NEW: Check out SNSD’s meal plan!
Girls’ Generation (So Nyuh Shi Dae) is slowly taking over the world! Known for their captivating charms and stage presence, SNSD has gained fans from all over the globe – the United States, Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and even France. Other than their natural beauty, SNSD bewitch fans with their vocals and catchy dance moves. With hit records after hit records, there are no signs of SNSD slowing down. In 2010/2011, SNSD began promoting in Japan, and the press instantly picked up on it. In fact, they were labeled as the Korean girl group with “beautiful legs.”
Excuse me here for one second, but SNSD do have the best legs in the business! They are not overly muscular or bulky; they are firm, toned and well-defined. Many girls try to have long and tender legs like SNSD’s, but only to quit the gym after months of fruitless training. In this article, we will take a look at what the girls themselves actually do for leg workouts, and more importantly, what you can do starting today to get legs like SNSD’s!
Into The New Proportion
The girls of SNSD were all born with good leg lines. Their personal trainer Kim Su Chang focused on bringing the girls’ legs to the right proportions. The magic ratio for “beautiful legs” is 5:3:2 – thickest part of your thigh : thickest part of your calf : ankles. As for the waist-to-ratio, ladies want to aim for 0.7. Simply measure the slimmest part of your waist and divide it by your hip measurement.
With these ratios in mind, let’s get to work! We will be focusing on your core, your glutes, hips/pelvis, thighs and calves.
The SNSD Workout
The idea behind the workout is to focus more on aerobic capacity by doing aerobic-type workouts. As you can see in the video, the girls perform different variations of kicking and knee lifts while skipping lightly at the same time. This makes it an awesome workout because it makes you sweat, therefore helping you expel toxins from your body; it also bumps up the calorie expenditure during the workout to increase fat loss (this is assuming you are on a caloric deficit diet). One key point here is that spot reduction simply does not happen – you cannot choose to lose fat or “reduce” fat in a certain body part or “spot”. To get firm, well-defined legs, you have to focus on gaining muscle and shedding fat overall.
1. 5 kicks for each leg while skipping (warm up)
2. 5 kicks for each leg to the opposite side while skipping (kick to the left with your right leg for 5 times, then kick to the right with your left leg for 5 times)
3. 5 knee lifts for each leg to the opposite side while skipping (knee up to the left with your right knee for 5 times, then knee up to the right with your left knee for 5 times)
4. 5 bent-knee kicks to each side for each leg while skipping (do bent-knee kicks to the right with your right leg for 5 times, then to the left with your right leg for 5 time; repeat with left leg)
5. 5 high, straight-legged kicks for each leg to the opposite side while skipping
In this part of the video, the girls are seen exercising while supporting a wooden stick across their back (think barbell back squat position). They then again perform different variations of leg raises and leg abductions but this time in a standing position. The wooden stick is there to help practice balance and coordination. They also included the squat to work the lower back and the hips as well.
There are also 2 ab exercises showcased in this part of the video:
1. Bent over broomstick twist
This is a very basic and old school exercise for the obliques. You can think of the oblique muscle as your “side abs”. We don’t want to be using any resistance on this because we would like to keep a tight and streamlined waistline as opposed to adding muscles to your waist. Focus on twisting all the way and don’t use momentum.
2. Side bends with broomstick
This is a variation of the dumbbell side bend that you see a lot of people doing in the gym. Here, we use a broomstick instead of a dumbbell and we go all the way down to maximize the range of motion. This improves flexibility as well as working the oblique muscles. Again, focus on going through the full range of motion and take momentum out of the equation.
Leg training for women
The best way to train legs for girls is NOT to do high reps. When you shoot for higher reps, you get the pump and stretch the fascia (the tissue that surrounds the muscle). Keep doing it and the sarcoplasm (the “belly” of the muscle fiber) will grow (hypertrophy). This gives that soft, puffy look that bodybuilders have. We want to perform fairly low reps (4 – 6) and perform 3 – 4 sets for each exercise. Here are some leg exercises that you can pick from:
(1) Lunges (dumbbell/walking/split/reverse)
(2) Squats (dumbbell/machine)
(3) Leg extensions
(4) Hip abduction
(5) Hip adduction
(6) Leg curls (seated/standing)
(7) Calf raises (seated/standing)
Take anywhere from 1 to 2 minute rest. The cardio-based routines as shown by the girls in those YouTube clips can be done after your main workout with weights.
Cardio and diet for fat loss
It is important to stay away from the “pump” if you don’t want big bulky legs. This means the bike is a bad idea. I personally like the stair master or alternatively the step mill. Traditional treadmill works perfectly fine too. If you are an outdoor, adventurous person you can probably take it to the tracks or even the neighborhood.
As for the diet, the girls themselves say that they eat 3 times a day. There was a TV show in Korea that reported the “SNSD diet plan” as consisting of 5 pieces of broccoli, 100 g of chicken breast, 150 g of brown rice and small amounts of vegetables (this rounds up to about 1500 kcal per day). The girls came right out and denied that report. However, I am guessing their diet consists of foods similar to those listed in the TV show:
* Adequate amount of protein must be taken in to prevent muscle breakdown; I recommend taking anywhere from 0.6 to 0.8 g / BW (lb) of protein depending on the individual
* Low GI carbs such as brown rice, apple and oatmeal are perfect while on a maintenance / fat loss diet. If you are only eating 3 meals a day, eat carbs for breakfast and lunch. Your carb source for dinner should be just vegetables (fibrous carbohydrates). Don’t be afraid to be creative here; salads can taste good and be healthy at the same time!
* Fats were not mentioned in the TV show, but healthy fats should be a part of everyone’s diet. “Good” fats are basically unsaturated fats (both mono- and polyunsaturated fats). Examples of healthy fats include olive oil, nuts and fish oil. Don’t crazy with the fats because these are loaded with calories!
NEW: SNSD’s Meal Plan
Finally, SNSD’s meal plan has been revealed on a Korean Variety TV Show!
Breakfast: Rice (205 calories), Grilled Chicken Breast (120 calories), Blanched Broccoli (9 calories), Seasonal Vegetables (25 calories)
Lunch: Rice (205 calories), Grilled Chicken Breast (120 calories), Cabbage (22 calories), Paprika Salad (Dressing: 77 calories), Almonds
Dinner: Sweet Potatoes (180 calories), Eggs (80 calories in one egg), Cabbage (22 calories), Paprika Salad (Dressing: 77 calories)
Total calories ~ 1300 – 1500 calories
Putting It Together
It takes a lot of dedication to get/maintain a figure like the girls’ in SNSD. The girls weren’t both with such figures, and they worked very hard to look the way they look today. Fortunately, most of us don’t have to go on tours and do promotions year round. Focus on following a solid diet and be consistent with your workouts. Don’t forget that quality rest is also a very important factor too (though the girls probably aren’t getting much)!
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