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Get The Gap - by Lesley Maxwell

The phrase 'thigh gap' has been causing a bit of controversy lately. Believe it or not, I had never heard of 'that gap' until just recently. I was asked by a client: "How did you get that thigh gap?" I responded: "Oh...do I have it?" I thought about it before I went home and realised that I do actually have the 'thigh gap'. So now I'm going to give you every bit of information on how this thigh gap came to visit me and how it has stayed!

ACCORDING TO AMANDA BYNES FROM X FACTOR: "THIS EXCRESCENCE IS THE LATEST IN WOMEN WISHING THEIR BODIES WOULD CONFORM TO AN IMPOSSIBLE BEAUTY STANDARD. IF YOU HAVEN'T HEARD OF IT, THAT'S PROBABLY BECAUSE IT DOESN'T EXIST ON MOST OF THE POPULATION."

How often do I train legs?

I like twice weekly, with one workout focusing on quads and the other on my hamstrings.

These are opposing muscle groups, so training both the front and back of your legs will ensure you have good muscle balance. It seems that many people simply don't realise the importance of good muscle balance when it comes to injury prevention and perfect shape.

All your muscles have an opposing muscle that is performing the opposite movement (these are known as agonists and antagonists): quadriceps and hamstrings; biceps and triceps; abdominals and back. While you are training, one muscle group is lengthening and the opposing muscle is contracting. You need to train both sides of your body or you will become imbalanced and could develop injuries.

Other ingredients needed for 'The Gap'

Walking. Yep, as plain and simple as it is, walking is a great fat burner and you won't sustain any injuries. What you will do, however, is burn body fat so you will see those lovely muscles on your thighs that you have worked so hard for.

Eating a Healthy Diet

I know you are waiting for this part. And yes, it is necessary to eat clean while nourishing your body in order to see 'the gap'. For healthy recipe ideas please visit my website @ www.ouifitness.com.au

Is the 'thigh gap' such an impossible feat for us mere mortals? Must we starve and work ourselves into the ground to attain the illusive gap? In my opinion, no starvation is necessary and it is possible to shape your body through food and exercise.

The 'thigh gap' that I'm talking about is the gap between two very toned and muscly thighs. Let's get to it!

BEST LEG EXERCISES:

To give your legs and butt more shape and lean body tissue (aka muscle), you can increase the weights on machines as there is less risk of injury as opposed to free weights. You are just pushing the weight backwards and forwards in a slow and controlled manner without using any stabilising muscles. Free-weight and bodyweight exercises also form an important part of your workout.

On a quad day, try performing the following exercises:

Leg Press

This is a great way to add muscle and shape to your thighs and butt. I like to vary my stance between narrow, which will work your outer thigh and give you that lovely thigh sweep, and wide stance (similar to plie squats), which will work your inner thighs.

Single Leg Press

Slow and controlled is the name of the game with this one. Working legs individually on the leg press keeps you 'honest'. This is to say that one leg can't cheat and overcompensate for the other. You will find that you usually can't lift half of the weight that you can with both legs, so concentrate on using perfect technique for fantastic results.

Plie Squats

Traditionally, a dancer's squats are the perfect exercise for targeting your inner thighs and glutes. To begin, stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips and your toes pointing outwards at a 45% angle. You can also hold a dumbbell with both hands in front of your thighs for added intensity.

Squats

How low can you go? That is the question. There is some controversy regarding squats and injury but squatting is one of the seven primal moves and a movement we are meant to perform in everyday life.

Start with half squats if you are a beginner or try putting a chair behind you and simply sit and stand for a few sets. Of course, you can also perform weighted squats, and don't forget to try different feet positions to work both the inner and outer thighs.

For a mini workout, I often perform four sets of 25 bodyweight squats which really raise my heart rate, too!

Lunges - of all types!

Lunges are another basic human move which our bodies are designed to perform. I always seize the opportunity to do extra bodyweight lunges, squats and step ups by joining in when I train with my client!Try

Try adding the following for even better results:

• Leg extension

• Step-ups and step-downs

• Lying hamstring curls

• Standing hamstring curls

• Stiff-legged deadlifts

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