Sculpt Firm and Shapely Legs in 6 Moves
Looking great in short shorts and flirty skirts can be your reality, because just a stability ball, weights and a step can give you great legs. In about twenty minutes you can be on your way to having strong and shapely legs. The main thing is focusing on the target muscles in your thighs and calves. This can be done by just using your own body weight to work calves (gastrocnemius), your inner thighs, the front of your thighs (quadriceps), the back of your thighs, (hamstrings) and your rear end (those gluteal muscles we must not forget). Here are six simple ways to get your leg muscles strong and ready for short hemlines and having great legs to match your bathing suit during this summer's hot weather.
When it comes to picking a weight, choose one that is heavy enough to challenge your targeted muscles but to not strain your joints. Start with 5 to 8 pounds and work your way up. Each set of exercises should be done in a 12- 15 repetition, three times a week.
Ball Side Lunges: First position the stability ball on the left side of your body. Make sure it is stable by placing it on a mat or carpet. To get your body in position, without locking your knees, stand with your hands on your hips with your left foot on top of the stability ball, then point the toes of your right supporting leg forward. Keeping your back straight, slide your foot on the ball sideways as you lean forward. Push out your hips behind you to lower into a one-legged squat on your right leg. Drop the hips as low as you feel comfortable. Keep your right knee and toe pointing forward. Squeeze your butt to stand up straight. Time to switch legs. That was # 1 - do 12 repetitions on each leg.
The trick is to not lose control of the supported knee and to balance the ball with your weight at the same time.
Standing Leg Lift: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and hands on your hips. Raise your ribs, elongate your spine and lift your body weight out of your left hip. Move your right leg straight out to your side, directly to the right side of your body, with your toe resting on the floor for balance. As you raise your right leg up 2 to 4 inches off the floor squeeze your butt and abs. Lower your body back at ease. Then switch legs.
The trick is keeping your spine straight and tall during the exercise and not tilting your torso.
The Step-Up: With your hands on your hips, stand tall as you lift your left foot flat onto a sturdy bench or step. Make sure your whole foot is on the bench, check that your heel is not hanging over the edge. Next as if you were sitting in a chair, drop your hips and press your body weight into your left foot to raise yourself up on top of the step, bringing your right foot to greet the left, then switch legs.
The trick is to start with a lower step and work your way up to high platforms, it would be a good idea to practice a one-leg squat on the floor beforehand.
Stationary Lunges: Stand like an open pair of scissors, with your feet as wide as you comfortably can, with your right leg in front of your left and lift your back heel; make sure both toes are pointing/facing forward. Hold weights straight by your sides, palms facing inward. Hold your rib cage high and tall and distribute your body weight between your front heel and back toe to balance steadily. Now bend both knees and lower your hips straight down. Focus on your thighs and go down until your front thigh is parallel to the floor. Keep your body straight. As your body drops down keep your front knee over your ankle, not pushed over the front toe, restrain from making your body move forward too much. As you elevate your body and rise, squeeze the butt and the front thigh, and rise up. Straighten your legs again and repeat. Then switch legs.
The trick is to not press your body weight into your front knee, it can strain it. Don't tense your shoulders, lower them and keep your shoulder blades close to your back. Make sure to keep your body moving up and down, not swaying back and forth. Keep your body weight behind your front knee when moving body downward.
Ball Leg Curl: Grab the stability ball and place it in a steady spot and lie down with your back to the floor. Place both feet on top of the ball and put your hands straight by your sides. Keep your spine at a curve so that there is a space between your lower spine and the floor. Now in position, press your heels into the top of the ball and slide the ball toward your body with your heels, stop when your knees are bent at 90 degrees and positions over your hips. Then push the ball back out away from your body. Straighten out your legs and repeat. Easy enough!
The trick is to not over arch or flatten your back as you roll the ball back and forth.
One-Leg Calf Rises: With a weight in each hand stand with your arms hanging by your sides, palms facing in. Now raise your right leg and wrap your toe around the back of your left calve. Elevate your ribs to lengthen your spine but still lower your shoulders. Remember to flatten your shoulder blades to your back.
Balancing on your left leg, now push down into your left toes to lift your left heel off the floor. Rise up on your heel as high as you can. While bending the ball of your foot and spreading your toes in your shoes it will help you to balance most of your body weight between your big toe and second toe. Now hold still in this position for a second while your heel is lifted. Then lower your heel slowly and switch legs to repeat.
The trick is to keep your supporting knee straight, and to not lock your knees.
See, with dedication to a routine a few times a week, you can strengthen your leg muscles and look hot in your short shorts and bathing suit before the summer ends. Give your efforts a boost and workout with these yoga videos and Pilates videos.