I’m often complimented on how toned my legs are. If it’s not ‘your legs have a lovely shape,’ it’s ‘oh my God, they’re so toned.’ Either way, they do get attention – more attention than my “booty gains” ever will! Although I’ve always had good muscle tone in my legs, I must admit that I’ve had to do certain exercises to keep them that way – can’t give genetics all the credit for it, I’m afraid!
Here are some of my top leg toning exercises:
Walking Lunges (3 x 15 rep)
- Start with your feet shoulder width apart and both hands on each hip.
- Take a step forward with your right leg while flexing the knees to drop to your hips. Keep going down until the back knee nearly touches the ground.
- Use the force of the heel of your lead foot and extend both knees to bring yourself back up.
- Take another step forward with your left foot this time and keep repeating the lunge on the opposite legs.
Tips: Posture should be upright and your front knee shouldn’t go past your front foot. You can use dumb bells if you want to add some weight.
Wall Sit (30 – 45 seconds)
- Stand with back and heels against a wall.
- Walk your feet out in front of you and the spread them apart.
- Slide your back down the wall until knees are at a 90 degree angle.
- Hold for required time and then repeat.
Tips: Your knees should be aligned with your ankles. You can hold a medicine ball between your knees to work the muscles more!
Standing Calf Raises (2 x 12 rep)
- Stand on the edge of a step and rest one hand against a wall for balance.
- Raise your heels a couple of inches above the edge of the step so that you’re on your tiptoes.
- Hold for a few seconds and then lower your heels, you should feel the stretch in you calf muscle.
Tips: Go up on your tiptoe and lower your heel as much as you can. Use the entire width of your foot to push.
Leg Press Machine (3 x 15)
This is quite possibly my favourite machine at the gym. There are days when I go in specifically for it ! It’s great for working all the lower leg muscles like the quads, hamstrings and glutes. At this stage I can press about 70kg, but it took me a good few months to get to that point. Always start with a lower weight and then build your way up! My main tip for using this machine is never ever lock your knees in when you’re doing your reps! Locking your knees in puts a serious amount of stress on the knee joint which could lead to an injury.
Single Leg Dead Lift (3 x 15)
- Hold a kettlebell on one hand and then stand on the side you’re holding the kettle bell.
- Keep that knee slightly bent and lower the weight while raising and extending the other leg backwards.
- Lower the kettlebell until your body is parallel to the ground.
- Return to upright position and repeat.
Tips: Start with using your body weight first and then you can add weights once you find the right balance and form!
What are your favourite leg toning exercises!? Would love to know! Tweet me @FilomenaKaguako
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