Are you avoiding wearing short skirts due to the greater muscle bulk of your legs? Do you want to tone them in a proper shape? Well, your legs can be in shape if you follow the proper exercise regimen, but how can you find out the best leg workout among the list of many other exercise plans?
No worries, if you’re doing the below-listed moves on the alternate days and for shorter duration, make sure that your diet should be controlled, your water uptake should be about 7-8 liters per day and you’re sticking to the plan.
As a beginner, you should be facing many problems like not getting the results on expected time and not following the exercise plan regularly but if you’re motivated enough then all the exercises excuses will be useless. Further, you should remain positive all the time while opting for any exercise because if you don’t get the results as per your expectations, you’ll be eventually entered into the depression phase.
Here, we’ll discuss 3 core areas of exercises including squats, lunges and calf-raise with their respective modifications. You can switch to other exercises and create your own fitness secret through the below- listed- moves so, let’s begin with the entirely different modifications to get your legs toned and trimmed.
Squats- king of all exercises
It is the multi-joint and simple exercise, working on the different muscle groups of the body but the main impact of the squats is on the leg muscles. Besides toning the hams and quads, it also contracts the Erector Spinae (back muscles) and glutes muscles. There are varieties of modifications of the squats with different effects on the muscle groups. So, let’s explore the world of squats,
1. Simple squats:
It’s very easy to do the simple squats; it’ll also help to improve the balance and coordination. The bone mineral density is also enhanced after doing the squats.
Stand straight with the feet-hip-width-apart and your toes pointing out. Tuck your tummy in and then place your arms at the sides. Lower down your back as much as possible in a similar way that you’re sitting at any place, then straight back again. Key of this move is that, when you come back to the neutral position, clench the Glutes, to tone them as well.
2. Chair squats:
Again, this is the simplest move to strengthen the glutes by using the chair to provide the assistance in the exercise.
Stand straight in front of the chair with your feet marginally more extensive. Twist your knees, move your hips back and imagine you are going to sit down. Keep your weight in your heels and don’t let your knees reach out past your toes. Lower down until you are touching the seat, and after that come back to the original position.
3. Squat with kicks:
This is the most advanced form of the squats and it’ll exhaust your Glutes, hams, and quads. Begin with the squat position, hip-feet-width-apart, tighten your stomach muscles and lower down just like you’re sitting on the chair and then straight your legs.
After making the squat position, rise up and kick your leg straight out to the side at the hip level with your leg. Come back to the squat position and kick with the opposite leg. Do 15 repetitions on each side.
4. Squats with jump:
You can incorporate this exercise in any cardio and intense workout to boost your leg muscles. Squat jumps are not too much difficult. All you need to do is to come into the basic squat position and then jump up in the air with the hands above your shoulders and then land again into the squat position, do these jumps for about 30 seconds.
5. Plie squats:
It is the ballet-dancer-inspired- variation of the squats, targeting mainly inner thigh and the Glutes. The interesting fact about this exercise is that you’ll feel more resistance while performing this exercise due to the foot position.
So, Stand with your legs a few feet separated, toes turned out; place your hands on your hips. Push your hips back and bring down your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then, come back to the starting position. Repeat this exercise for about 15-20 times.
6. Squats with narrow feet:
If you want to get the effect alone on your glutes, then try to do this exercise. Though, it is very difficult to do but it’ll bring the amazing possible results. What you need to do is to make the basic position of the squats but narrow the foot’s distance and then perform the above-mentioned steps of the squats. Perform one set of 15-20 repetitions.
7. Four counts squats:
The basic technique of all the squats is similar, but we’ve blended them with some challenging moves to boost the muscles in a while. Begin this exercise by coming into the starting position of the squats and then start counting from 4-1. As you count down, gradually lower your upper body as much as possible and then return to the original position.
However, this move is somehow unorthodox but the counting along with the pushing your body to the ground will fire your muscles more proficiently.
So, squats are the super-duper exercise to tone your butts, inner thighs, outer thighs and hams. I would suggest you to pick 2- 3 exercises from the squats category and make your own workout. Make sure that your stance of the exercise is accurate and proper and you’re executing each exercise in the right direction, perhaps, if you want to get the toned and feminist legs then don’t underestimate the squats, they’re the best helpers to achieve your targeted results.
Lunges- the immediate fat burner
Squats and lunges are the two essential exercises to tone your legs within a few months. Lunges are the safest and most effective exercise. It helps in reducing the muscle bulk of the Glutes, hamstring, and quads, but it also helps in strengthening the core. Lunges provide better stability, improve balance and coordination, increase the hip flexion and de-load the spine from different types of forces. So, lunges are the cool and fun loving exercises, which will make your workout even more fascinating.
1. The simple Lunge:
Before heading for the complicated versions of the lunges, you should know the basic technique of the lunges execution.
Stand straight and place your hands on your sides and then place your one leg forward and the other leg behind it. Check that the alignment of your body is properly and error-free; your forward knee should be aligned with the foot. Lower down your backward knee to the ground and then come back to the starting position. Repeat this exercise up to 15-20 times.
The key of the lunges is that your forward knees shouldn’t go beyond the toes because if the alignment is disturbed, it can cause injury. During the execution of the exercise, make sure that you maintained your stance properly.
2. Curtsy lunge:
This move is more challenging and it’ll exhaust your muscles more powerfully. Although, it is complicated move but if you become a master in performing the simple lunge then it couldn’t be too much difficult for you.
Begin exercise with your feet- hip-width separated, and afterward, keeping your weight on your left foot, make a major stride back with your right leg, crossing it behind your left leg (as though going to do a ‘curtsy’).
Gradually twist your knees and let your body straight down until your front thigh is parallel to the floor, and both knees are flexed at 90 degrees. Pull your abs tight and keep your back straight. Perform 15 repetitions on one side on alternate sides.
3. Side to side lunges:
This exercise is not only working on your Glutes and inner thigh; yet, it is also working on your oblique muscles.
Stand straight with the hips-feet-width-apart and make the fist of your one hand and place other hand over it with your elbows bent out to the side, keep your hands in front of your chest and Put weight onto your left leg, and as you slowly bend your left knee and squat down, slide your right foot out to the side. Then, as you slowly straighten your leg, slide the right foot back. Most of your weight remains in the leg that’s not moving.
Repeat the exercise for about 15-20 times to complete the set.
4. Lunges with high knee:
To activate the leg muscles and stretching them simultaneously, this exercise will act like the 2 in 1 deal, when you perform lunges, it’ll provide the effects of the lunges but when you include the element of high knee in it, it’ll facilitate the extra stretch of your quads.
Begin by standing straight and placing your right leg forward and left leg backward, bend your left leg to the ground by keeping your front leg aligned, then bring your back leg up to the chest before moving towards the next repetition.
5. Lunges with leg raises:
Again this is the exciting variation of the lunges; the degree of difficulty is much higher in this variation because you need to balance on one leg for a few seconds. Perform the proper lunge and then raise your back leg up as much as you can do, and then return back to your starting position. Repeat this exercise for about 15-20 times to complete the set.
6. Lateral lunge with toe touching:
It improves your flexibility and enhances the strength of your muscles. Begin the exercise by standing upright and feet-hips-width-apart. Hold your tummy in and make a major stride out to one side. Twist your right knee but make sure that you’re not going beyond the right toes. By keeping your left leg straight and both feet level on the floor, touch your toes and then come back to the standing position. Repeat this move on other side for about 15-20 times.
7. Diagonal lunge:
When you move in the different patterns, your muscles will be exposed to the greatest number of forces and they’ll work more functionally against the pressure. Similarly, this move encourages the movement of muscles in different directions, which will be enough to boost them.
All you need to do is to come into the lunge position; put the dumbbells in your hands and stretch them out to the sides, and when you bend your back leg, make sure that you’re maintaining the diagonal pattern.
So, when you perform the lunges, make sure that you’re keeping the essential measures of it like your forward foot shouldn’t exceed your toes and you should maintain your balance. I would suggest that you shouldn’t opt for the complicated moves in the beginning; yet, you should try to perform the basic lunge first then switch to the complex ones.
Calf raises – the calf slimmer
This is the great exercise to improve the muscle power of the calves and make them even stronger. So, let’s try the calf raises,
1. simple calf raises:
Stand straight and then place your hands on the sides. Then slowly shift all your body weight to the ball of the toes and stand on your toes, thus, the Achilles tendons and your calf muscles will be more stretched. Repeat this move for about 15-20 times.
Hams and low back stretch:
Sit on the floor, expanding both legs straight out before you, legs together. Fold your trunk over your thighs, tenderly adjusting the back, however keeping the legs straight. Hold here for 30 seconds and afterward sit up.
You can incorporate calf raises rather with squats or with the lunges by modifying the exercises according to your creativity and what degree of difficulty do you want; so, share with us about the results of the exercises.