At first blush, bikini pro and MuscleTech athlete Jenna Renee Webb may look like your stereotypical fitness model—sparkling smile, arms to kill for, and legs for miles—but as her 100,000 Instagram followers can tell you, she's fierce.
A quick perusal of her account shows photos of Webb in various physical pursuits, from bow archery to open-water fishing to barrel races. In no way is she just your run-of-the-mill pin-up model.
So it only makes sense, then, that when asking the 28-year-old about her leg training, you don't get the typical stock answer. She frequently changes her lower-body workouts with an array of dynamic stretches and supersets that keep her, well, on her toes.
"My leg-training goal is simple: I need to build," she explains. "My legs, especially my glutes, are what I'd consider a 'problem area,' since I'm naturally so lanky."
A Leg Up On The Competition
While staying lean with a fast metabolism benefits her come competition time, trying to add muscle mass to amplify all those lovely curves and shape her lower body can get frustrating. The answer, as she'll tell you, is to be willing to evolve your approach and follow what you find delivers the best results for your body.
"At one point in my training, I noticed that my hamstrings started to overpower my quads," says Webb, who now resides in Ormond Beach, Florida. "What works best for me now is to do heavy quad movements early on in my leg-training session. Later, during my hamstring movements, I tend to use lighter weight for higher reps."
Webb trains legs once per week—allowing for complete recovery—and growth—before she hits them hard again—but it's never the same exact workout twice. "I switch it up each time," she admits. "I always love to try new techniques or different angles."
For example, when doing the single-leg press, she likes to play with her foot placement, to target different areas of her legs and glutes. Webb says that placing your foot lower on the platform targets the quadriceps more, while going higher on the platform takes aim at the hamstrings and glutes. "When doing squats I'll change it up with a wide sumo stance, shoulder-width stance, or with my legs close together."
Before she begins her challenging leg workout, she warms up for 10 minutes doing dynamic movements that include walking knee pulls to chest, lunges, walking heel pulls, and walking leg curls/pulls. She suggests it's a protocol that could benefit just about anyone pre-workout.
"Not warming up before starting a lifting routine is a common error I see people make when it comes to legs," Webb says. "I literally watch people walk into the gym, head straight to the squat rack, throw some weight on there, do a few hops up and down, and think they're good to go. It makes me cringe every time!"
Once she's warm, it's "go time." Here's a sample from a recent training session, which includes her favorite superset combinations that combine a larger movement with a smaller one for legs, with descriptions of the larger exercises provided.
1. Barbell Squat
Webb Directory: Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, holding a bar across your upper back. Your knees should be unlocked and your toes turned out slightly. Keeping your abs tight and torso upright, and maintaining a big chest, bend at the knees and hips to slowly lower your body as if you were going to sit in a chair, holding your natural lower-back arch. At a point at which your thighs are about parallel with the floor, extend at your hips and knees to stand back up, pressing through your feet.
2. Single-Leg Press
Webb Directory: Sit in the machine, keeping your entire backside in with the pad, and place one foot toward the middle of the sled. Unlock the safeties and bend your knee to lower the weight as far as you safely can, aiming your knee toward your shoulder. You've gone too far if your glutes come up off the butt pad, which puts your lower discs at risk. Extend your knee to press back to full leg extension, stopping just short of lockout. Complete all reps to one side before switching.
3. Dumbbell Walking Lunge
Webb Directory: Standing erect and holding a dumbbell in each hand, step forward with one foot, bending both knees to lower your torso straight down—not down and forward. If you take a short step, your forward knee may pass an imaginary line that comes up from your toes, which is ill-advised because it puts greater stress on the structures of the knee. Stop just short of your rear knee touching the floor, then drive through the heel of your front foot while bringing your rear leg forward until you reach a standing position. Step with the opposite leg into a lunge, alternating sides down the floor.
4. Lying Leg Curl
Webb Directory: Lie prone on a leg-curl machine and position your Achilles tendons below the padded lever, your knees just off the edge of the bench. Grasp the handles for stability, and contract your hamstrings to bring your feet toward your glutes in a powerful, controlled motion. Lower to the start position, but don't allow the weight stack to touch down between reps.