As a Personal Trainer I am often asked what’s the best exercise to build my leg muscles or what’s the best exercise to get rid of fat here or there? Getting the results is quite simple, so long as you follow a few rules and be willing to put in the hard work. In this blog I will share with you five proven methods to get lean, strong and defined legs.
1#: Lift Weights
Lifting weights is the primary training tool used to build muscle and lose fat! Choose weights that are between 65-85% of your max eg. If your max squat is 100kg then you would do specific reps and a certain number of sets at 65kgs. This set of varying reps takes a subsequent amount of energy to support those muscles and your body in undertaking these lifts. In turn, your body produces a fat burning hormone response, which aids in the much sort after fat loss!
2#: Train under different lifting speeds and count tempo
Tempo is the speed at which you perform the up and down phases of any lift. When training for muscle development and fat loss it is imperative to use a slow down or eccentric phase (3-6 seconds) and fast up or concentric phase. This creates more training stress on the body, which increases neutral stimulation of hormones and in turn increases your heart rate and metabolic rate.
3#: Compound Exercises over Isolated exercises
Compound exercises gives you more ‘bang for your buck’ as you use two or more joints to perform the exercise, naturally more muscle fiber will be activated. The more muscle fiber’s activated – requires more energy expenditure. Squats, deadlifts, step-ups and split squats not only shape your legs but also apply more metabolic stress and are highly functional.
4#: Make Sure You Are Eating Enough Protein
Protein is the key building block to developing your lean mass and also recovering sufficiently from an elevated program. It also boosts your metabolism, as your body requires more energy to process protein than it does carbs or fat. You should be eating between 1.8 grams of protein to every kilogram of bodyweight eg. If you weigh 70kg then you should be eating around 130 grams of protein per day. This may sound like a lot of protein to an everyday person but one must remember that when you’re performing strength training you‘re actually breaking down muscle tissue, therefore to trigger protein synthesis and recovery you need to be eating the correct amount of protein.
5#: Lots of Vegetables
Your legs have a large amount of estrogen receptors that bind to estrogen (hormone). A combination of poor food and lifestyle choices over a period of time increases your estrogen fat storage on the hips, bum and thighs. Predominantly seen in women, the ever dreading ‘orange peel legs’ or presence of cellulite is actually a result of all of the above. But fortunately it isn’t all bad news!
To detoxify your estrogen levels you need to be eating loads of cruciferous vegetables such as “Broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts will help to. Broccoli especially contains compounds known as indoles, which have very potent anti cancer fighting properties as well as improving the liver’s estrogen detoxification abilities” (Sally Matterson, 2012)
So if you’re looking to improve your lower body composition, then let us help you by simply getting in contact with us via the button below!
Stay lean and healthy!