How Do I Get Great Legs??

challenge workoutsQuestion: Hi Shawna, I have a concern that i just can’t find any satisfaction from. My legs. I have knee and other joint problems but still manage to perform lots of leg exercises. I work out at home and have some free weights, as well as a bowflex. My legs show no sign of definition whatsoever, and my hamstrings and glutes seem to be falling.. literally. I know age will play a factor (i’m 38) but i noticed this started to happen a long time ago. I try hard to keep a balance in my workouts (to NOT do my legs too much) but I still find that i have had ZERO results when it comes to my legs. My arms and abs are somewhat defined but I’m devastated for my legs. Can you suggest anything? Thank you in advance! Jennifer

Answer: Jennifer, Legs are an issue with women more than men, and your particular genetics play into it. Some women carry more fat on their chest and have thinner legs, some carry belly fat, etc. You seem to carry in the lower body.

So, nutrition is VERY important. Diet is the key to getting results once you dial in your training. Training must be intense and short (30 min or less). Don’t fall into the trap of ‘cardio’, do Challenge Fat Loss style quick and nasty workouts.

Don’t let age be an excuse either. You will still see results if you’re persistent.

Remember that you CAN NOT spot reduce. Sadly, fat will come off where your body wants it to first. For you that may be upper body/abs, then the legs. It is what it is, accept it and don’t get discouraged.

Having said this, you can really bash your legs and unless you’re feeling knee pain, you’re fine, don’t worry about ‘over training’ when you’re doing short and intense workouts like Challenge Fat Loss. you can also increase load on the legs, for any loaded movements, increase your DB or intensity on the TRX etc. Work the eccentric portion of the movements to increase strength/muscle development. Increased muscle means increased metabolism. you should NOT be ‘bulking’ in the legs, if you are, this is due to diet.

One more thing, you need to really CONCENTRATE on using the muscles in your legs. I know that sounds obvious. One way to do this is to actually train using a mirror. It helps you to see what you’re doing and focus. It’s helped many of my clients target the muscles they should be using. Try not to be distracted by other things going on, music, other people etc. You need to develop a mind/muscle connection (not to sound woo-woo or anything). It takes practice. Hang in there and keep at it.

I hope this helps. Thanks for the question and sorry for the delay. Keep me posted ok?

PS I really love a program called ‘How Do I Get Great Legs?’ You can read about it here and here.

how do I get great leg product grp


How DO you get great legs anyways?

This is my friend Niall. We hung out recently in Vegas and did what everyone does in Vegas…well, talk fitness of course 😉

(When his super cool wife, Sarah,  saw this picture, she forbid him from wearing this t-shirt ever again. Apparently the fashion police are alive and well.) Niall is all about the legs. He has a great workout for us in the follow along video below.

me and niall Here’s the workout:

Do each exercise is a slow methodical manner concentrating on perfect form. Remember practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. Form will dictate how good your results are from the work you put into it so make it count.

For Kickbacks, Planks with Leg Raises, and Superman’s, hold the flexed position for a good second before lowering down to start another repetition.



Do two Rounds of:

Split Squats x 8 (both sides)
Kick Backs x 8 (both sides)
Squats x 8
Planks with Leg Raises x 5 (both sides)
Hapkido Circles x 8 (both sides)
Butt Kicks x 8 (both sides)
Superman’s x 8

His program, ‘How Do I Get Great Legs?’ is well done and well worth investigating. It discusses the 4 factors that contribute to cellulite and how to solve it:

  1. Genetics – Can make cellulite worse but isn’t the root cause.
  2. Hormones – When your hormone levels are out of balance, your body turns into a cellulite-producing machine.
  3. Lifestyle – The only true way to get your hormone levels back in balance is to exercise in a very specific way.
  4. Nutrition – You need to avoid the foods that can contribute to hormone imbalance and avoid the phony health foods that actually make you store fat.


I thought I’d throw in a few more videos that I did with Niall. Of course there are other ways to get great legs and burpees and jumping rope are a few of them….

The beauty of the burpee is that you can burn up a ton of calories in a short time while working over 13 muscles at once. You can do burpees anywhere, it’s a fast and effective fat burning exercise that’s fun.

Here’s a great hamstring focused burpee routine:

Do AMRAP style (as many rounds as possible):
5 one legged burpees (or two legged if you need)
5 one leg RDL to reverse lunge
5 squat jumps
Don’t forget the other leg!

This is a FAST, fat burning workout that will boost your metabolism for hours after you’re done, unlike low intensity cardio (like jogging) where your calorie burning ends with the workout.

Check out Challenge Burpee workouts for more fun workouts just like this.

Want great legs?

Don’t go for a run, plan to do a marathon or take up jogging.

Jumping rope is FAR more effective, more fun and is easier on your body. Surprisingly your knees will love jumping rope more than running too. Especially when you do a double jump (or jump on two feet) because there’s less impact.

You can do quick effective fat burning workouts with a jump rope and you’ll find you get the body of your dreams much faster than if you take to a running trail.

Challenge Jump Rope workouts help tighten and tone your legs, period.