Legs Toning Workout
Many women hate their upper legs so much that they don't even try to firm them. Mistake. "Many of your major thigh muscles — your hamstrings and quadriceps as well as your butt — are actually easy to tone, " says Evelyn Nunlee, a New York City personal trainer for 15 years. (Inner thighs are trickier, she concedes; to target that trouble spot, add crunches and other lower-abdominal exercises, because your stomach muscles are close to those of your inner thighs.) For quickest results, do Nunlee's four-part thigh routine as well as some form of aerobic exercise three times a week. "Walking, swimming, and biking will give your upper legs definition, " she says. "And in-line skating is particularly good. Women who skate have great thighs."
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Wall Squat, Starting Position
1. Lean head, shoulders, lower back, and butt against a wall, with feet about 18 inches in front. Click arrow to see the next step.
Muscles it works: Quadriceps, butt and hamstrings
Wall Squat, The Move
2. Keeping knees hip-width apart, slide down the wall until you are in a chairlike position. Your legs should not go any lower than a right angle to the floor. Hold position for 30 seconds; work up to five minutes.
Stair Climber, Starting Position
1. Stand sideways at the bottom of a staircase. In a scissorlike motion, cross your outer leg to reach the step. Click arrow to see the next step.
Muscles it works: Entire leg
Stair Climber, The Move
2. Pull your other foot off the floor and place on the second step. Walk sideways up the flight of stairs; return to bottom normally. Then scissor your way up facing the opposite direction, leading with other leg. Start with one flight for each leg; work up to five.
Lunge, Starting Position
1. Stand with hands on hips, legs hip-width apart.
Muscles it works: Hamstrings, butt
Lunge, The Move
2. Take a big step forward with your left leg until your left thigh is parallel to floor. Do not allow your knee to extend in front of your toes. Let your back leg bend and heel come off the floor. Do not lean forward. Push off the left leg, and step back into starting position. Repeat with right leg. Start with eight repetitions on each leg; work up to 20.
Ball Squeeze, Starting Position
1. Sit in a chair, leaning slightly forward, arms at sides, feet flat on the floor. Place a medium-size ball between your legs above your knees, with just enough pressure to hold the ball in place.