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Are you interested in easy, but greatly effective, leg toning exercises that you can do anywhere, anytime – without having to deal with the hassles of ‘going to the gym’?
Fitness centers and health clubs are filled with big, expensive machines.
No matter what kind of leg exercise program you are looking for, the instructors are going to put you through a typical general lower body workout circuit doing one set on each machine for twelve reps and so on.
Of course, they are not going to show you a workout routine that doesn’t need a single exercise machine. They’d be out of business!
The truth is, toning and firming up your leg, hip and thigh area is not achieved by using all those weight machines, and heavy dumbbells and barbells that could get you all pumped up with much more muscle than you were looking to build, or cause serious, long term injuries! (we’ve all heard these horrible stories, right?)
The real magic of a properly structured leg exercise program lies in the combination of non-weighted and body weight exercises, put together in a sequence that targets all the muscles in AND around the legs, hips and thighs. The program should also emphasize proper form AND speed of movement along with breathing – these are elements that are lacking from most ‘modern’ leg workouts and fitness programs.
Here is an example of a highly effective, but simple leg toning and shaping exercise:
First you’ll need a staircase or a utility step – 9 to 12 inches high is good.
You may have one you can use in your garage or a closet – just make sure it is sturdy.
If using a staircase – stand on the second step with both feet. If using a utility step – try to use one that is about 10 – 15 inches high & stand on it with both feet. This is one of the simplest yet most effective leg exercises for women.
Place your hands on your hips or hold them out in front of you, or out to the side. SLOWLY, step down with your left foot & LIGHTLY touch the floor with your toes & the ball of the foot (keep your heel off the ground).
Then bring your left foot back up & lightly touch the step and repeat this 15 times with the left foot.
Take a 10 second rest and then do the right leg.
IMPORTANT – The leg that stays on the step is the one doing the most work & you should feel a nice ‘burn’ in that leg.
This means you are doing the exercise right.
If it is too easy – you may be moving too fast – the key is to move slowly to ‘use the muscles properly’.
Or the step may be too low – try a higher step to increase the intensity of this leg toning exercise.
Try to build up to 3 sets of 15 reps (per leg) with 20 seconds rest between sets. If you haven’t been exercising your legs, or are a beginner – you can do this 2 or 3 times each week.
If you have been exercising you can simply add it right into your current leg workout routine.
Often times, too much focus is placed on machines, gadgets and high intensity, ‘no pain – no gain’ concepts. Most of this is for marketing reasons and sometimes just a pure lack of understanding of what the female body needs in terms of the correct leg exercises and overall fitness programming.
Joey Atlas, Exercise Physiologist, is the fitness mastermind behind The Best Leg Exercises for Women.
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