, and she knows how to use them”. Well that’s all very well but I’ve always felt these kind of songs weren’t about me and my small pins!
So it became an interest of mine in how to make the best of what you’ve got, whatever the package. And there’s always time to make some subtle leg customizing changes with leg toning workouts, so here goes…
Where I live in the Alps there are plenty of fit women and much as you may like to be as fit as them you may not want to take on their typical leg shape. Fit and strong legs don’t always make feminine legs in some body types, so they don’t act as a good advert for being sporty or building, heaven forbid, muscle!
Appearances can be deceptive!
Interestingly many of these legs that I work with, look big and powerful but actually fail quite quickly after a few squats and lunges.
So lets take a look at leg types and see what we can do.
The trick in pretty leg shaping is to look at the whole picture. Zooming in on a large or wobbly inner thigh can be demotivating but seeing how that can be balanced out with a little more shape on the muscles that insert on the inside of the knee (vastus medialis), can bring hope to a lifelong inner thigh dislike!
Add a little more shape and definition there and the inner thigh won’t catch your eye anymore. Leg extensions work well here or try a looped band attached to something low and do slow ‘footballer kicks’ really straightening out the last few millimetres of extension.
Outer thigh shape
For many women, slim or sporty, the outer thigh can lack a gentle bow sweep. The value in this sweep is that it makes the waist, hips and bottom appear smaller and, softens the line from being blocky into sexy!
There are many glute exercises to do, but the days are gone of mindlessly performing a whole range of them. If you were to look at a physiology chart of the bum muscles you’d see how some muscles go across, some diagonally and some vertically.
Consider this when looking for new exercises. My backside needs constant hounding to stay put and so I’ve put a whole variety of bum training to the test. Straight-legged dead-lifts work for some but not all, squats likewise but isolating the area by using bands or a pulley means you can find what’s right for you. It is best to have a good look at your bum! Is it flat? If so where? Lower, higher, middle, sides?
We often go for the attack on the lower part of the cheek but try switching the visual emphasis to where the back meets the bum.
Adding a little volume here visually lengthens the legs and makes for a rounder sexier backside. Go for donkey kicks which have a change of angle with the pulley machine or bands), try starting at the side and then lifting the leg as it comes round behind you. Placing your hand on the top middle of the butt cheeks will help you find the muscle we’re trying to get going here!
Maybe you’ve been blessed with a rounded bum from the start so in which case, just make it more perfect with good hamstring balance. Good leg toning workouts can serve us all.
In Part 2 Joey Bull continues to look at how we can tweak and shape our legs to create the look we are after.
Connect here with WatchFit expert Joey Bull