How to get long and lean leg muscles
So what does it actually mean to have long and lean thigh muscles? You certainly can’t grow longer legs, after all. Danielle Natoni, Personal Trainer and CEO and Founder of Fit and Funky, explains it for us: “The more you exercise, the more you will improve your flexibility, your power and your posture, making you feel like your muscles have lengthened and strengthened. As for the muscle being lean, this is simply referring to the amount of body fat and the visible definition seen showcasing the muscles.” This super-charged thigh workout hits the inner and outer thighs, quads, hamstrings, calves and (bonus!) the glutes for a total leg workout. Natoni recommends doing this circuit two to three times a week in conjunction with a more cardio-based workout. “If done consistently, along with a healthy diet, you should begin to see results rather quickly. Results may vary, but it’s fair to say that within two weeks you can begin to see visible changes.”
Before you begin
You’ll need a medium set of dumbbells to complete this circuit. If you’re already using dumbbells in other workouts, for 4-6kg. If you’re just getting acquainted with free weights, try 2.5kg and work your way up to a heavier weight. If 2.5kg is still too heavy, don’t feel bad starting with no dumbbells. “Form is important, so be sure to choose a weight that is challenging yet doable,” says Natoni. Keep an eye on your form and range of movement throughout the moves. Start with five to 10 reps of each at first then graduate to doing each move for 45 seconds. Take short breaks when necessary. Repeat the entire circuit twice.
Weighted squat leg lift
Holding a medium-weight dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart. Keeping the weights at your side, lower down into a squat (make sure your knees don’t extend past your toes). Keep your shoulders back and don’t let the weights pull you forward. As you press back up, extend your right leg out to the side, pointing your toe towards the front of the room. After one set on the right side, switch legs. To modify, simply lessen your range of motion, or you can do this move without weights. If extending your leg is too difficult, perform the lunge without it.