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Strength Training for Women

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MEMBER QUESTION: If you are new to strength and weight training, what are the best exercises to begin with, to tone and build sexy lean legs and hips?

LINGUVIC: I think the best "bang for your buck" exercise there is are lunges.

MEMBER QUESTION: Is it natural to have one calf muscle bigger then the other, even though you work them both at the same?

LINGUVIC: Good question. Sometimes one muscle is bigger than the other because we tend to use one more than the other, from a previous injury or just because that's the way our bodies are.

You should check to see if one calf muscle is stronger than the other versus looks bigger. If one is stronger than the other you should make sure you use the weaker side for one or two more sets. No one is perfectly symmetrical.

Please pay attention to the way you walk, the way you stand. For instance, when you're waiting in line at the bank, are you leaning your body weight on one hip only, jutting your hip out to the side? How do you carry your shoulder bag? If you play a sport, such as tennis or golf, are you always leading with your strong side? Try and always do things evenly and notice your posture. Eventually it will be second nature to be even and balanced.

MEMBER QUESTION: I have 43-inch thighs and I want them very tight and muscular, so what do you recommend for do the legs? I always wanted a gap in between my legs and I'm really tired of them rubbing so much.

LINGUVIC: To change the shape of your legs to get them tight and muscular you need to do three things:

  • You need to strength train your whole body. I know you might be thinking, OK, I'll just do lunges, because Wini said lunges are the best lower body exercise. However, when you work your whole body you increase your metabolism and you burn more body fat and it's key as you're getting stronger and defining muscles that you, at the same time, have your body fat drop so that you can see those muscles. So you need to do a strength training workout for your whole body. You can certainly focus on your lower body. In Lean, Long & Strong we have a lower body concentration where you work your lower body a little bit more, yet you still need to work your whole body.
  • You need to do smart aerobics. What do I mean by smart aerobics? Three times a week, in moderate intensity with some kind of consistent movement. Whether it's cycling, walking, walking combined with jogging, using a Stairmaster if you have access to a gym -- but something that will help accelerate the fat burning.
  • You need to be eating a sensible diet. There's lots of good information out there about healthy eating strategies. Sensible strategies for eating healthy will help you have those tight, strong legs.

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