5 Moves For Sculpted & Toned Legs
Legs are one of the most common problem areas that my friends complain about. Can you relate?
Do you avoid wearing shorts and hate the thought of a bathing suit?
If your thighs rub together, buns jiggle and dimples appear, it's time to step up your leg routine.
Whatever you'd like to improve about your legs, it isn't going to fix itself. The best strategy for getting killer legs is to include strength training for your lower body in your regular exercise routine.
To tone and sculpt your legs, incorporate the following five exercises a few times a week and see the difference they make. Stick with it and you'll be showing off those legs in no time.
Tone Your Legs Move #1: The Squat
A properly done squat is a powerhouse of an exercise. In one movement you work your glutes, hips and thighs. Talk about hitting all the problem areas!
Here's how to do a proper squat. Position your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back straight, core tight, and chest up, squat down like you're going to sit in a chair. Bend at the knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor, keeping your knees from extending past your toes. Hold this position, and then exhale as you stand back up. Repeat for 20 repetitions without resting. As your endurance builds, feel free to add resistance by holding weights at your sides.
Tone Your Legs Move #2: Carving Curtsy
This move is a little more complicated but worth the effort. It works your abs, buttocks, and legs—including your inner thighs.
To do the carving curtsy, first stand up straight with your arms bent and hands by your chest. Lunge back and to the right with your left leg so your left foot lands behind your right foot, to the right of your body. Bend both knees to a 90-degree angle, as if you're performing a curtsy. Swing your left arm forward and up and your right arm back by your right side. Then stand up straight, lifting your left knee out to the side and tap your left knee with your left hand. Do 20 reps on each leg then repeat on the other side.
Tone Your Legs Move #3: The Mountain Climber
This rocking leg exercise mimics the movement of climbing a steep mountain. The faster you move your legs, the more of a cardio workout you'll get as well.
Get into a push-up position: hands and toes on the floor holding up your body. Holding in your abs, lift your right foot, and bring your right knee toward your chest. Tap the floor with your right foot, and then extend your leg back to starting position. Repeat with your left leg, bringing your left knee up toward your chest and tap the floor. Return to start position. Repeat with both legs for 20 repetitions.
Tone Your Legs Move #4: The Lunge
The lunge is arguably the best leg exercise, as it works pretty much every leg muscle as well as your buttocks. There are quite a few variations to the simple lunge, but to do the basic lunge, stand up straight and tighten your core.
Step forward several feet with your right foot, lightly landing heel first. Bend both legs down until bent at 90 degrees (never more) and your left knee is about an inch above the floor. Your knee shouldn't extend further than your toes. Keep your body upright, tighten your core and work to keep your balance by not wobbling from side to side. Lift your body up and bring your hips forward until you're standing straight. Repeat on the other side, lunging forward with your left foot. Complete 20 lunges per leg.
Tone Your Legs Move #5: The Step-Up
Step-ups are great because they mimic movements you perform in daily life. This exercise works your legs and also gets your heart pumping. When you step-ups you can hold a dumbbell in each hand to increase resistance. In addition, you'll need some sort of step such as a bottom stair, sturdy box, or low stable chair.
Step up with your right foot and then bring your left foot up. Step back down, so both feet are on the floor. Repeat, stepping up first with your left foot. Continue doing this 20 times with each leg.
Incorporate these moves into your routine to tone your legs, lift your buns, strengthen your core, and to encourage healthy weight loss.