Posted by Natasha Mckenzie on Friday, August 30th, 2013


While we are doing our best to bust myths here at MW4Her I still hear quite often “but training heavy will make me bulky”. Becoming “bulky” is mainly something that comes from poor nutrition. If you put on muscle but put on fat at the same time, you are going to look bulky from the excess fat. It's important to combine heavy weight training with controlled nutrition to achieve a lean yet feminine body. Women do not naturally produce as much testosterone as men and it is actually very hard to gain muscle. You're not going to pick up a weight and drink a protein shake and turn into the hulk. I have been training heavy weights for almost 2 years now CONSISTENTLY and this is result.



So with that being said (you're convinced right??) haha I am now I'm going to share with you a few of my favourite exercises to achieve lean and shapely legs.


A squat will predominantly work your glutes, quads and hamstrings. There are many variations on the squat. I like to keep my legs just outside shoulder width and my toes turned slightly out. This is most comfortable for me and it allows me to reach a full range of motion. With these types of squats I will work up to a 3-4 rep max and sets are usually between 5 – 8.



I like to combine a certain amount of single-leg exercises into my leg training. Here my training partner Alex demonstrates a weighted single leg squat. We do 4 sets of 12 reps (each leg). You can do this without the weight until you are balanced and strong enough to hold dumbbells. Alex still almost falls over on a regular basis so be careful haha!



Alex demonstrates a single leg press. I find this engages my glutes more than the double leg press. However, I will tend to do a combination of both double and single leg on this machine (minimum of 10 reps each set).



Deadlifting is something that I love and do standard and stiff-leg deadlifts every week. The deadlift is great for your glutes and hamstrings (although it also works many other muscles). Deadlifts are not something that beginners should try without guidance as they are also a major exercise for back training. For that reason I am not going to go into detail on technique. I recommend that you take a technique lesson from a reputable trainer prior to trying this exercise.



I love this exercise for my glutes and hamstrings. It will also work your lower back. I've attached a link which demonstrates technique and variations. In this photo my technique is not the best, I should really have my head down a bit to keep my spine straight.


YouTube Preview Image


Finally the sumo squat. This will mainly work your glutes, quads, hamstrings and adductors. Again, many variations on this. I choose to execute this movement on steps with a wide stance and toes on a 45 degree angle. Holding a dumbbell or kettlebell between your legs and keeping your back / spine straight execute a squat motion.



Well I hope this has motivated you all to try something new at the gym!! Mix up your routines and you'll never get bored. Any questions? Jump onto my facebook page and shoot me a message!


Also follow my instagram @mckenziemathieson because I'm always uploading photos of new exercises ?

Have a great week everyone xxx

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