Toning exercises help define and sculpt leg muscles for a slender look.
Big, chubby legs can make you feel self-conscious about your appearance when sporting shorts or a dress. Working your leg muscles with strength-training exercises will help you get toned, shapely legs but, to reveal that muscle tone, you must do cardio exercises to get rid of fat. With both types of exercise as part of your fitness plan, you can make your legs smaller and more attractive looking.
Weight-Loss Exercises Overview
It's not possible to lose weight only in your legs. If your goal is to make your legs smaller, you must lose weight all over. Cardiovascular exercise is effective for helping you tackle body fat so you can become slender all over and reach your goal of having smaller legs. Aim for 150 to 300 minutes of cardio exercise per week. If you've been sedentary for a while, this amount might be too much for you. Instead of setting yourself up for frustration and discouragement, start with a shorter exercise time and add five to 10 minutes to it each week. Likewise, it's not necessary to do all your exercise in one long, daily session. A few 15- to 20-minute cardio sessions spread throughout the day are just as effective as one long, single session.
Cardiovascular Exercise that Engages Leg Muscles
You can engage in a variety of types of cardio exercise; if you want to reap double the benefits, aerobic exercise that puts the leg muscles to work will help you. Whether you're at home or in the gym, you can walk briskly, jog or cycle. If you prefer working out at a health club, spinning class, swimming or step aerobics are effective for losing weight and toning the legs. To prevent exercise boredom, you can also participate in sports activities to work your legs and lose weight all over, including on your lower half. Tennis, basketball and softball are all sports activities that will help you burn calories and tone your leg muscles.
As you lose weight with cardiovascular exercise, you can tone your leg muscles with strength-training exercises for smaller legs. You don't need to perform strength-training exercises as frequently as cardio to build toned legs. Two to three strength-training sessions per week, each lasting for 15 to 20 minutes, are sufficient. Leg-toning exercises can be done at home or at the gym, with or without weights. Do exercises like squats, lunges, side shuffles and step-ups to work the muscles of your upper legs. Tone the calf muscles of the lower leg with calf raises and ankle flexions.
It only makes sense to include a healthy, calorie-reduced diet in your plan if you're going to work so hard to lose weight with exercise. A healthy diet will fuel your body for your cardio and toning workouts, while helping you to lose weight faster. Reduce your daily caloric intake by 250 to 500 each day for a loss of 1/2 to 1 pound per week. Consume healthy foods, such as lean proteins, whole grain products, lowfat dairy, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Drink at least eight glasses of water daily to keep yourself hydrated and feeling full. Before you embark on your exercise and diet plan to trim down all over and get smaller legs, be sure to consult your doctor.