Tag Archives: Muscle

Living Fit Mommy: Killer Legs Take Time and Attention

While genetics can certainly play a role in how our gams look in a pair of Daisy Dukes, don’t forget that we actually play a pretty significant part in the process ourselves—muscular thighs and legs take focus and attention. You have to be willing to work every major leg group (from the quads to the hamstrings to the adductor and abductor muscles) if you hope to mold a masterpiece, and you also have to control your plate (a good diet is a definite must if you want to keep the fat at bay and the muscles at play).

Use heavier weights to add a challenge to basic squat and lunge moves, as well as to increase strength; lunges are definitely a girls best friend—even when they’re leaving a soreness like no other a day or two later—so be sure to incorporate plenty of them on leg day.

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Living Fit Mommy: Don’t Neglect Your Adductors and Abductors

I don’t rely on cardio machines for shapely, toned, and strong legs; such things are fine for sculpting, but there are too many muscles in your stems to rely only on cardio alone to get the job done. So, each day of the week I dedicate a few sets to a particular muscle group. One day might be quads, another hamstrings, perhaps calves on another day, and of course the glutes get their share of love as well.

I typically group an upper body exercise with a lower body one, because that works for me, but you can also have a dedicated “leg day”: I’ve done that plenty, but found that whenever I do it that way, my ability to walk in the days that followed made everything else I wanted to do a bit more…what’s the kindest way to say this…challenging. So, unless your leg day falls just ahead of a scheduled rest day or two—I eventually moved mine to Fridays—then plan on dealing with soreness the rest of the way, depending on the intensity of your strength training session.

That said, most people stop at the lower body groups mentioned above, and don’t even think about two of the most important of them all: the adductors (inner thigh) and abductors (outer thigh).

If your adductor and abductor muscles are strong and working at an optimal level, they play an important role in stabilizing the knees and hips, aid in good posture, and assist in the execution of the most basic, and/or advanced, lower body strength exercises.

They may look like a minor piece of the puzzle—particularly from an aesthetic standpoint—but without them, you would find it very difficult to properly execute a squat,  a lunge, or a deadlift.

Here are a few of my favorite moves for hitting those muscles:

1. Sumo Squats: Great to do with or without weights. Really targets the muscles of the inner thigh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Hydrant Raises: Hits the outer thigh. You can place a weighted ball, or a dumbbell, in the crook of your leg for a greater challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Abductor using Swiss Ball: Another outer thigh exercise.

 

 

 

 

 

4. Inner Thigh Leg Lifts: Use ankle weights or places a weighted plate or dumbbell on the lift-leg for added resistance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other great moves to try: side lying leg raises, standing adductors, standing abductors, and hip bridges.

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Living Fit Mommy: The Scale Isn’t The Only Measure

Remember…the numbers aren’t always the final call. Muscle is leaner than fat, but a pound is still a pound. That said, you can be 5’4, 140, and be as fit and healthy as someone who’s 20-pounds lighter than you. Trust your clothes before you worry about the scale.

Have a great weekend!

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