Shorts weather is almost here! Start exercising now and say goodbye to flabby thighs with these five exercises that will tighten and tone your legs. Also, check out four leg stretches that will help to lengthen your leg muscles.
Follow this five-step workout 2-3 times a week for more tone and shapely legs by summer!
Plié Squat with Calf Raise
Stand with your feet just wider than hip-width, toes slightly turned out, and place your hands on your hips. Bend your knees over your toes and lower your body into a squat. While holding this position, lift your heels up without raising your hips and then press your heels them back down again. Continue raising and lowering your heels 10 times before returning to standing position to complete one rep. Repeat 3-5 times.
Balancing Leg Lift
With dumbbells in hand, stand on your left foot. Lift your right foot behind you by bending your knee until your right lower leg is parallel to the floor. Hinge your body forward at your hips and lower your body as far as you can. Pause slightly and then return to starting position. Use your glutes to push your hips forward instead of using your back. Keep your core engaged and chest up during the entire movement. Do 3 sets of 10 on each leg.
Stand in front of a bench, step, or sturdy chair and place your left foot firmly on the step and step up until your left leg is straight. Lower your body back down until your right foot touches the floor and repeat for 10 reps. Make sure to keep your chest up and do not lean to far forward. Do 3 sets of 10 on each leg.
Stand with your feet just wider than shoulder-width apart. Turn your toes out slightly and lower your body down by bending your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your back straight and shoulders back. Pause and then slowly return to starting position. Continue for 3 sets of 12 reps.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down, bending your knees to a 90 degree angle. Jump up explosively and land softly in the squat position. Remember to land as softly as you can with your knees bent, keeping your weight back and over your heels. Do 3 sets of 8 reps.
These leg stretches will help to create long, lean muscles and help to prevent injury and sore muscles.
Place your hands on a wall and step your feet 2-3 feet away from the wall. Lean your body towards the wall without moving your feet. Keep your knees straight and heels on the ground at all times during this exercise. Lean closer to the wall until you feel your calves stretching and the hold that position.
While standing, lift one foot behind you, bending at the knee. Use the hand on the same side to pull your foot behind you touching your butt. Keep your back straight, pull until you feel the front of your thighs stretching.
Lie with your back flat on the ground. With your knee just slightly bent, lift one leg up and pull on the back of your thigh. Pull your thigh until your leg is at a 90-degree angle with your body. Then slowly straighten your knee until you feel the back of your leg stretch.
Inner Thigh Stretch
Sit on the ground and place the soles of your feet together. Move your feet out so heels are about 12-18 inches away from your body. Place your hands on your knees and slowly push them towards the ground and lean your body forward keeping your back straight.