All Time Best Leg Toning Exercises

by Melanie Woodland

About Melanie Woodland

Based in the Rocky Mountains, Melanie Woodland has been writing health- and fitness-related articles since 2004. She holds her Bachelor of Science from Colorado State University, personal training certification from A.C.E. and group exercise certifications. She has completed numerous training regimens for all populations.

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Whether you are getting ready for swimsuit season or wanting your favorite pair of jeans to fit better, toning your leg muscles will help. Certain exercises will help you tone, define and reshape your leg muscles. Keeping your legs strong will help with balance and help you with daily activities. Complete up to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise up to three times a week for the best results.

Lunge

Stand while keeping your back straight and take a step forward with your right leg. Lower your body by bending your front knee and keep your shin perpendicular to the ground. Do not allow you knee to pass beyond your right toes. Approximately two feet should be between both feet. Push your lower body back up to the starting position and repeat on the left leg. According to “Women’s Strength Training Anatomy,” if you want your buttocks to work more, lunge with your feet farther apart. If you lunge with your feet closer together, you will target the front of your thigh in your quadriceps more.

Squat

The squat involves most of the muscular system, as well as the cardiovascular system, according to “Strength Training Anatomy.” Stand with your feet hip-width apart and keep your back straight. Slowly bend your knees to less than 90 degrees as you push your buttocks back, as if you are sitting in an imaginary chair. Do not allow your knees to pass over your toes. Hold this position for two counts and stand back up; repeat up to 12 times. Many muscle groups are worked, including the hamstrings, adductor mass, erector muscles of the spine, abdominals, quadriceps and gluteals.

Leg Lift

To strengthen your outer hip and your deep buttocks muscles, complete the leg lift up to 12 times on each leg. Standing with your feet hip-width apart, place all your body weight on your right foot and lift your left leg laterally up toward the ceiling until you feel the muscles in your hip and buttocks area. Bring your leg back to the starting position and repeat. To add a challenge to this exercise, add ankle weights to each ankle.

Inner-Thigh Lift

To work your inner-thigh muscles, lie on a mat on your right side. Cross your left leg in front of your right leg. Squeeze the inner thigh muscles of the right leg and lift it off the mat. Slowly lower back down and repeat. Complete repetitions and switch sides. To make this exercise more challenging, add ankle weights to both ankles.

References (2)

  • “Strength Training Anatomy"; Frédéric Delavier; 2003
  • “Women’s Strength Training Anatomy"; Frédéric Delavier; 2003

Photo Credits:

  • Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.