ARCHIMEDESII, I know ballerinas have incredibly strong legs, but they are strong in an "I can leap through the air effortlessly" way, not "I can lift a building off its foundation effortlessly" way! :)
I was a gymnastics state champion when I was younger and a lot of the muscle I've build then is still there (I just need to wipe off the Crisco layer!)
Thanks for the pilates advice. I've already looked into it and it's something I'm definitely interested in incorporating into my routine (I wish I had access to a Pilates studio so I could learn how to work out using a Reformer).
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3/21/09 3:24 P
Actually, a ballerina probably could crack a muscle with their thighs. Dancers have incredibly powerful legs. Have you ever seen them up close ? Yes, they have very low body fat, but incredibly muscular legs.
If you're looking for a "leaner" leg a dancer has, you might try pilates. There are exercises in pilates that make your muscles long and strong.
It won't happen overnight. Pilates takes months of practice, but if you stick with it, you will see results.
As for bulking up on a stepper. It won't happen. Yes, you'll build some muscle, but not enough to look like a body builder. A woman just doesn't have the testosterone to bulk up like a guy.
The bulk you're seeing is probably water weight. When you workout intensely, your muscles soak up water like a sponge. It'll seem like they are getting bigger and in a way they are. It's strictly cosmetic. Once your body is in a regular routine, that bulk will pass in about 2-3 weeks.
So no, you won't bulk up on a stepper.
Edited by: ARCHIMEDESII at: 3/21/2009 (15:25)
3/21/09 3:13 P
The layer of body's own natural Crisco on my upper legs and thighs is the thing that bothers me the most!!
It's kind of ironic that the closer we get to our goal (especially at midpoint, like I am) and the better our bodies start to look and feel, our trouble spots stand out more. Arghhh!
Im totally with skywatcherrs on this. It will take time, but you will notice a difference. I love the stair stepper, in fact Im kind of bummed I wont get to use it for a while. But after a while that fat will melt off and you will be seein some super sexy legs.
What happens when you build muscle in a body part that still has fat covering it is that it starts to look a little bulky. This is because of the fat that is still there, not the great, lean muscle you're building underneath.
As you lose more weight, things will balance out and look leaner, more toned.
The stair-stepper is a GREAT exercise machine. Also do squats, jogging if you can, incline walking, lunges, and cycling/spinning. You'll build leg muscle and burn fat.
3/21/09 2:55 A
I use a stair stepper everyday for an hour and I'm starting to notice that my upper legs are starting to look more "muscly".
The problem is my lower legs are skinny and my upper legs not only have enough muscles, but it's also where I probably have the highest percentage of body fat over it as well, so I look very disproportionate.
Am I making the problem worse? Can I build up muscle using a stair stepper? Any other cardio exercises that will work the upper part of your legs less?
Any ballerinas out there? I want long and lean muscles, not "I can crack a walnut with my thighs" kind of strong! :) Any suggestions?