When you’re happy with your core, you may avoid exercise for fear of losing your natural curves. But fear not -- there is a way to tone your legs without changing your upper body. By using leg-toning exercises and avoiding cardio -- which will eliminate any extra fat, including parts of your hour-glass shape -- you can tone your legs and maintain your shape. Perform three sets of each exercise at least three times per week.
Warm up by walking or jogging for 10 minutes.
Do the 90-degree lift to work your quadriceps and glutes. Stand about 2 feet away from a chair. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Lean forward and place your hands on the back of the chair for support. Shift your weight to your left leg. Lift your right leg out to the side until it is parallel with the floor. Lower your leg back down. Repeat 15 times on each leg.
Perform 180-degree squat jumps to work your quadriceps. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees and lower your body into a squat position. Jump into the air. While you are in the air, turn your body to the left 180 degrees so you land in the opposite direction. Repeat for 30 seconds.
Complete the inner-thigh lift. Lie on your right side on a mat. Bend your left knee and place your left foot on the floor in front of your body. Bend your right arm and place your right forearm on the mat. Lift your right leg up into the air as far as you can. Lower it back down. Repeat 20 times on both sides to work your inner thighs.
Do leg curls to tone your hamstrings. Lie on the floor on your back with a stability ball under your calves. Bend your knees and roll the ball toward you. Straighten your legs, rolling the ball away from you. Repeat 15 times.
Cool down by walking or jogging for 10 minutes.
Sit on the floor with your legs open in a wide "V" position. Lean forward toward your right leg. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other leg to stretch your hamstrings.
Lie on your back on a mat. Wrap a resistance band along the bottom of your right foot. Hold the ends with both hands. Bend your left knee and place your left foot on the floor. Straighten your right leg. Extend your right leg out to the right side. At the same time, move your left knee toward the floor. Hold for 20 seconds to stretch your inner thighs. Repeat on the other side.
Keep the resistance band on your foot. Roll over onto your right side. Bend your right knee, bringing your right foot toward your glutes. Straighten your arms, stretching the resistance band over your head. Hold for 20 seconds to stretch your quads. Repeat on the other side.
- Talk to your doctor before starting a new workout routine.
- If you feel pain while stretching, stop.
Though constantly traveling the world, Julia Williams is based in Chicago and has been writing since 2006. Williams holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting. She is also a licensed fitness instructor, specializing in Pilates since 2003 and has written hundreds of articles on exercise and health.