Top 5 exercises for toned legs 

by Nicole Gibbs Sun, Aug 02, 20
5 MIN read time

We all dream of having toned legs don’t we? Well if you think the best way to tone your legs is through hours of painful cardio then stop right there and jump off the treadmill. In order to improve definition, you need to be strengthening the muscles in your legs with resistance training. 

Don’t worry if you don’t know where to start, i’ve got the top 5 exercises for overall toned legs… 

  • Squats 

  • Step 1) Stand with your feet hips distance apart, toes, ankles and feet all pointing forwards. You can either place the hands on the hips, out in front or hold dumbbells for increased resistance. 

    Step 2) Begin by bending the knees until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Your back should be straight and keep the chest up. Sit back into your bum so that you can still see your toes under your knees. 

    Step 3) Once at the bottom of the squat, straighten the legs and come back to your standing position. 

    Quick tip: Squeeze your bum when you come back to the standing position for maximum glute activation. 

  • Reverse Lunges

  • Step 1) Start with your feet planted on the floor, together and your hands can naturally fall down to the sides, be placed on the hips, or hold dumbbells either side of the body.

    Step 2) Taking your left leg, step back (around 1 ½  shoulder width) and bend the left knee until it comes as close to the floor as possible. In this position, both of your knees should be bent at 90 degrees. Keep the chest up and the shoulders relaxed. 

    Step 3) When your leg is as low as you can get it, return the left leg to the starting position and repeat on the right side. 

  • Resistance Band Hip Bridges 

  • Step 1) Lying on your back, place the resistance band on your thighs slightly above the knees. Plant your feet flat on the floor and your knees pointing upwards. You should be able to touch the heels with your fingertips (or close). 

    Step 2) Tuck your tailbone under so the lower back is flat and begin to lift the hips in the air. Whilst you are lifting, squeeze your bum and core muscles. 

    Step 3) Once you have lifted your hips as high as you can, make sure your knees and feet are pointing forwards, then lower back down to the floor. 

  • Plie Squats 

  • Step 1) In this variation of a squat, begin in a sumo squat position, with the legs wide (1 ½ shoulder width) and the toes pointing outwards at 45 degrees. You can place your hands wherever you feel comfortable. 

    Step 2) You should begin with your feet flat on the ground, sit into a squat position and then you will lift both heels off the ground so that you are balancing on the balls of your feet. Squeeze your calf muscles and keep your core engaged so that you are balanced. 

    Step 3) Slow and controlled, lower your heels back down to the ground and repeat the exercise. 

  • Clamshells 

  • Step 1) Start by lying on your side with your knees bent and stacked on top of each other. Your torso should be in a straight line. 

    Step 2) Lift the top knee up away from the bottom one, keeping the toes together. Once you have lifted the top leg as far as you can, squeeze your bum and hold for a few seconds. 

    Step 3) Lower the knee back down and repeat a few times before changing to the other side. 

    What’s the best thing about these exercises? You can do them anywhere with minimal equipment. You don’t have to go to the gym for toned legs, all of these exercises can be completed right at home. But you can incorporate weights and resistance bands into each exercise as you progress and get super strong legs!

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