It probably feels like we bang on about Nutrition being key to any body shape changes or fat loss, but that’s because it is the truth! Yes these exercises will help work the muscles in the specific working area but it will not do anything about the amount of fat (or lack of muscle) you may have in that specific area. So, these exercises won’t give you Cindy Crawford’s body after one go, but with persistence and a good diet (specific to your goals), they will help you achieve your desired goal.
One of the reasons I love working legs is because they hold the biggest muscle groups. The Gluteus Maximus (Your Butt) being the biggest muscle in the body. Working it hard means you give it a need to repair and replenish its stocks, so whilst you are then sat at your desk your body is still working for you. Feeding your butt the calories you previously ingested. Unlike the hours of cardio you normally do, which only burns calories whilst being worked.
For all those runners out there who say they hate the gym and don’t need to lift weights. Your running and longevity of running could be greatly improved if you just spent a little time on strengthening the muscles you need for running! We have all seen those runners whose knees look like they are knocking together, and their feet flick outwards. Well that my friends is a weakness in the Glutes and a perfect reason to get into the gym and start squatting away! You could also greatly improve your power and speed up hills with a bit more strength work. Many runners who can’t beat an old PB who pull back on running and add some strength and conditioning suddenly find that old PB is a breeze. #JustSaying!
All that aside! Check out the exercises below and start doing them today!
Don’t worry if you don’t have a kettlebell. That’s what is so brilliant about the squat, it can be done with so many different pieces of kit. Even without any it’ll still deliver a great workout burn and produce changes.
Possible Kit to use-
TRX- squats, Piston Squats, Jump Squats, Curtsy Squats,
The Rack/Olympic Bar – Squats, Jump Squats, Front Squats, Overhead Squats
Barbell- Squats, Front Squats, Jump Squats, Overhead Squats
Dumbbells – Squats, Jump Squats,
Kettlebell – Sumo Squat, Squat with kettlebell in each hand,
Walking Lunges are superb for their muscle working abilities. However, I find too often people forget their form which in turn means they are not actually burning as many calories and working as many muscles as they could be in one move. If you really focus on form and think about keeping your shoulders back and body up straight, holding your core strong. This means although you may have thought you were only really working on your legs, you can get a good core and some of an arm work out in this simple move. Using all those other muscles to stabilise and hold the body strong will mean not only are you improving your posture but also burning more calories! And as we all know it’s calories in, calories out!
Seated Dumbell Calf Raises
The calf raise does not have to be done with weight. It could easily be done whilst at your desk or even in a board meeting and nobody would know. It also does not need to be done sat down. You could utilise the time waiting for the bus, or in a queue at the bank just raising up onto the ball of your feet. Try to do it slowly so no one realises and work your core control also by not losing your balance.
In this example we have the model sat down but the calf raise can be done in several other ways.-
Stood Up, Stood Up with Dumbbells, Stood Up With a barbell/olympic bar
On the edge of a step
On a leg Press machine
On a calf raise machine
These are only three simple exercises but if you don’t already do them then they will definitely help build the muscle in your legs. Now before you all close the page saying “but I don’t want to look like Arnie!” Remember you will only grow big if you have excess calories daily. So no excuses… work out and get that nutrition right and you’ll soon have Cindy’s figure.
Featured photo credit - SnHFoto Body Image credits - Tom Miles