If one of your fitness goals is to tone up your legs, you may be impatient to see results. Even if you are never skipping leg day, it could be a while before you feel confident rocking short shorts. If you are eager for your strong, sexy legs to make an appearance come spring, read on for some tips for toning your legs as fast as possible.
Focus on Your Lower Body During Every Move
Because your lower body has so many muscles (more than 200, in fact), there are many different exercises you can do to tone it, even if they are designed to focus on the upper body! Every workout you do, focus on making sure your lower body gets some attention. For example, when you do shoulder presses, you could stand on one leg, or you could incorporate squats into your bicep curls. Do more full-body workouts rather than focusing solely on your upper body, and you will see the results more quickly in your lower body.
Use Your Core
You know that it’s essential to train your core, but did you know that when you work your core, you also work your legs? Instead of boring regular crunches, go for exercises that also actively engage your legs, such as bicycle crunches or seated leg lifts.
Start With Your Nondominant Side
When you start your workout, it’s easier to maintain good form and do more reps. Therefore, take advantage of your freshness by starting with your nondominant side, meaning if you are right-handed, start with your left. Your nondominant side tends to be your weaker side, so give it the attention it needs by prioritizing it first.
Plyometrics, or jump training, can take your leg gains to the next level. It focuses on using maximum force in short intervals with the intention of increasing power. You can make pretty much any exercise into a plyometric version by adding an explosive jump. Focus on improving your squat form first, then you can add a jump. This will give you the skills necessary to perform other plyometric exercises, such as single leg lateral ski hops.
Prioritize Long, Moderate Cardio
If your focus is on toning your legs, your cardio should be long and moderate. Long, low-moderate cardio exercises burn the fat around your hips and thighs more readily. If you are trying to tone your legs, make sure to do from 45 minutes to an hour of cardio three to five days a week.
Don’t Use Ankle Weights
Some people choose to incorporate ankle weights into their cardio in hopes of toning their thighs, but if you are thinking of doing this, reconsider. Ankle weights can cause unnecessary stress to the joints in your legs, strain your ligaments, and could even throw your muscles off balance. The risks are simply not worth the benefits when you chose that there are many ways to tone your thighs that do not put you at risk. Strength train separately from your cardio to keep your joints protected. If you must add some weight to your cardio, use a weighted vest instead, which concentrates the weight where you can better support it.
Walk to Work
Not only can you make your legs toned faster, you can save money AND the environment. Instead of driving or taking the bus to work, if you live close enough to work, walk or bike to work! You could end up burning an extra 500 calories a day, which translates into roughly three pounds of weight loss every month! Not to mention, your legs will be showing definition far more quickly.
Don’t Forget Your Diet
As they say, you can’t out-train a poor diet. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing 50 squats a day; if your diet is bad, you aren’t going to make the gains you want. Balance out your workouts with a health diet to help you maintain or lose weight. Focus on eating unprocessed foods and drinking a lot of water to keep your body energized and ready to perform during your workouts.
In our next blog, we will continue to go over these tips. In the meantime, come into Spunk Fitness. Owner Bernie Caplan especially designed Spunk Fitness to be the type of fitness center where people can feel comfortable coming and working towards their fitness goals. If you are looking for a friendly fitness center, come into Spunk Fitness today!