How to Lean Out Bulky Muscle in the Legs

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If you have been strength training or powerlifting you will probably have developed bulky leg muscles from doing heavy squats and deadlifts. If the sport or event you were training for is now over, or you just don't want bulky legs anymore, you can make a few changes to slim them down without the muscle turning to fat. These changes range from reducing your calorie intake, changing the kinds of food you eat and changing the kinds of exercise you do.

  • Increase the amount of weight you lift and decrease the number of repetitions. If you lift high amounts of weights, performing 1 to 3 reps, your muscles will become more dense and lean without becoming as large.

  • Decrease the amount of weight you lift and increase the number of repetitions. Confusingly, this is the opposite of the above step, so you can do one, the other or both. If you lift a low weight for 15 to 20 reps the exercise will become less of a weight lifting exercise and more of a cardiovascular exercise, which will get your heart pumping and burn calories without stressing individual muscles as much.

  • Avoid lifting in the 8 to 12 repetition range. This is the range that stimulates muscle growth without strength or cardiovascular development, and is generally used by bodybuilders to increase their muscle size.

  • Run, swim or row to train your cardiovascular system. Do this for around 30 minutes after each weight lifting session; it will burn fat and muscle, giving you a leaner look.

  • Reduce your calorie intake so that your body doesn't have as much fuel to give your muscles. Increase your vegetable intake and decrease your grainy carbohydrate intake of foods such as bread, rice and pasta.

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