Workouts to Tone Legs

Workouts to Tone Legs

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Buff legs come as the result of strength training and cardio workouts.

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Slender, toned legs look great in a favorite pair of jeans or short skirt. You can't get rid of fat only in the leg area, finds the American Council on Exercise, but you can target your leg muscles to strengthen and tone them. Perform leg muscle-toning exercises in conjunction with cardio exercises for workouts that help you tone your leg muscles while losing excess body weight all over and on your legs. See a physician before starting any new exercise program.

Working It Low

Shapely calves look attractive, whether you're a man or a woman. Your calf muscles are involved in many leg-toning exercises, but you can target them with workouts that include stepups and weighted calf raises. To do the latter, stand with your feet 6 inches apart while holding dumbbells or kettlebells in your hands. Allow your hands to remain by your sides. Rise up on your toes, and then slowly lower yourself back down again. Use a heavy enough weight and perform enough repetitions to fatigue your calf muscles after eight to 12 repetitions.

Working It High

Your upper legs are comprised of quadriceps, hamstring, adductor and abductor muscles. These muscles, when strengthened and toned, add to the appearance of the fronts, backs, outer and inner areas of your thighs. Focus on your quads and hamstrings, with free weights or body weight, by performing lunges and squats. At the gym, include leg presses in your workouts to tone legs, as well as leg extensions.

Ins and Outs

The inner and outer thighs are often neglected in leg-toning workouts. Work your adductor and abductor muscles with inner and outer leg lifts. Streamline your workout by doing a combination move, such as curtsy squats with lateral lifts. Rather than squatting with your feet 18 to 24 inches apart from one another, cross the right leg behind the left one, extending the left leg so it has just a slight bend in the knee. Squat down 90 degrees with the right leg. Return to standing, and then lift the left leg up and out as high as possible at your left side. Perform eight to 12 reps on each side.

Churning for Fat Burning

No amount of leg-toning workouts will help if your muscles are covered by a layer of fat. Include 150 to 300 minutes of cardiovascular exercise in your weekly workouts. Choose a form of cardio that you enjoy so you'll be more likely to stick with it. Aerobic exercise such as brisk walking, playing with the kids or horseback riding will help you burn about 250 calories per hour for a loss of 1/2 pound weekly when you exercise every day. Engage in a more vigorous form of cardio, such as running, swimming or basketball, to burn around 500 calories per hour each day for a weekly loss of 1 pound.