If you want great toned leg workouts that help create beautiful legs that every woman envies then these are the exercises that you need to use
It is a known fact that if you push yourself as hard as you can during any core, upper-body or leg workout, sooner or later you will start to notice your body looking better. Many of you also know that healthy food choices can only increase the likelihood of getting that great body you have always wanted.
Then there are those of you who really grasp the idea of being fit and healthy — you understand the importance of combining a continuously healthy diet with key leg workouts to achieving those strong, fit legs you so desire. This is especially true when it comes to the long-term maintenance of those beautiful stems you earn through such hard work!
Best Cardio Activities for Toned Leg Workouts
In addition to being great for your overall health, regularly incorporating cardio into your fitness routine is a sure-fire way to fast track the results of your workouts. The activities listed below have an added bonus for all you moms out there — the kids can tag along right beside you! Plus, they are all SO fun, you’ll forget you’re even working out!
- Barre workouts
- Burst training
- Surfing / Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Perhaps one of the most important things to remember when it comes to improving your body is that you cannot out-exercise a bad diet. You cannot eat whatever you want, filling up on pints of Ben & Jerry’s, drinking soda (even if it’s Diet!), and cooking boxes of pasta or frozen pizzas every night and telling yourself that you’ll do an extra 20 minutes in the gym tomorrow to burn it off.
It’s important that you treat your body well and give it the right amount of carbs, quality protein, and healthy fats. One of the biggest mistakes women make when trying to get leaner legs is inadequate protein intake.
While it is great that society has increasingly been coming around to the idea of “eating off the Earth,” some of the current fads (such as ‘juicing’, though it sounds healthy) are just as bad for you as a diet high in sugars and fats. So what is the ideal diet that will help you get those strong and sexy legs, you ask? Well, the answer is there is no “one right answer”. Generally speaking, eating whole foods — organic and/or local whenever possible — is the way to go. A few popular diets that will have you eating (almost) all-naturally are:
Finding the right exercises for your specific fitness goal(s) is important, but arguably the most important aspect of exercising is technique. You always hear trainers saying things like, “Contract your muscles” and, “Focus on your breathing.” This is because you will fail to see results if you neglect to engage the muscle(s) properly.
When performing leg workouts, you’ll need to engage the muscles in your inner thighs, outer thighs, calves, and while equally focusing on the core. By contracting these muscles, you’ll be working them more efficiently. As you develop more strength, you can incorporate some resistance to really carve out those lean legs and improve your overall fitness level.
Resistance training is one proven way to amp up your daily fitness routine, benefiting your overall health and add more muscle tone. Some key leg workouts recommend the use of weights and others suggest a resistance band, but as long as you are properly contracting your muscles, your body weight will provide an adequate amount of resistance to achieve your desired results.
With a little bit of patience and a lot of consistency, paired with a healthy diet, you can and will experience positive results that you can maintain for the rest of your life!
Best Leg Exercises for Women
Important Things to Remember
— Wait until you are strong enough to perform each exercise with proper form BEFORE adding weights. Once you choose to use weights during any of the following exercises, be sure you select weights that challenge you but do NOT cause you to have poor form. An improper form may cause injury.
— Rushing through exercises does not equal quicker results, plus it increases your chances of injury. Take it slow until you are comfortable, then try other options.
— Engage as many muscles as possible while performing each exercise. Zero in on the muscles you are working and contract them as you flow through movements. This makes each exercise very effective!
— Be patient with yourself! The results you desire come from consistency and dedication to hard work. Remember, you are working for long-term results.
— As with any new exercise program and/or diet, consult your doctor and TAKE IT SLOW. If you ever notice that you are struggling to breathe, or if you feel any pain, stop immediately and consult your doctor.
What You Will Need
— Dumbbells ( 2.5-5 lbs for beginners)
— Timer (Counting to yourself works just as well!)
— Mat and/or towel
Toned Leg Workouts
Perform each exercise for 1 minute, allowing a 15-second break before moving to the next exercise. Once you have completed one round, rest for 1 minute and repeat. Beginners – do a total of 2 rounds. Advanced – 3 or 4 rounds.
1. Glute Lifter & Hamstring Toner
Get on all fours. Hold back straight while engaging your abs. Hold a weight behind your right knee by squeezing the lower leg toward your butt. Lift the leg to a 90-degree angle to the floor and lower back to starting position, without stopping. Continue for 20 reps, then repeat on the other leg.
Stand with feet about hip-distance apart. Hold a weight (if you choose) or your hands at your chest, keeping your upper body as upright as possible, while bending at the knees, push your rear back into a squatting position — like you are sitting in a chair. Eventually, your thighs should come to a 90-degree angle to the floor, it is okay to go halfway until you are strong enough to perform a deep squat.
3. Side Lunges
Stand with feet hip-distance apart, weights in hands and down at your sides. Step to the right and lunge down towards the floor, your upper body as upright as possible during movement. Then, push off floor and back to starting position. From there, repeat the exercise on the other side. Perform a total of 25 reps.
4. Goblet Box Squats
Stand in front of the corner of a box. Hold an upside-down kettlebell at chest height. With back flat and core engaged, lower down slowly until butt is on the box. Sit for one beat, then push through your heels to rise back up.
Lie on your back on the floor. Place feet hip-distance apart with knees up and heels close to your butt, feet on the floor. Begin raising hips off of the ground, pushing your heels into the ground. Raise hips as high as possible and hold for 3-4 seconds, then release to starting position. For an extra challenge, never allow your rear to touch the floor until the entire 60 seconds is complete. Want a double challenge? Raise one leg throughout the movement for the entire 60 seconds, then repeat with the other leg. Push through that burn!
6. Single-Leg Deadlift
Stand with feet hip-distance apart, knees slightly bent. Position hands or weights down in front of thighs. Slowly, bend at the waist, while sticking your chest out and pushing your glutes back. Your back should be flat, your head should be held in line with your back as you lower to a 90-degree angle while lifting one leg. Hold for 1 minute, then switch legs and repeat.
7. Forward & Backward Lunge Combo
Hold hands down at sides and stand with feet hip-distance apart. Take a big step forward so that your front leg is far enough in front of you to allow you to lower into a full lunge at a 90-degree angle. Push hips forward as you do this. As you rise back up, push off with your heel and step back with the same leg to starting position. Repeat 15 times on each leg.
Incorporate 15-20 minutes of cardio 3-4 times per week for added results. This can be done before or after your sexy leg workout.
The goal is to elevate your heart rate. Walk easily for 2-3 minutes, then move into a brisk walk for the rest of the workout. Cool down with 2 minutes of easy walking.
Walk / Run
Walk easily for 2-3 minutes, then move into a brisk walk for 1 minute, next run 1 minute. Alternate this activity for the rest of the workout. Cool down with 2 minutes of easy walking.
Again, please consult your doctor if you have any questions about starting a new program. If you are on medication or have a heart condition, take time to make sure it is okay for you to perform these exercises. If you are new to working out, take it slow and gradually work your way into the full program.
Let us know if you have tried any other leg workouts and how it is working for you. Our readers are always looking for first-hand information.
From the pages of The Cosmopolitan: How to Get Sexy, Toned Legs
A helpful article by WebMd: Toning Your Thighs – Tips for Slimmer Hips