How Legs Workout can Help Your Fat Loss Targets, especially Women!

Originally published at my fitness blog, on September 4, 2017.

I have never been overweight, though body fat has been a challenge for me. I always had that layer of fat around my love handles and thighs that I wanted to get rid of.

I struggled for about 7 years to lose those last few pounds of fat but couldn’t really figure out where I am failing. I worked out regularly and followed balanced diet. My workout routine included weight training and cardio both. I also experimented with different routines like heavier weights or high intensity cardio or HIIT training. None of this showed significant impact.

I can deeply associate with the frustration one goes through, when inspite of dedication and hard work, results seem far away.

After numerous failures, experiments and trials, I finally found something that showed me amazing results in 2 months. I lost 4kgs weight, dropped 4% of body fat, and gained stronger thigh muscles.

When I started this new routine, I was not sure if it will be fruitful but I continued doing it. And, after 2 months of consistent efforts, I saw positive change in me.

Fat Loss vs Muscle Gain

I have trained with a number of gym trainers. While they knew a lot of exercises and made my workout routine challenging, the problem was that they did not quite understand how to focus on one goal at a time.

The simple phenomenon is,

Fat loss and muscle gaining are 2 different goals. They can not happen in parallel.

Women’s body is very different from men’s. The muscle gain and growth process is really slow for women and hence requires longer consistent effort.

Lifting heavy weights and spending long hours in gym will not give sustainable results. You need to understand how our muscles need to be trained to gain strength.

Many of us try to achieve both the goals together — fat loss and muscle gain. This is where we don’t see results and give up sooner than the expected duration for a significant change.

When I changed my routine to focus on fat loss, I concentrated my efforts on thigh muscles. There were 2 reasons for this — thighs are a major area of fat storage for women and thighs are also one of the longest muscles in our body.

The concept of strengthening muscles and losing fat is simple — Focus on longer muscles of the body.

Thighs are one of the longest muscles in our body. Women, in general, tend to store a lot of fat there.

(To know more, read this — Why does fat deposit on the hips and thighs of women and around the stomachs of men?)

How To Do Legs Workout To Lose Fat Faster

Ladies, let’s get to real work and knock that fat off from your thighs and hips.

If you are doing routine weight training workouts in gym or home, you might already be following a specific routine. Now, what I suggest you to change is legs workout routine and continue doing the remaining body part workouts as-is. Also, don’t forget to include moderate cardio 2–3 days a week.

This workout routine is simple…but not easy. It will cause a lot of muscle soreness, especially in the beginning. For faster recovery, it’s advised to include muscle recovery supplements and whey protein.

Now, here is the powerful routine you are going to practice for next 2 months —

  1. Body weight Squats — 100 reps
  2. Low weight Deadlifts — 100 reps
  3. Body weight Plié Squats — 100 reps

Break each workout into sets of 15–20 reps. Do not go below 15 reps in each sets. As you build more strength, try to do higher reps in each set. The entire workout would take 40–45mins including rest between each sets.

To understand the postures and techniques, below are the explainer videos for each workout. It’s really important to not only follow the routine but do the exercises the right way. I highly recommend going through these short tutorials, even if you have done these workouts earlier.

1. How To Do Squats (Body Weight Only)

The focus muscles are your quadriceps, glutes, hamstring. Here is a video explaining how to do body weight squats –

2. How To Do Deadlifts (Low Weight)

The focus muscles are your lower back, glutes, hamstring.

To start with, use PVC pipe or very light weight barbell to do deadlifts. Ensure that you are able to complete 100 reps with the same weight. If you want to make it more challenging, add more weight towards last few reps. Remember to not compromise the posture while increase weights.

To help ensure the posture, refer to the below video. —

3. How to do Plié Squats (Body weight only)

The focus muscles are inner thighs and glutes.

Inner thighs are one of the weakest muscles and they are difficult to be trained. It’s important to remember that you are doing this workout with only body weight. The reason is, you need to stretch thigh muscles to maximum and also hold for 2 seconds every time you go down in plié.

I strongly recommend to not lift weights in this workout, as it will restrict the range of inner thigh movement and also affect the back posture.

Here is a video explaining the most correct way to do Plié Squats —

Few Pointers You Must Remember

Simple workouts are most difficult to do. The above mentioned routine may sound simple but it will be affective only when done the right way. Here are the things that you must pay attention to –

  1. Focus on the target muscles when you workout.
  2. Maintain correct postures throughout. (Refer explainer videos)
  3. Avoid distracting and long breaks during sets. Take maximum of 15–20sec break between sets and 40–60sec between 2 workouts.
  4. Ensure muscle recovery through the optimal intake of protein, multi vitamins, and adequate rest.

Now you know what and how to do. The only thing remaining is, why. Why would this even work? It works because it follows the basic principle of fat loss — higher number of repetitions, lifting lesser weight. Legs workout engages the entire body which means not only you strengthen your legs, but also your core, abs, and obliques.

So, now you have my guide to remove that cellulite layer and getting leaner thighs and toned hips. Try this routine and share with me your results. I am positive that you will start enjoying legs workout after this.

If you are looking for more legs workout and techniques, checkout 5 Bodyspace Leg Workouts For Women.

Apart from workouts, its important to develop healthy food habits, learn how to avoid unhealthy food.

This is me, during a trek in Himachal Pradesh, India.

Originally published at my fitness blog, on September 4, 2017.

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