Many women hate their legs and belly and want to slim down and tone up. Carrying excess fat increases your risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes, so it's a good idea to lose the extra weight and get in shape. Many exercises are ideal for working your stomach and legs and are a healthy addition to your workout routine. Talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise program.
Cardio burns calories, which helps you lose fat on your legs and tummy and uncover the muscles underneath. You can't target a specific body part with cardio, but a consistent routine will help you drop weight all over. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that women get at least two and a half hours of exercise each week, though more will speed your results. Choose activities you enjoy to keep you from giving up. Exercises that target your lower body and core are a good idea because you can burn calories and work the muscles at the same time. Biking, swimming and dancing are ideal choices.
Strength Training Moves
The benefit of strength-training moves is that they create definition in your muscles. MayoClinic.com recommends two or three strength-training sessions each week that include moves that target each of your major muscle groups, including your core and your legs. Planks, crunches, trunk rotations and side extensions are good options for your belly. Additionally, any move that requires balance, such as triceps extensions on a stability ball, challenges your core muscles. Squats, lunges, calf raises, stepping exercises, inverted flyers and box jumps work well for your legs. Mix and match your favorites for a well-rounded routine.
Sets and Repetitions
You don't have to bust out set after set of strength-training moves to see results in your legs and tummy. MayoClinic.com recommends at least one set of 12 repetitions of each exercise during each strength-training session. As you get stronger, you can add sets to your routine to keep your progress on track. It's especially important to start slowly and build your routine if you're new to exercise so you don't hurt yourself.
Even if your legs and belly are your trouble spots, don't forget to work the rest of your body too. This helps prevent muscle imbalances that could cause an injury and won't give you the streamlined and proportionate figure you want. At the same time, ditch your unhealthy eating habits so you can balance your exercise routine with your calorie intake. Taking in too many calories undoes all of your hard work, so choose healthy foods over the local drive-through.
- American Council on Exercise: Ab Exercises
- American Council on Exercise: Lower Leg Exercises
- American Council on Exercise: Upper Leg Exercises
- Fitness: The Best Tummy Toners for You
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- MayoClinic.com: Strength Training: Get Stronger, Leaner, Healthier
Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.