Many women wish they had better toned legs. Thankfully, the secret to achieving more muscle tone in the legs is a matter of a few moves, and are probably tweaks to your usual routine. The 3 tips below include suggested exercises to get you on your way to sleek, sexy legs! Most moves focus on the quads and glutes, but include smaller muscle groups, like the calves or inner and outer thighs, to hit all parts of the leg in one workout.
You’ll need an exercise tube with handles on the end. You’ll also need a set of 15 to 20 pound dumbbells, an exercise bench, step or low chair, a few inches shorter than knee height, and a jump rope. You can maintain your usual leg routine, adding in these moves instead of resting between sets, or complete all of these moves together in a circuit for a killer leg workout! Complete one set of each exercise before moving on to the next without resting in between.
1. Add Jumps
Jumping is your first defense against cellulite, as well as increasing bone strength and density.
- Jump Rope: Add a minute of jumping between weight sets, or add a 5 to 10 minutes of jumping with your cardio routine. Jumping rope help train your joints to become stronger, seriously works your calves, and is the first step in reducing that nasty cellulite from the back of your thighs. All this while being an excellent cardiovascular workout!
- Bench jump ups: Stand to the side of a bench facing it. Jump with both feet onto the top of the bench, drawing knees up as you jump. Land on the bench in a squat position and push up to standing. Jump back to the floor and repeat. Complete as many jump ups as you can, working your way up to 20 jumps.
2. Add Lunges
Most women do some form of lunges during their weight routine. Add these tweaks to hit more muscle groups.
- Clock lunges: Hold the dumbbells in each hand at your sides. Lunge forward with the right foot. Maintain a 90 degree angle at the knee, being careful to keep the knee over the ankle. Step back to standing, then lunge the right foot to the side. The right foot should be in line with left foot, bending the knee slightly so you feel the lunge in the hip and glute. Step back to standing, then dip back with the right foot, keeping 90 degree angle with the left foot (just like the first right lunge), and step back to standing. Repeat all three lunges on the left for one rep. Complete 8 reps.
- Jump lunges: Add these lunges immediately after you have completed a set of lunges, to squeeze the last bit of energy from your legs. Lunge onto right foot with leg at a 90 degree angle at the knee with knee over ankle. Jump up switching legs in the air and landing in a left lunge. That’s one rep. Complete 20 reps.
3. Add resistance
More weight will not make your legs bulk up! Add enough weight to your exercises that you find it difficult to complete your last rep.
- Squats: Hold dumbbells at your sides, and squat straight down as though you are sitting in a chair, keeping back as straight as possible. You should feel the weight in your glutes (backside). When you press up, squeeze cheeks together to increase focus on those muscles.
- Side steps: Stand on the resistance band with feet hip width apart. Put hands on hips. For added resistance, cross the band in front of your body, and hold handles in opposite hands, then place hands on hips. Take 8 small steps to the right, keeping the band somewhat taut between legs. Take 8 steps to the left to return to starting location. Then step back and forth to the right then back to the left for 1 rep. Do 8 reps of singles.
Try all of them in a row, or mix them in, and you’ll start seeing muscle tone in no time!