Get your legs mini-skirt ready with leg toning exercises performed with ankle weights. You can squeeze leg exercises into your work breaks, in between chores at home or while watching television. An allover leg-toning program will help you lift and tone your calves, quads, hamstrings, and inner and outer thighs to give you gams that will turn heads.
Leg Extensions and Leg Curls
Sit on a chair with your back straight and ankle weights securely placed around your ankles. Place your hands on the sides of the chair for balance and stabilization during the exercise. Raise your lower legs to knee level, and then slowly lower them again. Perform 12 to 16 leg extensions to tone and lift your quads, or fronts of your thighs.
Stand to perform leg curls, an opposing muscle exercise that works your hamstrings, or the backs of your thighs. Place your hands lightly on the back of a chair for balance. Lift one foot at a time, bringing it as close to your tush as possible, and then lower. Repeat 12 to 16 times on each leg. Do these two exercises three times per week.
Stand behind a chair or on the edge of the first step of a stairway. Lift your body while standing on your toes to feel the stretch in your calves. Lower your body to floor level or, if standing on a step, 2 to 3 inches below it. Get sexy, defined calves that look smokin' hot in a knee-length skirt or pair of high heels by doing 12 to 24 calf raises three times per week.
Leg Raises/Leg Swings
Stand with your feet hip width apart while holding onto the back of a chair for balance. Lift your right leg up and out to the side as high as possible to work the muscles of your outer thigh. Lower your right leg, bringing it in front of your left foot and to the left as far as you can to tone your inner thighs. Do 12 to 24 leg raise and swing combos on each side, three times each week.
Squat-Side Kick Combo
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, while positioning your hands in front of your chest with elbows bent. Squat down about 45 degrees; as you raise up, lift your right leg while bending your torso to the left and kick out to the side. Return to the starting position after completing one full rep. Do eight to 12 squat-side kick combos on each side. This all-in-one, leg-toning exercise is a great one to do when you don't have a lot of time and need to get the biggest bang for your buck. Include it in your leg-toning workout, or do it exclusively when you know you don't have time for an entire workout. Squat-side kick combos will tone your calves, quads, hamstrings, outer thighs and, as a bonus, your booty.
- Mayo Clinic: Strength Training-- Get Stronger, Leaner, Healthier
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Physical Activity
- Mayo Clinic: Slide Show--Weight Training Exercises
- American Council on Exercise: Lower Leg Exercises
- American Council on Exercise: Inner and Outer Leg Exercises
- Shape Magazine: Side Kick-Squat Combo
Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.