Doing lunges and jumping rope can be fast and easy ways for developing the lean look of beautifully toned legs. These exercises target multiple muscle groups including the gluteus, quadriceps and calves. In addition, lunges and jumping rope develop your sense of balance and get your heart rate up while working your core muscles. Do fifteen minutes of these exercises at home several days a week.
A Deep Lunge
To perform a lunge, stand with your right leg forward and your left leg behind you with your hips squared facing the front. Keeping your hands on your hips will help you balance yourself. Create distance between your front and back leg as of you were taking a large step forward. Then slowly lower your body until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Take care not to lock either knee, keep your back straight and steady yourself by keeping your hands at your waist or resting them lightly on your front knee. Pause while doing this deep stretch and then slowly lift yourself back up and bring your left leg forward to next to your right leg. Repeat the same motion on the other leg.
Lunges, Steady as we go
Depending on your level of flexibility, adjust the distance between your legs to a comfortable stance and remember the most important elements of this exercise are making slow, controlled movements and lowering your body so that your front thigh is parallel to the floor. Don't be concerned if you cannot make the leg completely parallel. Take caution not to extend your knee over your foot.
Jumping rope is an easy and fun exercise that gets your heart rate up within a short period of time. Begin your movement by standing with your knees slightly bent while holding the ends of the rope at hip height with your palms facing your body. Keeping your torso upright and knees soft, evenly push into the jump with the balls of your feet. This cardio will work your arms, legs and core while improving your balance. If you are a beginner, choose a heavier jump rope. As you advance, use a lighter one that will allow you to jump faster with greater intensity.
Customize Your Routine!
Now that you have these two moves down, create your customized routine. Start with 20 lunges, 10 on each side, and then do 25 jumps. Try this and see how it feels. Feels great? Repeat this three times. Winded? Do the same again tomorrow and stick with this for a week or longer. Either way, you will get an excellent workout!
The lunges will create muscle tone while jumping rope will keep that muscle supple and lean. As you become more adept, you can switch things up by adding light hand weights to your lunges or moving to more advanced types of jumping, such as alternate foot or high-step. Of course, as with any exercise regime, start slowly and listen to your body's natural limits. If you have any existing medical conditions, consult your doctor before beginning this routine.
Grace Bordelon is a public relations professional, teacher and writer. She owns her own boutique public relations firm that specializes in the advertising, gaming and software industries. She also teaches at a major design school for fine artists, commercial artists and graphic designers. Bordelon holds a B.A. in international economics and an M.A. in English from Bard College.