Your legs are generally the most common area for fat storage throughout your entire body. This is especially true for women. The good news is your legs are also the area of the body that can build the leanest muscle the quickest.
You generally don’t have to do strenuous workouts to get toned legs. If you want them to look muscular, then you will need to get on a specific regimen with some high intensity training. But if you’re just looking to burn some fat and get a little tone in your legs, then try these seven exercises to help get you on the right track.
Most people have done squats before while exercising, and most people agree that they don’t like them very much. The reason why squats are disliked is that they stretch your muscles and make you sore, which is exactly what you want to feel!
There are a lot of different variations of squats that you can try: regular squats, jump squats, side-to-side squats, sumo squats and more. If you really want to get some acceleration on toning your legs, you can hold some dumbbells while you do them.
Lunges rank right up there with squats when they come to toning your legs and experiencing the burn that goes with it. It’s always a good idea to mix up the type of lunges that you do to work different muscles. A combination of regular lunges, jump lunges and any other type of lunge will really make you feel the burn in your legs.
These will make you very sore if you haven’t done them in a while. That’s why it’s best to start out slow to ensure you feel a little tightness and stretch your muscles out as much as you can. As long as you aren’t so sore the next day that you can’t even move, then you know you’re doing something right.
3. Long-distance Cardio
There’s no question that the more you use your legs, the easier it will be to make them look toned. Running is one of the best ways to stay moving, and it’s better to do long-distance rather than sprinting if you want to build endurance and slowly tone your legs.
It’s not a bad thing to incorporate some sprints occasionally. Short bursts of speed are beneficial for stretching out and building your muscles. Long-distance cardio is better for slowly toning your legs without getting bulky.
4. Ride a Bike
Riding a bike is great for giving your calves and gluteus a workout. People who ride a bike for more than 30 minutes each day likely have some very toned calves that would make you jealous.
You may not get as much work on your hamstrings and thighs with riding a bike when compared to other types of leg workouts, but you can still give your legs a solid workout to help you reach your goals.
If you have hills that you can ride up and down, then the ride will be even more challenging and you can expect your legs to get an even better workout!
See also: Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes
5. Stand Whenever You Can
If you have a job where you have to sit for long periods of time, try to stand up and move around occasionally throughout the day.Sitting for a long time could be harmful to your posture and your overall health, not to mention storing fat in your legs.
See if you can have a stand-up desk at your job, which will help you naturally burn calories and keep your legs working. Your calves and ankles are strengthened significantly when you stand for extended periods of time.
Read more: 15+ Easy Office Workouts To Exercise At Work
6. Dead Lifts
This is a traditional workout that people either love or hate. Regardless of your opinion of them, you can’t deny that they work. Try to use at least a little bit of weight when doing dead lifts to help accelerate the process of toning your legs.
If you have access to a gym, you may consider using a barbell with heavy weights. The object of this workout is to keep your legs straight, bend over and grab the weight, and then lift it up without bending your knees until you are standing straight up. You will be giving your hamstrings a killer workout!
If you don’t have access to any type of weights for some reason, then you probably want to increase the number of repetitions that you do to make sure that you are getting the full benefit of the motion.
7. Calf Raises
Having toned calves is something that a lot of people want, and they don’t realize how simple it is to achieve them. The most common way to tone your calves is by doing calf raises. You can stand straight up and then stand on your toes and back down. If you repeat that process for several minutes, you’ll definitely be feeling the burn.
Even common exercises like jumping rope will help you tone your calves. If you have a large staircase that you have access to, you could walk or run up and down the stairs to get a calf workout as well.
You could also simply put one foot on a higher step and use a running motion to raise the other foot and leg in front of you. Either way you decide to do it, you won’t regret it!
As long as you do something with your legs on a regular basis, you will be moving closer towards getting them toned. I would recommend doing a mixture of these seven exercises frequently, just so you are burning more fat and using more muscles regularly.
Sometimes your body can get into a routine if you do the same workout repeatedly, which can cause your muscles to stall a little bit and make your workout not quite as effective. Keeping your leg muscles guessing is a great way to get them toned quickly, which is everyone’s ultimate goal!