Summer is here which means sun dresses, skirts, shorts, and bathing suits. No longer do you have the winter months as an excuse to pack on a few pounds, hide behind long pants and bulky sweaters, slack on your workouts, and hibernate. The time for hibernating is over and the time for flaunting a healthy, toned body is here!
Now it might just be my opinion but I tend to think a nice, healthy body starts with toned legs. So if your legs need a little shaping up, start working these 4 exercises into your regular routine to get your stems in summer-ready shape.
Lunges and I have a love-hate relationships. I love what they do for my legs but I hate doing them over any other exercise. While I’m sure I can’t be the only one who feels this way about the dreaded lunge, there really With that being said, to tone your abductors, adductors, glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors, and quads simply take a big step sideways into a side lunge. Make sure both your feet are pointing forward and you have your outside knee bent while your inside knee is straight.
To feel that burn do 3 sets of 12 on each leg to dynamically target and tone those legs.
In nearly every workout it’s a staple, so you know it has to be good for you, right? Right!
In fact, a proper squat helps to effectively target one of your largest muscle groups, ultimately burning fat more effectively even when you’re not working out. To get your butt, and legs, quads, and hamstrings in shape, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and bend at the knees so that your thighs end up parallel to the floor.
Push yourself to do 3 sets of 12 and you will notice your legs shaping up and your butt getting tighter. And we all know that for summer, a toned, shapely booty is a necessity.
Squat It Out With A Band
Nope. Not a rock band. An elastic Pilates band that you can tie around your ankles.
This simple variation on the traditional squat will help to increase up your efforts and really target your glutes, abductors, quads, and hamstrings. To get the most out of this exercise, tie the elastic band at your ankles and stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Preform your squat and as you come up take a step to the side and bring your feet back to the starting position. To really amp up this exercise add a jump as you bring your feet back to the starting position and try to land in your squat. Not only will this make your muscles burn but you will be burning even more calories.
Complete 3 sets of 12 and you will definitely feel the burn.
The Dead Lift
While they don’t sound too enticing, this exercise is another one that is very effective in helping you to tone up those hamstrings. But what’s even better about the dead lift is they also help to tone your upper body at the same time! Double Score!
For this full body exercise simply stand with your feet a little further apart than how you stand to do squats. Hold your barbell or hand weights in front of you and make sure to keep your back as flat as you can during the whole exercise.
Keeping your shoulders back and the weight in your heels, be sure to lower your barbell or weights all the way to the floor, as much as you can, each time you perform a rep.
Bend at your waist, with a tiny bend in the knees, and when you lift your weights and straighten up be sure to squeeze your butt as tight as possible.
Through this simple, but effective, exercise you will be zeroing in on your leg muscles, your glutes, as well as your lower back and your arms. Not bad for one little lift.
All in all, even though exercising is an important element to getting your legs in summer-ready shape, you have to be sure to top off your workouts with a healthy lifestyle. That means eating a healthy, well-rounded diet, not skipping meals, cutting out the bad-for-you food, and avoiding alcohol as much as possible.
With that being said, living well is about balance and not depriving yourself so much that you hit a breaking point. We all need that piece of cake here and there, so if you choose to indulge and satisfy that deafening craving, don’t guilt yourself. After all, a little indulgence is okay here and there, just don’t use that as a reason to indulge each and every day.