A four-week toning plan that will help you be the…
Workouts to get those sexy legs
Monsoon is synonymous with all styles shorts. And we’ve got one of the best workouts around to help you hotfoot your legs into shape in no time. The trick to getting watchworthy legs in weeks is ‘working the muscles that create serious definition – the quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles’. The following routine not only builds muscle but attacks your most
stubborn trouble zones (otherwise known as your inner and outer thighs) – and yes, even reduces the appearance of dreaded cellulite. Think of your skin as a balloon. When it’s deflated, it looks wrinkled and dimpled, and when it’s inflated, it’s the opposite – so pumping up the underlying muscles will make your legs look tighter and smoother. Try this 20-minute routine three times a week and in a month you’ll be happily strutting your newly sculpted stuff. We absolutely guarantee results if you… l Do three to five ‘double duty’ cardio workouts per week – routines that blast fat and strengthen your legs at the same time. (Try fast walking, running, in-line skating or take a spinning or step class). l Work your largest muscles first and save your smaller, weaker ones for last when doing the exercises on the next page (or during your regular routine). Start with quads, then hamstrings, then calves. Because minor muscles tire faster, you risk zapping all your energy if you work them before larger ones. l Pump up the intensity of your workout every few weeks. Once you’ve mastered this routine, add light, five- to 10-pound ankle weights to all moves except the ‘Standing Balance’ and ‘Ball Roll’. This will ensure that you continue to see results. l Be sure you’re getting a balanced diet (about 50% of your daily calories from carbs; about 25% from protein; about 25% from fat). This is an ideal ratio for exercisers; it will give you enough energy to really power through your workouts.
1 STEP DOWN (TONES QUADS)
A) Stand with both feet on a step (or the bottom step of a flight of stairs), arms at your sides. B) Step down with your left foot, letting your heel touch the floor (your right knee may extend slightly past your toes), shifting your weight onto your right leg. Engage the muscles in your right quad and slowly straighten your leg, lifting your left foot off the floor and back to starting position. Switch legs and repeat. Do two sets of 12 to 15 reps on each leg.
2 STANDING BALANCE (QUADS)
A) Stand with your knees slightly bent, hands on your hips. Lift your right leg straight out behind you. Lower your torso until your body forms a ‘T’. Keep your back straight and the knee of your supporting left leg bent. B) Slowly bend your left knee more deeply (in this move, your knee may extend slightly past your toes); pause, then straighten the standing leg and repeat. Do two sets of 10 reps on each leg.
3 BALL SQUAT (QUADS, ABDUCTORS)
A) Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, holding a small medicine ball (or pillow) between your thighs and arms at sides. B) Slowly squat (don’t allow your knees to extend past your toes), lifting your arms up in front of you and squeezing your inner thighs together to hold the ball in place. Hold for one count, return to starting position. Do two to three sets of 15 to 20 reps.
A) Kneel on the floor, knees hip-width apart, hands resting on a large exercise ball in front of you (or rest your hands on the seat of a rolling desk chair). B) Slowly roll the ball (and your upper body) forward until your back is in line with your thighs, keeping your knees bent. Contract your hamstrings and pull your body back to starting position. Do two sets of 10 to 12 reps.