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How can you get great legs?

(29 Posts)
Wherediditallgoright Wed 01-Jul-15 06:46:34

I went out on the weekend with a friend who wore tiny shorts and high heels and she had the most amazing legs.

She is a runner and had fake tanned them.

Can you improve the shape of your legs eg through exercise or is she just naturally lucky?

I have short legs with podgy knees. Is there any hope?

LuckyBlackKitty Wed 01-Jul-15 07:01:47

I don't have the answer OP but will be watching with interest. I seem to carry all my weight on my legs and they are disproportionately chunky compared to the rest of me. I do a lot of cycling though which I think can bulk up your legs.

Suzietwo Wed 01-Jul-15 07:16:10

Everyone has different good bits. I have acceptable legs (I run and weight train up to 4 times a week) but my stomach is a disaster!

whereismagic Wed 01-Jul-15 07:21:10

I've been told that if you run regularly your body changes to a "runner's body". But you have to do around 25 miles a week (not in one go obviously).

louloubelle2 Wed 01-Jul-15 07:28:24

yes you can, squats and lunges are the best leg exercises to tone. Google the correct technique so you don't damage your knees, then just fit in a few sets of 10 any time you can during the day if you can't manage structured exercise time. You can't spot reduce fat though so you'l need to complement the exercises with a healthy diet to reduce fat overall if you need to lose any as well.

Lots of walking too, think about how often you can swap taking the bus or car with walking instead.

CustardLover Wed 01-Jul-15 07:29:29

I have thick ankles, very podgy knees and frankly, tree-trunk thighs. Even when I was a super slender size 6 (pre-wedding!) and toned from lots of cardio and weights, my legs were hefty. I'm now a size 8-10 on top but my legs are disproportionately 'sturdy'. I have more-or-less made my peace with them (they work!) but if there are any good tips on here I'll also be delighted!

wonkylegs Wed 01-Jul-15 07:40:27

I am the same top half is fine in places really good, legs a bit of a disaster area especially as at the moment of my joints are a bit swollen due to an RA flare hmm
It doesn't matter how much weight I'm carrying or not carrying I definitely have sturdy legs - I've been between a 4 and a 10 my whole adult life and they've always been the same.

goodnessgraciousgouda Wed 01-Jul-15 08:27:19

I think it depends on what the basic shape of your legs is like. Being a long distance runner is always going to improve the shape of your legs, but it won't change you from stumpy to Gisele.

The only thing you can really do is to have/get down to a normal body fat percentage (runners tend to have a low body fat percentage), and to do resistance training to tone your muscles to give them shape.

I know what you mean though. I'm a size 8/10, but carry my fat reserves on my arse, thighs and legs. I have a friend who is pretty much the same size as me, but carries her fat reserves on her stomach and hips. She has the most incredible legs!

It's easy to get jealous of other people's positive attributes - especially something like legs which are easily shown off/noticed - but it's easier to improve on whatever you can, but focus on whatever your positive attributes are.

SpecificOcean Wed 01-Jul-15 08:53:40

I have slim, longish, toned legs. Partly genes as both my dp's have slim legs, but mine are longer.
I walk everywhere and also walk my dog 3 times a day. I shave and fake tan every other day. I get the most compliments about my legs.

Agree with others though- you will have good bits that she admires.

BumbleNova Wed 01-Jul-15 09:23:10

cycling is also a good move. it is great for leg toning. I would also recommend squats, lunges and deadlifts. you cant change your proportions but you can change the shape of your muscles. A good body scrub and some fake tan is also very effective camouflage for any lumps and bumps.

MabelSideswipe Wed 01-Jul-15 09:35:27

I have toned legs from exercise (step machine is good) but toning didn't make thighs thinner, just firm! Also I have short legs which loom good in a dress it skirt...shorts not so much.

Wherediditallgoright Wed 01-Jul-15 09:43:28

Yes I am also generally slim and can wear tight fitting clothes but no way could I wear shorts because of my knees and ankles.

So we're saying we can improve a bit on what nature has given us by eating healthily and toning exercises but if you've got chunky legs, you've got chunky legs.

herbaceous Wed 01-Jul-15 09:56:10

I fear this is true. I've got chunky legs, covered in a layer of what looks like porridge but I suspect is more technically known as cellulite. I have rolls of fat on my knees, and study cankles. Though these were bizarrely made quite slender when I was on blood pressure medication.

I have a slim waist, reasonable tits and OK arms, so I suppose I should be grateful. But in weather like this it makes me so jealous of those who can wear shorts or short skirts without exposing their most hated body part.

The only time I deemed them acceptable was when I was nine stone, and a size 8. I'm 5'8", so the rest of me was skeletal. That is frankly never going to happen again.

Exercise has a limited affect, and I'm quite lazy.

hippospot Wed 01-Jul-15 10:41:04

I am told I have good legs, and I think it's largely genetic. However I do walk miles a day and cycle and swim and do pilates, so exercise is probably helping. I also use a body brush and eat a healthy diet and don't drink much alcohol or smoke, so while I have cellulite, it's not too bad.

I think regular exfoliation and using a body lotion every day goes a long way to improving skin texture.

hippospot Wed 01-Jul-15 10:42:47

Forgot to say - I don't have a great figure - far from it! - my legs are my best feature. I guess we all have things we like and don't like about our bodies.

Madamecastafiore Wed 01-Jul-15 10:48:59

I think it genetic in the main.

Although toned legs look better than skinny legs IMO.

Spinning is good as is running and classes like pump.

I have good legs apparently but so did my mum, I'd give some of that goodness up for a bloody flat stomach though.

DarylDixonsDarlin Wed 01-Jul-15 12:08:08

Tree trunks here wink but very strong legs, my upper body is weak in comparison (I'm working on it)

Even as a slender teen I had bigger calves than any of the other girls, tho my thighs are fairly shapely. At 8st 12 a few years back I still had a calf circumference of 15.5 inches, so they're here to stay unfortunately. Running or walking seems to make them bigger rather than shrink!

I would say though, I did a lot of running about 5 years ago, and although I have put on weight since, my legs didnt seem to carry it, it was all on my top half. I'm wondering how much the running contributed to this, or whether its just pot luck or genetic or whatever.

I am drawn to dresses and skirts but never wear them blush only got 3 pairs of jeans and I wear them all the time!

Nettletheelf Wed 01-Jul-15 12:14:42

Running makes your legs defined, but not thinner. My calves are more muscly since I started running. Cycling seems to help to tone them without increasing the size.

It's mostly genetic, I think, but fake tan and body lotion make everything look better. I think that legs with some muscle definition look better than skinny Alexa Chung-style legs anyway.

SirVixofVixHall Wed 01-Jul-15 12:17:07

I'm like herbaceous. I have a very slight frame, but carry weight on my legs, and they also puff easily in hot weather etc. Now I am heavier than I should be and so doughy all over, but when I was very slim, just over 8 stone, with a 23" waist, I still had legs that although slim enough, were sturdier than the rest of me. And I always had a patch of podge at the top of my thighs just under my bottom, even when skinny and cycling 14 miles a day. I would love super slender legs. I'm a celt, and celts don't tend to get those long slender legs, even though I am tall and slender framed.

Annarose2014 Wed 01-Jul-15 12:23:50

I've started to realise that if you slap enough fake tan/Sally Hansen on, it increases the attractiveness of your legs by about 80%.

Also, the older you get the less perfect everyone around you gets. I had major hang ups about my Wayne Rooney legs in my 20's but now that I'm 40 they don't matter as much as "perfect" legs aren't so prevalent.

I do think bare-legged tights improve things also. Some people here were saying nude micronets are transformative - I'm going to try to track some down.

That said, everytime I look at the blog Brooklyn Blonde I want to cry a little bit. Her legs are so perfect they're almost like leg porn.

herbaceous Wed 01-Jul-15 12:54:07

I've just look at that blog for the first time, and take comfort from the fact that a) she isn't really blonde, and b) she doesn't know to only use low-res picture files on her blog. So, good legs, but a bit daft.

MrsKoala Wed 01-Jul-15 13:45:14

I'm very lucky with my legs, they are easily my best feature (my tits and arms are grotesque). I think it's genetic. My mum also has great pins (we both have long legs for our height and carry the length in the thigh, and being 5ft 10, my legs are very long).

I do walk a lot and have very toned calves - which are huge and i can't get normal boots to fit me - but they seem to be in proportion with my height. I also have quite narrow ankles and a high instep on my size 8 feet, so when in heels this makes legs look longer and more shapely.

The thing which makes your legs look good is to find the right length and shape of skirt/shorts. For me it's mid thigh (which is usually a normal shops 'knee length' on me) in a-line/skater/flare, as then may hips and arse expand out quite dramatically.

The problem i am facing is i am nearly 40 and i feel time is closing in on how long i can wear this length without people thinking i'm too old. I know it's silly and you should wear what you like, but i do think mini skirts have a cut off - especially with bare legs. Cleavage seems to be okay forever, but mini skirts and short shorts not so much. I'd hate to have to hide my only best asset.

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 01-Jul-15 13:50:51

no there is not much you can do about it - one of life's lotteries I am afraid

Hardtoknow Wed 01-Jul-15 13:52:05

I may be entirely wrong but, as well as genes, I think having done ballet & gymnastics a lot as a child helps as you will have stretched your legs out. The problem with that is that it is at least 35 years too late for me!

CatOfTheGreenGlades Wed 01-Jul-15 14:00:15

Well a nice summer maxi dress is my solution grin my legs are thick and muscly and carry any extra weight. They do look slimmer when I'm slimmer, overall, but that doesn't seems to banish my cankles, varicose veins, and huge sturdy knees. My knees are each approx the size and colour of a swede and even when I've been really slim, they don't shrink at all. So I just have slimmer legs with bulging knees!

I do think anyone should get their legs out who feels like it, whatever they're like – but I feel much happier just wearing a long dress (or cropped jeans with floaty top) in summer and and showing off the bits I like more (arms, chest area and waist). Don't waste energy wishing you had legs you can't have IYSWIM.

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