Long Lean Muscles for Women

09/27/2011 at 1:33 PM Leave a comment

If you haven’t said it, I’m certain you’ve at least heard it, “I want long lean muscles.” or “This workout program will give you long lean muscles.” What is the scoop on making muscles longer and leaner? Can you?

Well, let’s start with the easy one, leaner. I don’t think there’s any doubt in anyone’s mind about this. Leaner is decreasing the subcutaneous fat (the fat between the muscle and the skin). Getting leaner is a combination of the right diet and exercise and is something that everyone can achieve.

What about making muscles longer? Muscles span a distance from one bone to another. The muscle attaches to the bone by tendons. Because the distance from bone to bone stays the same, the length of the muscles cannot get longer without having the tendon get shorter and that doesn’t happen. The muscle length is genetically determined. From one person to next you may see differences in muscle/tendon lengths, but you’re stuck with what you were born with.

So what can you control? Beyond how lean you are, you can choose the level of development of the muscle or how big (thick) the muscle is. Female bodybuilders’ muscles only differ from yours by size and that’s determined by the intensity and volume of their workout as well as how long they’ve been training. And muscle size doesn’t sneak up on you. You won’t wake up one morning and say, “Darn! I’m huge!” You can train exactly as bodybuilders do (or other athletes)and simply change your program to a maintenance one once you reach your desired level of development. The whole idea of getting “long and lean” or “toned” is losing fat and gaining a little muscle.

So don’t get sucked into the idea that one workout makes you bulky and another makes you long and lean. You need to have the proper diet and you need to exercise with enough intensity to stimulate muscle growth and increase your resting metabolism.

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