How to Tone Your Legs (Rather Than Bulk Them)
For women who want to get into a regular exercise routine, a common concern is that they will build too much muscle and end up looking bulky and masculine.
Not only is it very difficult for a woman to get to the stage where she looks ‘bulky’, but there are plenty of things you can do to avoid building too much muscle and to make sure you concentrate on toning rather than gaining masses of muscle.
If you’re focusing on your legs and want a toned and defined look, here are some things to try out.
Concentrate on losing thigh fat
If you’re thinking about toning your legs, there’s a high chance that you’ve got some level of thigh fat.
The thighs are one of the common problem areas for women when it comes to gaining weight, and along with the tummy and the butt, excess fat tends to gravitate to this area.
Losing some weight on your legs will instantly make you appear more toned, so along with exercising, make sure you’re eating the right foods too.
Use weights regularly
While running, walking and swimming are great ways to work out and tone your legs, you can also use weights either at home or in the gym in order to crank up your workout and tone your legs even more.
The leg press machine, for example, is a good machine to use to work out most of your legs, and exercises such as lunges and squats will help to train the right muscles too.
For toning, it’s important that you use smaller weights but do less repetitions
If you’re trying to build some extra muscle (but not necessarily get ‘bulky’), use heavier weights but perform less reps.
Be mindful of the way you eat
As well as having a great exercise routine that you’re doing on a regular basis, you should make sure you have a healthy diet too.
A quick way to help your body lose weight and tone up is by eating slower – many of us eat too quickly and this doesn’t give our brains chance to realize that we have actually ate enough food.
You can try setting a timer for 15 or 20 minutes and make sure that you use up the entire time for eating your meal.
Choose healthier alternatives – even if you haven’t worked out on a particular day, your food choices will make a difference to your legs.
7 Best Exercises for Toned Legs at Home
It’s not always possible to have a gym membership, but there are many ways you can exercise at home with minimal to no equipment.
There are several types of training you can do at home including weight lifting, yoga, Pilates, and more. If you’re looking for exercises for toned legs at home, you’re in the right place to get some ideas about exercises you can add to your fitness routine.
You can definitely get beautifully toned legs without stepping foot in a gym.
Below you’ll learn about 7 of the best exercises for toned legs at home.
1) Bodyweight Squats
If you’re looking for an exercise to help you get sexy, toned legs without having to go to the gym, then bodyweight squats are an excellent choice.
They will help you work your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and even your core because you’ll be contracting your core muscles while you do the squats.
You can add more repetitions and sets as you become stronger.
If you have dumbbells, then you can hold one in your hands between your legs as you squat down to help add resistance.
Lunges are amazing exercises that will help you get toned legs at home, but they’ll also help you improve your balance and flexibility.
3) Glute Bridges
Glute Bridges are great for helping you get a toned butt and legs. They primarily work the glutes, but they also help strengthen and tone your legs.
In order to do a glute bridge, you will need to lay down on your back, bend your knees, and put your feet flat on the floor.
Then push your feet against the floor while thrusting your pelvis forward while you contract your glutes.
Hold for a couple seconds, and then lower your butt to the floor. Repeat.
4) Calf Raise
Calf raises are the best exercise you can do to get toned and strong calf muscles. In order to have nice, toned legs, you can’t forget about your calves.
Calf raises, or toe ups, can be done anywhere.
You can do them at home, while waiting in line, or even while pumping gas.
All of those repetitions will help you get the sexy legs you want.
5) Side Lunge
Side Lunges are similar to regular lunges, accept for you step out to the side and lunge out rather than forward.
This will stretch and strengthen the inner and outer thighs.
6) Step Ups
Step ups will help you tone your legs and butt. You will need a bench, sturdy chair, aerobic step, or steps.
You will start out on the floor or ground, and then step up onto the surface you are using.
You will then step back to the ground with the same foot. Alternate feet as you continue to do step ups.
7) Jumping Rope
You can jump rope anywhere. Jumping rope will help you get toned legs, but it’ll also help you strengthen your heart, improve your stamina, and will help you burn calories.
All of these exercises are excellent for toning your legs at home, but you can’t rely only on the exercise to get the toned legs you want.
You will have to lower your body fat percentage to uncover the lean muscle that makes you have toned legs.
You lower your body fat percentage by exercising and diet, ensuring you eat fewer calories than you burn.
Now you have all the tools you need to get the toned and sexy legs you have dreamed of.
7 Best Exercises for Toned Legs at the Gym
If you want to have toned legs, you’re in the right place to learn all you need to know about getting the legs of your dreams. There are two key steps to having toned muscles.
First, you must build and strengthen your muscles, and then you’ll have to get rid of the fat covering them so that they have the toned look you desire.
You may already have beautiful, toned muscles that are being covered by a layer of fat.
To get rid of the layers of fat covering your leg muscles, you’ll have to lower your overall body fat percentage.
You can’t spot reduce fat, and your body controls the order it gets rid of fat, but you can lower your overall body fat percentage until you have the toned legs and body you desire.
In order to do this, you will have to be in a calorie deficit, which means you will need to eat fewer calories than you burn. You can do this by eating fewer calories overall and by exercising.
This is where the exercises below come in.
These are some of the best exercises for legs that you can do at the gym. In addition to these exercises, you can also do cardiovascular exercises such as walking, running, swimming, and biking in order to burn more calories and help you get that toned look you want.
Squats are king when it comes to having strong, toned legs. They will also strengthen your back and core muscles.
There are several variations of squats, but the best is a barbell back squat. In order to add variety, you can also do other variations such as hack squats, front squats, or goblet squats.
2) Leg Press
Leg press will strengthen your legs like a squat will, but it won’t work your core and back as much as squats will.
You can use the leg press to isolate each leg if you want though, and you can’t do that with squats.
Lunges can be done with or without weight, but weighted lunges are the best option because they will enable you to challenge your leg muscles.
Lunges work your glutes, quads, and the rest of your legs.
They also help improve balance and increase flexibility.
In most gyms you will find adduction/abduction machines.
An adduction machine is a machine you sit on and either push weights out using your thighs or pull the weights inward using your thighs.
With the adduction movement, you will start with your legs apart and then squeeze your knees together.
ith the abduction movement, you will start with your legs together and you will push them outward against the resistance.
5) Calf Raise
Calf raises can be done anywhere.
In the gym, they can be done with a barbell across your shoulders for more resistance, but many gyms have a machine with padded shoulder area that you can use to increase resistance as you build your calf muscles.
These machines are great because you can concentrate on the movement you’re doing with your calves rather than balancing the barbell.
6) Leg Curl
A leg curl machine is a machine you sit on and pull the weight back while curling your legs.
It will work the back part of your legs, mainly your hamstrings and calves.
7) Leg Extension
Leg extensions are the opposite movement of the leg curl. You will be seated and will push the weight upwards by straightening your legs. This movement will work your quads.
All of these exercises will help you have the strong, toned legs you want as long as you remember that the most important part of having toned legs is making sure you lower your body fat enough to uncover your muscles.
This is done through a combination of diet and exercise, and by staying in a calorie deficit.