5 Minutes To Leaner Legs
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, we don’t ask for much. Just a little less jiggle and a little more firm. But here’s the problem: if you just target your legs with leg-specific exercises like squats or leg lifts, you’ll have nice firm muscles that no one will see because they are hidden under a layer of fat. They key is to both strengthen the leg muscles for a beautiful shape, and BURN BODY FAT all over with cardio exercise so you can see those beautiful legs you worked so hard to achieve.
The Myth of Spot-Reducing
We often believe we can dig in and chip away at the most annoying part of our body by working it over and over. The reality is that spot reducing doesn’t work. Shedding fat alongside toning the muscle is the true formula for making the changes you want to see. An article by American Council on Exercise called Trimming Off the Fat reminds us that a combination of cardio exercise, strength training and healthy eating is the real solution for taking off the fat. In addition, that same article states that higher intensity cardio burns more overall calories than lower intensity cardio. So in order to chip away at the fat on your body, you need to get some challenging cardio moves that get your heart rate pumping and make you sweat! The good news is it doesn’t have to be hours on end. Just a few minutes of high intensity moves will do the trick!
5-Minute Leaner Legs Workout
So let’s get at it! Let’s create something a little leaner, stronger, and get rid of some of that extra “stuff’ on the outer edge that we don’t like so much! This workout gives you five great exercises that will tone and tighten your thighs. Then you will get five bonus high intensity cardio moves to help you shed fat. Combine these two 5-minute routines any way you want! Do them together back-to-back. Do them on opposite days. Do them both a few times a week and you’ll be ready for lean jeans and short shorts in no time!
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 12 per side – thats 24 total!
A) Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder distance apart, toes turned out, and lift your heels into releve.
B) Bend at the knees lowering torso, keeping your back straight, and abs tight. Squeeze glutes and straighten legs to return to starting position.
Perform 15-20 reps.
A) Start on all fours with one leg extended long on mat.
B) Lift the extended leg up towards the ceiling engaging the hamstrings and glutes, then lower to the floor.
Perform 15 reps and then do 15 reps on the other leg.
Single Leg Hamstring Bridge
A) Lie on back with bent knees hip distance apart, and feet flat on mat stacked under the knees. Extend one leg long towards the ceiling.
B) Squeeze glutes and lift hips off the mat into a bridge. Lower and lift the hips then repeat on other side.
Perform 12-15 reps per side.
A) Begin on all fours.
B) Using the outer thigh muscles and glutes lift one knee out and up keeping your knee bent at a 90-degree angle. Lower your leg and repeat.
Perform 12-15 reps on each leg.
Perform each of these moves for 1 minute each. Click on image for full description of movement.