It’s summertime, which means shorts, skirts, and bathing suits. Unfortunately, many of us find that our legs aren’t quite in as great shape as we’d like them to be. This doesn’t mean you should skip the beach or pool. There’s no time like the present to start a leg-centric exercise routine. These eight exercises will have your legs sexy and toned in no time, and as an added bonus, you’ll experienced improved circulation and muscle tone, which can help keep varicose veins at bay.
Yes, believe it or not, yoga can help tone your legs. Sign up for a class, look for a DVD or digital home workout geared towards your lower body, or practice some of the most leg-friendly poses. These include Side Fierce, Warrior III, Wild Thing, Burning Lunge, and Warrior Eagle.
2. Chair Squats
For these, all you need is a spare moment or two and a kitchen or dining room chair. You can even use your couch. Stand in front of the chair and squat as if you are going to sit down, but don’t let your backside touch the seat. Do it during commercials while watching your favorite show at night.
Lunges are a quick and easy way to firm up your legs without investing in any special equipment. Like chair squats, you can do them at night while watching TV. Start with your body straight and step forward until both knees are at a 90-degree angle. Return to your starting position and repeat with the other leg.
If you have ever watched a spinning class, there is no question that any kind of biking is excellent for your legs. As an added bonuses, it can also help strengthen your core and tone your glutes. Try going uphill to really challenge your lower body. Spinning is also low-impact for those who suffer from varicose veins or joint problems.
5. Chair Leg Lifts
After you do the chair squats, don’t place the chair back under the table. Lift your leg, with your foot flexed, and rest your hill on the seat of the chair for about five seconds. Repeat with the alternate leg.
You probably already know that kickboxing is an excellent leg workout. What you may not know is that it works practically every muscle in your leg. Few other workouts do that, so consider taking a class or looking for a home workout to do a few times a week.
Climbing stairs may be exhausting, but it’s one of the best ways to tone your lower body. You can do it anywhere and at any fitness level, and 30 minutes of stair-climbing burns more calories than an hour run.
With the temperatures rising, the heat can prevent you from wanting to work out at all. Luckily, you can jump in the pool and tone your legs at the same time. Strokes like the breaststroke and crawl not only work your legs, but your core and upper body, too, which can help get rid of those muffin tops and firm up your arms for sleeveless shirts. You can also jog in the pool — the water adds resistance without adding pressure. As a matter of fact, if you already suffer from varicose veins, working out in the water is an excellent choice because it takes most of the pressure off your joints and lower body.