On the over-muscled leg phenomenon among women

It’s one of the most common questions on any female fitness or fat loss forum:

“I bulk really easily in my legs. What kind of exercises should I do to reduce the size of my thighs? HELP!”

I’m going to be the devil’s advocate here and observe that in most cases, when a woman is complaining about thigh circumference, it isn’t because her legs are 99% muscle with just a paper thin layer of skin over them. Most of us who profess to have muscular legs also have an obvious medium to thick layer of squishy padding over them. I know I do unless I am very clean with my food and consistent with my cardio–I swear that there is a symbiotic relationship between strong legs and a convenient supply of nearby fat cells to provide nourishment.

When we are lean and our legs are defined, we don’t mind the muscle so much because random strangers will come up and tell us they look amazing, but when we have been naughty with our eats and sloppy with our workouts, we cry, “Wah! Bulky! Woe is me! Where did these heinous Quadzillas come from?! O Magic Thigh Fairy, save me from my monstrous legs!”

Unless you *are* at the stage where your thighs literally don’t jiggle when you land from a jump knee tuck, I think that diet needs to be of higher priority than the nitpicky details of what kind of cardio to perform or which leg exercises to avoid.

But consistently performed cardio certainly can’t hurt either.

4 thoughts on “On the over-muscled leg phenomenon among women

  1. Clearly women have big thighs because they lift heavy weights. Gwyneth Paltrow and her trainer both say so. Watch this video of her “work freaking hard” with weights smaller than my #2 pencil. Okay, maybe a little bigger than my pencil but not by much.

    http://tinyurl.com/4udw9p (links to Huffington Post and safe for work I would think)

    [runs away screaming….]

  2. Mikey – LOL… Those were the cutest little dumbbells ever — Like cat toys. Maybe I’ll crochet myself a pair and fill them with rice to emulate the right amount of weight.

  3. So true. I has taken me years to really learn this, though, that more muscle and less fat look thinner. A spin teacher once said that she gets asked all the time about cycling ‘bulking up’ women’s legs…and her response is that cycling cures “ButtLeg”. Buttleg is the condition where your butt and your leg have joined and become one blobuos entity, rather than a butt and a leg..Amen.

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