Top Five Workouts for Killer Legs

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With all the cute shorts hitting the stores you realise that pretty soon you’re going to have reintroduce yourself to your legs after neglecting them all winter!

It’s time to stop looking longingly at the Cameron Diazs of the world and get your own long lean legs to show off! We’ve put together the top five workouts to help you get killer legs…

Have you ever seen the pins on professional runners?
Even though it’s the oldest trick in the book, running really is the quickest way to killer legs! It works your thighs, calves and bum (a bonus) at the same time. Running is often put in the “too hard” basket so grab a couple of dedicated friends and start to jog together. You can begin by walking for half an hour, jogging for three minutes every ten minutes and gradually increase the running time until you’re fit enough to run without stopping! It is possible trust me.

Another oldie but a goodie, cycling specifically targets your legs – especially your thighs which are a problem area for many of us, so it’s an awesome way to get long lean legs in no time! If you don’t have a bike, you’re bound to find one in your friend’s, boyfriend’s or dad’s garage that you can borrow. There are heaps of beautiful waterfronts that you can ride around to make it more pleasurable!

Rollerblading isn’t just for 10-year-olds, it’s the perfect way to get together with friends, have fun AND give your legs a darn good workout at the same time. The best thing is it’s low impact so you get a cardio-respiratory workout similar to speed walking. Nothing else will work your legs and bum like it!

If you’re prepared to put in the extra effort and don’t mind dripping with sweat for the sake of hot legs then spinning is the way to go! It works your quads, hamstrings, calves and hips. The best thing is you’re not struggling alone, the instructor helps motivate you and the funky music takes your
mind off the hard work! There are classes at most gyms.

Strength Training
While cardio works wonders in burning fat, it’s the muscle-building exercises that really help you achieve toned legs! Since your lower body has the biggest muscles in your body, by exercising the thighs, hamstrings, calves, lower back and bum you can actually kick start your metabolism and burn more calories by doing strength exercises!

The Lunge
This is great for the quads, hamstrings and glutes (your bum).
1. Stand with your feet about a foot apart
2. Keeping your toes pointed forward, step forward 2 or 3 steps with your left leg. Your left foot should be flat on the ground
3. Bend your left leg until your knee is at a 90 degree angle (your right leg will also bend, and your right heel will lift off the ground)
4. Hold for a second
5. Return to starting position
6. Repeat steps 3 – 5 until you’ve repeated the desired number of reps
7. Now repeat all steps with the other leg

The Squat
This is one of the best leg exercises as it works your quads, hamstrings and bum as well as your back and abs!
1. Place a chair just behind you and stand in front of it with feet about hip or shoulder-width apart.
2. Contract the abs and keep them tight as you bend the knees and slowly squat towards the chair.
3. Keep the knees behind the toes as you sit down on the chair for a few seconds.
4. Contract the glutes and hamstrings to lift up out of the chair and begin extending the legs.
5. Fully extend the legs until you’re back to standing position.
6. Repeat this for 1-3 sets of 10-16 repetitions.
7. To progress, squat down until you’re just hovering over the chair, but not sitting all the way down.

The Calf Raise
This gives you strong toned calves without looking like a rugby player!
1. Find a raised step, preferably with a railing or other object you can hold onto for balance nearby, if needed.
2. Stand on the step with your heel and arch hanging off the back of the step; keep just the ball of your foot and toes on the step.
3. Raise up on your toes as high as you can in a slow and controlled manner.
4. Pause for a second at the top.
5. Slowly return to your original position. Don’t dip the heel below the level of the step.
6. Repeat 8to 12 times per leg, only exercising one leg at a time.
7. For more of a challenge, hold a dumbbell in your hand on the same side you’re raising your calf.

Victoria Fruean

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