Do you want mini-skirt sexy legs? Or maybe a beautifully sculpted set of legs that will carry you across a marathon finish line? Whatever your desire, perfectly toned legs can be attained with just a few different exercises at the gym.
Perfect Female Legs: Exercise Motivation and Inspiration
Beautifully toned and strong legs are sexy on any woman. Just look at Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, and Jennifer Lopez. There are even rumors that Tay Tay has even insured her legs for $40 million. While insuring your legs for millions of dollars is ridiculous, working hard to tone and strengthen your legs is not. Your legs are made up of numerous large and small muscles that support, balance, and move your body every day. Don’t focus so much on the aesthetics of your legs, but rather building strength and balance in your legs. Strong is beautiful.
Best Workouts for Women: Good Routines, Great Results
Working your legs is quite easy. You probably do it already in the gym with the leg press machine, lunges, and the Stairmaster. But, there is a “right” way to tone your legs. Skip all the fancy gym machines and use the natural force of gravity and your bodyweight to do most of the work.
How to Get the Perfect Legs
Exercise is essential in toning your legs, but a clean, healthy diet is just as important. Due to our hormones and baby making abilities, women tend to store extra fat in their butts and thighs. But, don’t fret. Strong and curvy is the new skinny.
A healthy diet filled with an abundance of fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and lean proteins will not only help you reduce your overall body fat percentage, but it will fuel your muscles so you can rock your next workout. Lean protein, like a protein shake or grilled chicken breast, can help your legs recover faster after a tough hour of squats, lunges, and sprints.
Exercises to Get Beautiful, Toned Legs
Your legs are comprised of several key muscles that can be worked with just a few simple exercises. During each leg workout, you want to focus on your quads, hamstrings, gastrocnemius, and soleus. These four muscles are the primary movers and the most visible leg muscles.
If your goal is to create toned and sculpted legs, then you will need to lift heavier weights with lower reps (4-6). If you’re just looking to build some strength to feel stronger, you can use higher reps (10-15) with lighter weights.
Don’t be afraid to lift heavy to tone those legs. Women who lift heavy are strong and sleek, not bulky and masculine. That’s an Old Wives’ tale. The barbell squat is an excellent exercise that develops strength in your quadriceps, calves, glutes, and hamstrings.
If you’ve never done a barbell squat, it’s best to hire a personal trainer for a session or two to show you the correct technique to reduce chance of injury and how the equipment works. Always start light. This could mean just the barbell without weight, which weighs about 45 pounds itself. Once you’ve master the barbell squat with confidence, slowly start adding weight to challenge your legs.
Dumbbell lunges are a simple exercise that primarily works your quads. Lunges come in a variety of styles. Start with dumbbell lunges and once these seem too easy or you need a little variety in your workout, try other lunges, like the walking lunge, the star lunge, or the side lunge to target your leg muscles in different spots.
Trainer Tip: Skip the adductor machines at the gym. The machines don’t do anything and are just plain awkward. Instead, do side lunges to work your adductor longus, adductor brevis and adductor magnus. These three muscles make up your inner thigh muscles. Side lunges not only work these muscles, but you will also get in a good stretch. Win, win for you!
The single-leg deadlift works your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. This can be a tough exercise if you don’t have good balance, but it is a great hamstring exercise. Single-leg deadlifts can be done with just bodyweight (perfect if you’re just starting out), dumbbells, or a kettlebell.
Start with the weight in your left hand. Stand on your left leg and slowly start bending at the hip. As your left hand slowly drops to the floor, your right leg will extend backwards until you are parallel to the floor. Return to the start position and repeat for your number of reps before switching to the other side.
Standing Calf Raises
Standing calf raises target your calf muscles and can be done just about everywhere from the gym to your stairs at home. Stand with your toes on the edge of a machine, a box, or your stairs. Lift your heels so you’re standing on your tippy toes as you keep your legs straight. Pause, then slowly lower your heels until they are lower than the step or platform. Pause and return to the starting position.
By working your legs three times a week with these exercises, you’ll be rocking that miniskirt and killer pair of heels in no time. Taylor Swift will be begging for your legs!