Here are five sculpting moves to target your quads, hamstrings, glutes, inner thighs and calves. These moves won’t just shape your legs—they’ll strengthen them so you can walk, run, jump and dance with more power. Generally, sculpting moves alone aren’t vigorous enough to burn enough calories to achieve significant body fat reduction. So adding higher calorie-burning cardio activities into your weekly routine is the key to optimizing your results because you’ll decrease fat as you firm up. By mixing these strength moves every other day with a daily dose of moderate-to-high intensity cardio, you can see slimmer, sleeker legs in just six weeks!
HOW TO DO IT:
Start with dumbbells that are at least 3 to 5 pounds and gradually work up to using 8 to 15 pounds, depending on the exercise.
Start by performing one set of one to 12 repetitions of each exercise, and work up to doing three sets of 10 to 12 reps. Do this workout two to three times a week with a rest day in between.
Move slowly during the first set of repetitions. For the second and third sets, move more quickly, but with control so that you do not swing through the motions.
Fit in 30 to 90 minutes of cardio activities per day, such as walking, running, cycling, swimming and dancing. You can break this up into shorter bouts throughout the day.
Hold a weight in each hand above each shoulder, palms facing in. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward. Soften your knees and lift your ribcage away from your pelvis to lengthen your spine. Tighten your core muscles to maintain your posture.
Lower into a squat by leaning your straight back slightly forward in a diagonal line as you push your hips out in back away from your bending knees. Stop when your knees are bent about 90 degrees or greater, and keep your calves vertical, not slanted. Work up to lowering your hips to knee level while maintaining good form. Move down and slightly forward to keep your neck in line with your spine, instead of arching your neck and looking up at the lowest point of the squat.
Hold a weight over each shoulder, palms facing in, and stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned slightly outwards, pointing to the corners rather than directly forward. Stand tall and raise your ribcage away from your lower back. Engage your core muscles to keep your spine stable.
Lower your body by pushing your hips slightly out behind you and leaning your straight back slightly forward in a diagonal line. Hold your ribs high and press your chest forward as you tighten your core muscles to help support your back. Drop your hips to just above knee level, with knees bent to 90 degrees or more. Then squeeze your butt and inner thigh muscles to zip up your thighs and straighten back up to a standing position.
Stand on the top edge of a low step, curb or fitness step with your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands on your hips and inch your heels off the ledge of the platform. Hang your heels lower than the platform, but not so low that you feel unstable or like you are overstretching the back of your lower legs.
Keeping your legs straight, but not locked out at the knees, rise up on the balls of your feet, lifting your heels as high as you can. Distribute your body weight between your big and second toes and spread your toes in your shoes. Hold, then lower and repeat.
Bent-Leg Ball Bridge
Lie on your back on the floor with your hands straight by your sides, palms flat. Rest your feet on a stability ball and push it away from your body to straighten your legs.
Squeeze your butt and press your heels into the top of the ball as you slide it towards your body, stopping when the knees are bent about 90 degrees or more and your hips are raised about 2 inches off the floor. Then push the ball back away from your body, drop your hips and straighten your legs. Repeat.
Inner Thigh Raise
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.
Princess Kate is a “Perfect Performer” When in Public, Body Language Expert Says
Of Kate, the expert says “nothing is an accident.”
By Rachel Burchfield
I Scoured Through Hundreds of Runway Shows—These Are the Color Trends of Summer 2023
From the neutrals of quiet luxury to highly-saturated statements.
By Emma Childs
Unearthed Prince Harry Interview from 2017 Reveals He Already Wanted Out of the Royal Family—But Stayed for One Reason
He and wife Meghan Markle eventually left their roles as senior royals in 2020.
By Rachel Burchfield
Senator Klobuchar: "Early Detection Saves Lives. It Saved Mine"
Senator and breast cancer survivor Amy Klobuchar is encouraging women not to put off preventative care any longer.
By Senator Amy Klobuchar
How Being a Plus-Size Nude Model Made Me Finally Love My Body
I'm plus size, but after I decided to pose nude for photos, I suddenly felt more body positive.
By Kelly Burch
I'm an Egg Donor. Why Was It So Difficult for Me to Tell People That?
Much like abortion, surrogacy, and IVF, becoming an egg donor was a reproductive choice that felt unfit for society’s standards of womanhood.
By Lauryn Chamberlain
The 20 Best Probiotics to Keep Your Gut in Check
Gut health = wealth.
By Julia Marzovilla
Simone Biles Is Out of the Team Final at the Tokyo Olympics
She withdrew from the event due to a medical issue, according to USA Gymnastics.
By Rachel Epstein
The Truth About Thigh Gaps
We're going to need you to stop right there.
By Kenny Thapoung
3 Women On What It’s Like Living With An “Invisible” Condition
Despite having no outward signs, they can be brutal on the body and the mind. Here’s how each woman deals with having illnesses others often don’t understand.
By Emily Shiffer
The High Price of Living With Chronic Pain
Three women open up about how their conditions impact their bodies—and their wallets.
By Alice Oglethorpe