I recently asked Beverly Hills-based personal trainer to the stars, Gunnar Peterson how women should workout to build strong and shapely legs. He shared with us the secrets he uses to help models and celebrities get their legs looking great. After reading his answer below you will know what to do to get your legs looking great for summer too.
Question: How often should I train my legs and more specifically, what exercises can I do from home with dumbbells or a medicine ball to help strengthen and build my legs so they will look great when I wear shorts and a bathing suit this summer?
How often you should train your legs is partially determined by how intensely you train them…
If you are a relative newcomer to the wild world of working out I would say start with twice a week with moderate intensity using weights as well as a well thought out cardio program. If you’ve been at it for a year or so, keep those two days and add some lower extremity body weight only movements on another day like lunges, kicks, or jumps.
If you are a serious lifter already and you follow the ‘obliterate and wait’ approach to training where you destroy them and then wait until the soreness goes away before training them again, I’d suggest pulling back your volume by 20% and adding another day incorporating lighter, and/or more explosive moves.
So, that said, if you train at home, make sure to incorporate a variety of angles during your leg work. Think about lunging to every number on a clock. Think about squatting with your feet wide as well as narrow as well as staggered. Think about using single leg movements as well as double leg movements. Try wood chops with your medicine ball, perform twisting squats to shoulder presses with your dumbbells or kettlebells, and don’t miss out on an occasional set or 5 of Bulgarian split squats.
The more variety your throw at your legs, the more they have to figure it out, the more they have to work to figure it out, the more they change. I heard there’s a sale on bathing suits at the mall, so go get ‘em!
About Gunnar Peterson
Gunnar is a Beverly Hills-based personal trainer whose clients include celebrities, professional athletes, and everyday people. Gunnar works with each client on an individual basis, focusing on achieving long-term results through challenging and constantly varied workouts. He has worked with athletes from the NBA, NHL, NFL, USTA, professional boxing and various NCAA sports. Many film and television celebrities have also sought Gunnar’s guidance in preparing for their roles. Gunnar is certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is a graduate of Duke University. Gunnar is regularly featured in Allure, Elle, In Style, In Touch, US Weekly, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self and other magazines. You can learn more about Gunnar and his work by visiting his website at gunnarpeterson.com or following him his Twitter feed @Gunnar.
Check out GunnarChallenge.com to find out about Gunnar’s brand new fitness initiative.
Stayfitcentral.com’s Comment: Below are video demonstrations for some of the exercises that Gunnar recommends.
Bulgarian Split Squat
Medicine Ball Wood Chops
Twisting Squat To Push Press