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December 16, 2008

Sexy Stems: Get Lean, Sexy Legs

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woman in bikini and red head scarf

Photo Credit: Ben Watts

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TONE YOUR OUTER THIGHS

Lie on your side with your legs straight and bring your top leg out in front making a 45-degree angle. Point your toes down to the ground, bringing your ankle a little higher. Lift the leg in a continuous up and down motion. Never rest your foot on the ground or this will give your muscle a chance to rest. Do as many as you can and then do a few more (you want to feel the muscle work). You should do as many lifts as you can for three sets. Repeat on the other side.

Get down on your hands and knees. Lift one leg out to the side keeping the knee bent (your knee and foot are parallel to each other). Lift the leg as high as you can and then return down. Never let your knee rest on the ground or you'll be letting the muscle rest. You should do this in slow, controlled movements. Do as many as you can (about 10-15) until you feel the muscle burn. Repeat three sets on both sides.



TONE YOUR INNER THIGHS

Lie on your left side with both legs straight and inline with your body. Prop yourself up on your left forearm and elbow and bend your right knee, placing your right foot flat on the floor behind your left knee. Make sure your body is facing sideways, your bottom leg straight and inner thigh facing up. Hold a weight in your right hand and place it on the inner thigh of your bottom leg, as close to your knee as you can. Keep your torso stable and raise your left leg up two to four inches off the floor, feeling the inner thigh muscles contract as you do. Lower and repeat. Then switch sides.



TONE YOUR CALVES

Set a timer to 100 seconds. Stand facing a wall, with your feet parallel and hip-distance apart. Place a rolled-up towel under the balls of your feet, then lock your arms and place the palms of your hands on the wall for support. To a slow count of 10, raise your heels off the floor so you are standing on your toes on the towel. Pause and squeeze the muscles in your calves, then lower to another slow count of 10. Repeat until the time is up.

Set a timer to 100 seconds. Secure a one-pound weight on one ankle, then stand with your feet together. Keep your arms straight and lean forward, placing both hands on a footstool 12 inches in front of you. To a slow count of 10, bend your weighted leg, raising your ankle to your butt. Pause, squeeze your hamstring and lower your leg. Repeat until the time is up, then switch sides.

TONE YOUR HAMSTRINGS

Set a timer to 100 seconds. Stand facing a wall, with your feet parallel and hip-distance apart. Place a rolled-up towel under the balls of your feet, then lock your arms and place the palms of your hands on the wall for support. To a slow count of 10, raise your heels off the floor so you are standing on your toes on the towel. Pause and squeeze the muscles in your calves, then lower to another slow count of 10. Repeat until the time is up.

Set a timer to 100 seconds. Stand facing the narrow edge of an open door, with your legs hip-distance apart and a footstool directly behind you. Holding your arms straight, grip one doorknob in each hand. To a slow count of 10, lower your body until it touches the stool (but don't sit down!). Pause, then raise yourself to a standing position to another slow count of 10. Repeat until the time is up.

Lie with your legs outstretched and your feet and calves on a Swiss ball. Raise your left leg straight into the air so it’s perpendicular to the floor. Press your right heel into the ball, bend your knee, and roll the ball toward your butt until your right foot is flat on the ball. Pause and return to the start. Don’t allow your butt to rest on the floor between repetitions. Switch sides and repeat.

TONE YOUR KNEES



TONE YOUR QUADS

Set a timer to 100 seconds. Stand facing the narrow edge of an open door, with your legs hip-distance apart and a footstool directly behind you. Holding your arms straight, grip one doorknob in each hand. To a slow count of 10, lower your body until it touches the stool (but don't sit down!). Pause, then raise yourself to a standing position to another slow count of 10. Repeat until the time is up.


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