Women typically want to remove excess fat and cellulite from their thighs while also toning their muscles. Together, this can help you develop lean, sculpted legs that you want to show off. Improving the strength and muscular endurance of your legs can also help improve your performance when you engage in any physical activity. To properly work out your legs, participate in cardio and strength-conditioning exercises each week.
Stretch your legs before and after each workout. Stretching prepares your muscles for activity and helps them to recover after a workout. Perform dynamic stretching before your workout to also warm up your muscles. Use exercises like jumping jacks and high knees. After your workout perform static stretches such as the standing-leg stretch and the quad stretch. To complete the standing leg stretch place your right leg out in front of your left leg, lean forward until your right knee is over your right ankle and your left leg is straight. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds and switch sides.
Perform cardio exercise to burn calories to remove any excess fat on your legs. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, healthy adults under the age of 65 should complete at least 30 minutes of cardio exercise five times a week. If you have the energy and want to lose more weight increase this to six or seven days a week.
Determine if you want to build more muscle tissue in your legs or improve your endurance. To build more muscle you need to use heavy weights that you should only complete six to eight repetitions per set for each exercise. To avoid adding more muscles mass and to just tone your legs, use light weights with which you can complete 12 to 15 repetitions.
Weight train for your legs at least once or twice per week. Each workout should include about eight to 10 different exercises that target your upper and lower legs such as calf raises, lunges, leg extensions and wall sits. To perform a wall sit, place your back against a wall with your feet out in front of you and your arms at your sides. Slide down until your legs create 90-degree angles with your knees are directly over your toes. In this positions it should look like you are sitting in a chair. Hold the position for as long as you can, stand up and repeat up to five times.
Tips and Warnings
- Choose a variety of cardio exercises that you enjoy, challenge your body and use your leg strength. This will help fight boredom in your workouts and improve the tone of your leg muscles as you burn calories. The American Council on Exercise recommends mountain biking, skating, walking, hiking, martial arts, boxing, skiing and water sports as effective fat burners.
About this Author
Ashley Farley began writing in 2009 with articles appearing on various websites. As a personal trainer Farley enjoys writing articles that promote a healthier lifestyle, which include personal fitness and nutrition pieces. She has an Associate of Science in mental health services from the Community College of the Air Force and is currently attending Wright State University.
Article reviewed by Jessica Lyons | Last updated on: 06/30/11