For a woman, exercising your legs can be a tricky thing. Often, we want to achieve results where our legs appear leaner and more toned. But, if you approach your workouts the wrong way, you could incidentally wind up ‘bulking up’ your legs. The key to toned, lean legs is to use light weights with many reps, as opposed to heavy weight with fewer reps. This workout is specifically designed with women in mind to help you achieve the toned legs you want.
Know Before You Go
Do a 10-minute warm up before your workout. Walk or jog around your block or in place in your living room, or dance around to 3 of your favorite songs. If you have access to a treadmill, walk at a slow speed (I recommend 3.5 mph) and at a high incline (8.5-9.0). Drink water between each circuit to stay hydrated, and stretch for 10 minutes after the workout.
It’s OK if this workout is challenging for you… if you keep this up just 2x per week, in a month or so this will likely be easy peazy.
-free weights (5 lb, 8 lb, 10 lb), balance ball
Circuit 1 – Do 3x Through
A) The “Over/Under” – Begin by laying on your side on your mat with your left leg resting atop your right. Then, bend your left knee and place your left foot on the floor in front of your body. Lift your right leg as high as you can towards the ceiling, and then slowly lower it down to just above the ground. Repeat 12x, and then turn over to switch legs and repeat 12x more.
B) The “Windshield Wiper” – Lay on your side on your mat with your left leg resting atop your right. Lift your left leg towards the ceiling as high as you can. With control, slowly lower your left leg to just above your right leg. Then, lift your left leg again towards the ceiling. Repeat 15x, and then switch legs and repeat 15x more.
C) The “Round and Round We Go” – Lay on your side on your mat with your left leg resting atop your right. Lift your left leg to a 45 degree angle to the ceiling. Holding this position, trace 20 small circles with your left leg. Turn over, and switch legs to repeat 20x more.
Circuit 2 – Do 3x Through
D) The “Lunge-A-Thon” – Do 15 lunges across the room holding 8 lb weights at your sides.
E) The “Power Pusher” – Hold 10 lb weights just above each shoulder. Begin by lowering into a squat. Don’t let your knees go past your toes. Stick your chest out, and keep your back straight. In an explosive motion, rise up to standing and push the weights overhead. Use the momentum from your legs as you stand to push the weights overhead. If your arms get tired quickly, you are not doing this exercise correctly. Repeat 12x.
F) The “Invisible Chair” – Begin with your back against a balance ball, which is wedged between you and a wall. Hold 8 lb weights at your sides. Slide your back (and the ball!) down the wall until your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. It should look like you are sitting on an invisible chair. Hold this position for 60 seconds.
Circuit 3 – Do 2x Through
G) The “Teeter Totter” – Begin by standing with your feet together on your mat. Put your left hand on your hip. Hold an 8 lb weight in your right hand, out stretching your right arm in front of you. Keeping your left leg straight, kick your left leg out behind you and bend your right knee to squat on one leg. While holding this stance, bend your right elbow to lift the weight towards you. Lower your left leg to the ground to return to standing and straighten your right arm. Repeat 10x, and then repeat 10x more with your left arm and bending your left leg.
H) The “Feeling Like Kneeling” – Begin by standing in front of your couch, facing in the same direction as the couch. Your arms should be at your sides holding 5 lb weights. Bend your left knee so that your left foot is resting on the couch cushion behind you. Now bend your right knee to squat down on one leg until your left knee is just a few inches above the ground. Straighten your right leg to stand up, still keeping your left foot resting on the couch behind you. Repeat 10x and then switch legs and repeat 10x more.
I) The “I’ll Kick Your Butt” – Begin by laying on your stomach on your mat. Cross your arms on the mat, and rest your chin on your arms. Hold an 8-lb weight in between your feet. Bend your knees to raise the weight up towards your butt. Slowly lower the weight to a few inches above the ground. Repeat 10x.
Fitness Tip of the Day
Are you intrigued by the idea of a juice cleanse but think they’re too expensive? Try this DIY juice cleanse as a cheaper, but effective, alternative.