Legs can be a touchy subject for many when it comes to finding leg workouts that sculpt your legs the way you want them to look. Some leg workouts focus on making legs bulky, but on the other hand, if you don’t add a little resistance, you won’t really be adding some crucial lean muscle.
So, what is the perfect leg workout? We’ve put together the top five leg workouts you can use to tone and sculpt, and no, it doesn’t involve squats! Take a look at how you can do these exercises at home or at the gym and what you can do to get even faster leg-toning results.
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When it comes to exercising your legs, it’s important to remember that you need to exercise your whole body and do regular cardio to lose body fat1JAKICIC, JOHN M.; POWELL, KENNETH E.; CAMPBELL, WAYNE W.; June 2019 Outline Images Download Cite Share Favorites Permissions SPECIAL COMMUNICATIONS Physical Activity and the Prevention of Weight Gain in Adults: A Systematic Review Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. DOI:10.1249/mss.0000000000001938. So, it’s not only about toning but also about losing unwanted fat all over your body that may put you at risk for health issues such as belly fat.
Making sure you focus on your whole body is key, but if you feel your legs need an extra push during your workouts, you can increase the intensity or reps, depending on your goal and fitness level.
It’s better not to overwork your legs and allow the muscle some time to recover, so if you’re going to focus on leg exercises, make sure you do them three to four times a week with rest days in between2Miller, T., Mull, S., Aragon, A. A., Krieger, J., & Schoenfeld, B. J. 2018 Resistance training combined with diet decreases body fat while preserving lean mass independent of resting metabolic rate: A Randomized Trial. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. DOI:10.1123/ijsnem.2017-0221.
If you’re looking to tone every part of your legs with some glute toning as a bonus, then you should take a look at our top five leg workouts. We’ll tell you exactly which muscles they target, how you can modify the exercise to make it more challenging, and how many reps to do when you do a leg day.
Also known as the “Bridge,” this exercise is a must-have if you’re looking for an effective back-leg toner. You can easily do hip lifts at home or at the gym, making it a versatile and effective leg-toning exercise.
Plank jacks are known to strengthen the whole body with a cardio twist, and this fun combination of the Plank and Jumping Jacks does wonders for your legs.
Including side lunges in your leg routine helps with balance and coordination as well as being a super thigh toner3Riemann, B., Congleton, A., Ward, R., & Davies, G. J. 2013. Biomechanical comparison of forward and lateral lunges at varying step lengths. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. DOI:10.14198/jhse.2020.151.09.
This move is the ultimate combination of strength and cardio, toning your legs while making you fitter and more agile.
Static lunges are similar to traditional lunges, except that you’re not actively stepping your legs into a lunge position. This version is more passive but nonetheless a leg scorcher!
After doing a leg day, you’ll need to give your legs a day off from intense exercise and make sure that you stay hydrated.
Consuming lean protein4Jäger, R., Kerksick, C. M., Campbell, B. I., Cribb, P. J. 2017. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: Protein and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. DOI:10.1186/s12970-017-0177-8 and magnesium-rich foods like kale or spinach can help your muscles recover faster, so you’ll be ready for the next leg burner session. Also, ensure to get as least eight hours of sleep as this allows your body to speed up the repair process.
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