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Articles Fitness Nutrition

Practice These 4 Routines Everyday for Toned Legs

Jan 1, 2011

Whether you are 20-something or 50-something, toned legs are admirable signs that you care about your health and appearance. It's never too late to have great-looking legs that show muscle and tone. You might choose to exercise at a gym or consult an exercise guru. You may want to rent videos to help you when you work out at home. A third route is to keep it simple, with basic exercises that don't cost anything but just require your commitment. Here are four such exercises that you can do at home.

1. Calf Muscle Workout

Place your hands on the kitchen counter or on your chair. Keep feet apart, to the width of your shoulders. Stand on your toes and raise your heels. Freeze for four seconds and then slowly bring the heel back down to the floor. Do this 12 times, rest, then do another set of 12 reps.

2. Squats for Thighs

The two basic exercises for upper legs are squats and lunges. There are many variations to these, but the two exercises can be done simply enough with good results.

Stand straight, military style, with chin up. Pull your tummy in for optimal posture. Now squat, keeping both feet aligned with your shoulder width. Squat as low as you can, keeping your head up. Stand back up, using a slow movement. Try this 15 times, resting slightly, and then do two more sets of 15. You will feel the "burn," and that burn means you are doing this well.

If you are starting to work out for the first time or are out of shape, 15 times may feel like too much. Try doing half and work your way up over time.

3. Doing Lunges

Now you can graduate to the lunge, which is good for toning and developing long, lean leg muscles. As the word "lunge" suggests, you move forward with one leg and lower your thigh somewhat, in the meantime bending down with the rear foot. Alternate with the other leg and do the same thing. Try doing the lunge 10 times per leg. Do as many sets as you can, but go with your own comfort level. Remember, if you do not feel any burn, you are probably not working your legs hard enough or frequently enough.

4. Ankle Strengtheners

An often ignored feature of attractive legs is the ankle. A healthy ankle indicates fitness. Easy exercises involve no more than a chair or bed. While in bed, flex your foot straight up and down. Keep your knee straight. When you bring your toes up, hold for six seconds--and when you bring your toes down, hold again for six seconds. Practice this exercise on both feet. For an even better ankle strengthener, place a towel right under your calf and do the same. When sitting in a chair, turn your foot inwards and outwards, for six seconds each.

Exercise  Tips

Your balance is important. Pick an object in front of you and focus on it as you do the exercises. Before squats and leg lunges, limber up for a few minutes before you start. Walk in place for three or four minutes and then proceed.

 

 

 

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