Winter, spring, summer, fall—it’s always a good time for leaner legs! Just when you think you can put the shorts away and forget about them, out come the jeans that might not slide up as quickly as you’d like. When it comes to our legs, most of us want a little less jiggle and a little more firmness. But here’s the problem if you want exercises to tone your legs: if you only target your legs with leg-specific strengthening moves like squats or leg lifts, you’ll have nice firm muscles but no one will see them if they’re hidden under a layer of overall body fat. They key to toned legs is to both strengthen the leg muscles for a lean appearance, and burn body fat all over with cardio exercise so you can see those beautiful legs you worked so hard to achieve.
What NOT To Do If You Want Leaner Legs
When people ask me how to lose leg fat, I have to start by explaining that it’s not as simple as you might think. We often believe we can chip away at the most annoying part of our body by working it over and over. But trying to spot reduce fat from a particular area doesn’t work. Shedding fat combined with strengthening the muscles underneath the fat is the true formula for getting a toned appearance on any part of your body. So in order to lose leg fat, you first need cardio exercises to burn fat and then strengthening moves to target your leg muscles. So let’s go to them!
5-Minute Leaner Leg Workout
Ready to lose leg fat? This quick leg workout utilizes what we just talked about above: a combination of cardio exercises to burn fat and then strengthening exercises to tone your legs. Here’s how it works:
- This workout is divided into a cardio portion and a strength exercise portion. Each of these portions are 5 minutes long. Alternate doing the cardio or strength section each day or combine them together at once for a 10-minute leaner leg workout.
- Go through the cardio exercises for 1 minute each. Do 15 reps of the strength training exercises on each side.
- Perform these moves a few times a week and you’ll be ready for lean jeans and short shorts in no time!
Check out the exercises for full descriptions and images!
Jumping Jacks – 1 minute
Split Jumps – 1 minute
Squat Jumps – 1 minute
Butt Kicks – 1 minute
Jump Rope – 1 minute
STRENGTHENING EXERCISES FOR LEANER LEGS
Plié Leg Lift
A) Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder distance apart and toes turned out. Bend knees and lower torso into a plié while keeping your back straight.
B) Squeeze your glutes and inner thighs and come to standing while lifting one leg out to the side. This works the outer thigh muscles. Then return to your plié and repeat on the other side.
Perform 15 reps on each side