Leg toning exercises for women

  • By Team TDO

For those women who will leave ‘no stone unturned’, here are a few great exercises which work superbly on the legs and whole body.

For those who have always wanted a great pair of legs, don’t change your jeans brand. Just change your brand of exercise. Here are great leg toning exercises that can make your legs attention grabbers.

Well-shaped legs are what every woman desires especially as it signifies ‘movement’, ‘mobility’ and ‘strength’. When we say legs we mainly mean the thighs, the calves and the feet.

To get more precise the quadriceps of the thighs the hamstrings and the hip adductors are the prime targets of most exercises. A complete leg work out would also include the ‘Tibialis Anteriors’ or the shin muscles.

Exercising the legs can be quite a frustrating thing especially if the leg muscles don’t show any cosmetic improvement. Here is an exercise regimen which will ensure that you will get those attention-grabbing legs along with the strength, flexibility and tone which you have always desired.

The stand
This is probably the most undermined exercise of them all since it doesn’t involve lugging heavy weights around or running for miles or squatting! It is a foundation exercise for the legs.

  1. Choose your favorite spot on the floor and just stand erect with both feet together and toes pointing forward.
  2. Hold the hands straight at the elbows and keep the shoulders square.
  3. Tuck the chin in and do not bend your knees.
  4. Feel the ground under the feet.
  5. Now flex your thigh muscles and keep your feet firmly on the ground.
  6. Direct your attention towards the back of your thighs and keep your knees taut.
  7. Stand firm for about 3-5 minutes initially and gradually extend to five minutes or more.

This exercise is simpler than it actually is as it keeps the thighs taut and firm. The entire leg gets a marvelous stretch and any faulty standing or postural habits create unnecessary tension and uneven hip alignment. The standing pose will be your first step towards trim and well-sculpted legs.

The One Leg Extension

After you perfect the stand, here is another great leg exerciser – The one leg extension

  1. Perform a stand as in the previous exercise for about 30 seconds.
  2. Once you get your grounding and feel your foundations beneath the feet, take a deep breath.
  3. Now flex your thigh muscles and keep the kneecaps taut without feeling any strain.
  4. Bend the left leg at the knee and raise it without bending at the right leg. Now catch hold of the big toe with the left hand and hold the pose for a few breaths.
  5. You will initially struggle for balance as you have to keep the other leg straight.
  6. Now that you have caught the big toe of the flexed leg gradually straighten the leg out without letting go of your grip.
  7. This is a challenging pose especially for the hamstrings, the hip flexors and the calves since the leg muscles are going to be a little tight especially around the hips and the hamstrings. With regular practice, the pain will ease and then you can even try and take the toe towards as high as you can with the aid of your left hand.
  8. Repeat with other leg following the same sequence.

One Legged Squat

The one legged squat is a superior exercise to the two legged variety is that it doesn’t require many repetitions as it is quite a strenuous exercise even for advanced exercisers.

  1. Stand with the back of a chair within easy reach initially.
  2. Extend the right leg out first and squat down to your heel with your left.
  3. Once you have reached the end of the squat try not to touch extended leg as there comes the difficult part – getting up to standing position without touching the floor with your hands for support.
  4. Raise yourself to standing position and repeat with other leg.
  5. You can do about 3-4 sets with the same leg or alternate legs using the back of a chair for hand support as you squat deeply.
  6. The single legged squat exercises the gluteus, the knees and the entire hip joint and also gives lower back strength.
  7. Initially your knees might hurt so don’t try this without support of a chair or a partner.
  8. Stop in case of intense pain.

Step Training

If plain jogging doesn’t do the trick for shapely legs for you, try using stadium stairs or any gradient which is at 30 degrees and comprises even steps. Your regular apartment stairwell or even a pedestrian over bridge can do the trick. First set only walk up one step at a time. Second set do alternate stairs. For the third set you can sprint up as fast as you can the entire flight of stairs or halt for exactly ten seconds when tired and start again. You have the option of stopping as many times you wish as long as you start again after ten seconds. This can work up quite a sweat and regular step training works out and touches muscle groups that even normal running or squats cannot reach.