If you plan on shimmying your way into the festive season in skater skirts and short party dresses, it’s time to get those legs into shape. Lift, tone and perfect your pins with five of the very best – and easiest – exercises for legs:
1) The Compass Lunge
This move will tone up your whole thigh area, according to personal trainer Kathryn Freeland from Absolute Fitness.
- Begin in a standing position then lunge forward with your right foot in front, ensuring you have right angles at your right and left knees.
- Hold this pose for a few seconds then come back to centre.
- Using the same leg (so the right leg) lunge again to the right (so eastwards).
- Hold this then go back to your central standing position.
- Next, lunge the same leg backwards (south).
- Hold this and then go back to standing.
- Repeat all these steps again but this time lunging with your left leg.
- As you carry out each part of the exercise make sure you keep your hands on your hips and that your chest is lifted while your shoulders are down. Ensure your knees are aligned with your toes – never let them go over your toes.
Kathryn suggests doing this move every day, building up to eight repetitions on each leg.
2) Squat with Ball
Nothing beats the satisfying burn you get from doing squat reps: this move not only tones up thighs, but as Fitness Magazine says, it gives you a nice back rub at the same time.
- Grab an exercise ball and position it between the curve of your lower back and a wall.
- Place your feet slightly apart, in line with your shoulders.
- Bend your knees to lower your body five to ten inches. Keep your hips square and your shoulders level.
- Hold the position for three seconds.
- Slowly come back up.
Begin by doing five reps then, as you get used to the move, work up to 12. Rest for 30 seconds between each rep.
3) Calf Raises
This move is so simple but it really will shape up those calves.
- Stand up straight with knees slightly soft (don’t lock your legs).
- Slowly lift yourself into a tiptoe position.
- Just as slowly, lower your heels back down.
- Make yourself work a little harder by holding a weight in each hand. You can use tins, sugar, or bottles of water if you haven’t got real weights.
4) The Pistol Squat
This move from Women’s Health looks impressive and really tones your thighs.
- In a standing position, lift your arms so they are straight out in front of you, level with your shoulders.
- Lift your right leg up off the floor and out in front of you.
- Push your hips back, lower your body down so that it is as close to the floor as possible then hold that position.
- Push your body up into your starting position.
Finally, the legs workout you’ll really love doing…
Whichever type of music you love, and whether you’re good at it or not, let dancing give you a fantastic workout. It’ll strengthen your ankles, slim your calves and keep your joints in shape. A good dance can’t help but lift your spirits, too.