For a lot of women, our legs and particularly our thighs can be a source of personal scrutiny. Back in my personal training days, I always got lots of questions from women about how to tone up and get sexy legs. They told me that they would constantly cover up their legs underneath maxi dresses, pants and sarongs.
Well – it’s time to shed those layers, ladies! Follow our swiish guide and with these simple exercises focusing specifically on your legs, you’ll get closer to those denim cut-offs and stand tall and proud supported by the strong, fit, sexy legs you worked for!
You don’t need anything to get started, no weights or pulley contraptions… just dig those sneakers out of the back of the closet and get started. You won’t regret it.
Lateral Leg Lift
These are great for working your outer thighs, the dreaded saddlebag area, and your glutes. Lie on your right side and bend the right knee (the one on the ground) 90 degrees whilst keeping your left leg straight. Flex your left foot, turn your toes toward floor, and lift your leg to a 45 degree angle and then lower back down. Aim for 25 reps on each side, as this is a low impact movement.
This exercise is a great one for all over – calves, glutes, thighs, outer thighs and your core too! Standing with your feet together and bent slightly at the knees, jump approximately one metre to the right, leading with your right foot, and land with your feet together. Then jump one metre to the left, leading with your left foot and land with your feet together. If you continue jumping back and forth for one minute, this is a great toning exercise plus it adds cardio in to the mix.
Take your inspiration from barre class. Stand with your legs together and soften your knees. Reach your arms overhead and touch your palms together as you fold your chest down toward your knees. Hold this position as you drop your tailbone down in a small pulsing motion. Do 10 to 15 reps. Keep your legs squeezed together for support. This works your thighs hard. If you’re up for a more advanced version, try the ‘Relevé’. For this exercise, stay in the Chair pose, lift your heels off of the ground and keep your tailbone down. Pulse your bottom downwards toward your calves for 10 to 15 reps and hold the last pulse for five seconds to finish.
If you make sure to keep your chest up and back straight, squats are a great way to burn large quantities of calories whilst firming your legs. Even your lower tummy can benefit from these if you hold it in tight. Sissy squats pack a punch; they target your quads, hamstrings and calves. Stand with your feet hip-width apart with your right side next to a chair, your right hand holding the back of the seat. Rise up onto your toes with your heels off the floor. Bend your knees 90 degrees as you lean your torso back 45 degrees (so that your body forms a straight line from knees to shoulders, hold your abs tight). Return to standing on your toes. Do 2 to 3 sets of 15 to 20 reps. Now you’re feeling it!
Lateral Leg Circles
Stand with your feet together, knees slightly bent and hands on hips. Lift your right foot a few inches off the floor and draw large circles in air with your foot while balancing on left leg, keeping abs tight. Do 20 reps; switch sides and repeat. You’ll work your core, glutes and inner thighs with this one.
Hang the short shorts on the wall as your inspiration, and get out the door and start pumping those legs!