Yesterday I talked all about exercises you can do at home to help tone your arms. Today is going to be all about your legs!! Here are a series of exercises that you can easily do at home at any time!
Doing lunges will work most of the muscles in your legs, I know everyone hates doing lunges sometimes but they really are beneficial to your legs!
- Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and then take one giant step forward with your right foot.
- Place your hands on your hips for balance and then lower your body straight down until your back leg forms a right angle at the knee.
- Using your leg muscles, slowly raise yourself back up.
- Repeat the movement for three sets of 30 repetitions for each leg.
Now doing Pliès will help to tone the inner and outer thighs. Performing plies also places less stress on joints and can change it to be as intense or moderate as you need.
- Stand with your feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart.
- Take one small step out with each foot and then turn your feet outward like a duck.
- Place your hands on your hips or hold the back of a chair for support.
- Keeping you back straight, gently lower your entire body down about six inches and then raise it back up slowly.
- Repeat the movement for three sets of 30 repetitions.
Tip: By moving slowly, you force the muscles to work harder without the benefit of momentum, thus they become stronger faster. You can modify pliès almost endlessly. You can drop down more or less depending on your needs, move your feet closer or farther apart, or even work on your core muscles by holding one arm curved over the head and the other in front of the body a lá a ballerina.
Heel raises are an easy exercise and work your calf muscles. Your calves tend to respond to strengthening very quickly and gain definition in a matter of days, so this exercise can be great if you like to see fast results.
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. You may want to place your hands on your hips to help with balance.
- Raise your body up onto your tiptoes and hold it for a few seconds. Lower back down slowly.
- Repeat this leg exercise for three sets of 40 heel raises.
To make this more challenging try standing on a stair or sturdy elevated surface and let your heels hang off the edge. Slowly raise and lower your body for three sets of 25 repetitions. Use this exercise at work by taking the stairs and stepping only halfway onto the next step, forcing your calves to work harder.
This is another exercise that I know people don’t really like that much but squats are an excellent choice for firming and shaping the buttocks and upper thighs.
- Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and arms by your sides.
- Keep an upright posture and slowly lower buttocks as though about to sit down in a chair. Lower several inches and then slowly stand up.
- Do three sets of 20 squats.
There are two ways you can perform this exercise and they target two different areas of your legs, the outer thighs and the inner thighs.
For the outer thighs:
- Begin with your weight on your left foot and your right foot pointed out at an angle.
- Hold on to a chair or wall for balance and slowly raise and lower your right leg out to the side. You do not have to lift your leg high; just raise it as far as is comfortable.
- Do at least 3 sets of 20 repetitions for each leg.
For the inner thighs:
- Stand again with your weight on your left foot.
- Raise and point your right foot in front of you.
- Slowly move your right foot and leg across your left leg. If you do not feel stress in your inner thigh, turn your leg so that the inner thigh is facing the ceiling and slowly sweep the leg back and forth across the other.
- Repeat for 3 sets of 20 repetitions for each leg.
Crossover Step Ups
This exercise is easy and will helps tone your legs quickly.
- Stand with your right side facing a step, bench or platform and hold heavy weights. or cans of veggies.
- Lift the left foot and cross it over the right leg, placing the foot flat on the step.
- Keep your hips square to the front of the room as you press up with the left leg, bringing the right foot beside the left.
- Step back down with the right foot and repeat for 12 reps and switch sides.
One Legged Deadlift
- Take one foot slightly behind you, resting on the toe and hold a heavy weight in both hands.
- Tip from the hips and keep the back flat as you lower the weight and lift the back leg up until there’s a straight line from heal to head.
- Lower and repeat for 12 reps before switching sides.
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent and hold heavy weights in front of the thighs.
- With the back flat, shoulders back and abs in, tip from the hips and lower the weight as far as your flexibility allows.
- Raise up, squeezing the glutes and repeat for 12 reps.
Those are some really easy exercises that you can do at home with little to no equipment! Try these out and let me know how they work for you!