With the holidays quickly approaching, why not have sexy legs to go along with the glitz and glamor of the holiday fashions. The following exercises will help get you those toned legs, long lines and contoured muscles that will look good and feel even better. These exercises will also help give you strength and endurance for hours of shopping, standing and dancing and just overall recovery from your day.
For the best outcomes, use a combination of strengthening, flexibility and lengthening exercises. The exercises will complement each other to give you recovery, relaxation, lengthening and toning to achieve those sexy legs. Don’t forget cardio exercise for even more definition and toning, especially in the legs. As with any exercise program gradually progress the sets and reps and always perform in a comfortable range of motion.
The sexy legs workout
Perform exercises at least 2-3 times per week. Allow for at least one day rest between days of exercise. You can exercise daily just be sure to alternate the exercises every other day.
For instance, perform standing exercises one day and lying down exercises the net. Or perform squats and lunges on one day and perform calf exercises on the other days. Keep in mind recovery is just as important as exercises to get the most out of your workouts.
Progressing sets and reps
Start with 3 sets of 10 reps for the exercises. This will give you a good measure if you haven’t exercised for some time or if these exercises are new to you. Gradually progress to 3 sets of 15 or 20 reps. After a couple of weeks then progress to 4 sets of 15 reps. For Calf/Toe Raises, Gluteal Leg Raises, and the Standing Gluteal Raises progress to 4 sets of 20 – 25 reps.
The more repetitions the greater the definition and toning. In general, if using weights the more repetitions you perform use lighter weight. With lesser repetitions, use moderate to slightly heavier weights.
Straight leg raises
Lying on your side, legs together position hips and pelvis so they are in a straight line. Do not allow the top hip to fall forward or to fall backward. (This can be an indication of decreased core stability.) Keeping knees facing forward lift top leg upward. Be sure not to lift leg too high and do not rotate leg. This will work the gluteal and inner thigh muscles. Repeat on the opposite leg.
Gluteal leg raises
Position yourself with hands and knees on the floor and back in neutral position. Lift one knee off of the floor and flex your foot. Straighten the leg as you move the leg back and slightly upward then lower leg keeping hips neutral. Do not move your low back or upper body. Repeat for number of repetitions and perform on opposite side.
Lunges are an excellent exercise because they work multiple muscles at the same time. From the quadriceps and hamstrings to the gluteals and even inner thigh muscles, (adductors). Lunges can be done forward, diagonal, or to the side. Performing lunges on the diagonal works the inner thigh and hamstrings. Side lunges works more the gluteals and inner thighs.
Single leg squat
This exercise is great for getting toner thighs focusing on the quadriceps and hamstrings. Single Leg Squats can be done on the floor or can be done on a step to allow for greater knee bend for a deeper squat position.
Standing gluteal raises
These are great for toning the gluteals and upper thigh. To perform this exercise stand on one leg with weight in your heel. Next, bow forward flexing at the hips and maintain a neutral spine. Maintaining this position lower into a single leg half squat then push through your heel to straight leg position while maintaining flexed at the hips and neutral spine.
Standing calf or toe raises
These can be performed with the feet in 3 different positions:
1. Toes Forward
2. Toes Slightly Outward
3. Toes Slightly Pigeon Toed
When performing toe raises have weight in the front half of your feet and lift straight upward, then lower, just touching heel to the floor and repeat. Be sure not to “rock” back and forth from toes to heels during exercise.
“Rocking” unloads the muscle and decreases the effectiveness of the exercise. Typically, I have athlete and/or clients perform calf raises with Toes Forward on one day and Toes Outward and Toes Pigeon Toed on another day.
Performing all three positions works the entire calf area and helps to develop more definition and toning of the calf muscle, (gastrocnemius). Calf raises can also be done with heels off the edge of a step for greater range of motion which will also give those longer more defined legs.
Flexibility and lengthening exercises
Lying on back with bottoms of feet together, allow knees to fall to the outside until a comfortable stretch to the groin and inner thigh. Move feet away from you to lessen the stretch or move towards you for a greater stretch. Do not over stretch. Stretch should be comfortable. Hold 30-60 seconds.
90/90 hamstring stretch
Lying on back, position hip and knee to 90 degrees, hold behind the knee and straighten knee moving foot towards the ceiling. Maintain comfortable stretch in hamstring while moving toes towards you flexing the foot to bring the calf muscles into the stretch. Stretch should always be comfortable. Hold 30-60 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times each side.
Place towel, band or strap around one foot. Lie on your back and straight leg into the air. Move toes towards you flexing the foot using the towel, band or strap to hold flexed foot position to stretch the calf. Stretch should always be comfortable. Hold for 30-60 seconds on each side.
Lying on back with legs straight, place one heel on top of the opposite foot at the 1st and 2nd toes. Keeping quads tight and legs straight rotate hips to the side of the bottom leg. Hold for 60 seconds. Repeat to opposite side.
These will go great with a Fat Shred diet plan you can grab from our app.