Toning Your Legs and Hips
Great legs aren’t just for the genetically blessed
Legs have been called everything from gams and getaway sticks to pins and stems, and that list only includes the nice terms. People with the unfortunate luck to have larger than average legs and thighs get their lower body parts referred to as thunder thighs and saddle bags, or even cankles (when there is no visual slimming of the ankle between the calf and the foot).
It seems whether they love the way theirs look or not so much, every woman has a bit of an obsession with legs. It’s probably because most of us have a genetic tendency to store extra fat in that area, along with the butt.
Know what you’re targeting
To really work the lower body for an evenly toned appearance and strong functional muscles, you have to target each major muscle group during your strength training program. Some moves, called compound exercises, will allow you to work several muscle groups at once. Isolation moves are best if you want to focus on one muscle group at a time.
- Calves - The calf muscles make up the shapeliest part of a woman’s lower legs. Strong, flexible calves ensure good balance and look great.
- Hamstrings - Hamstrings make up the back portion of a woman’s thigh. Toning up this area of the leg will make sure there’s no unwanted jiggle when you’re in shorts or a bathing suit.
- Quadriceps - There is a misconception that strong quads will make a woman’s legs look butch, but the truth is, toning and adding muscle in this area will help in overall weight loss and make legs look smaller than they were to begin with.
- Adductors and abductors - Many women don’t know what these muscles do or even where they’re located. If you’re working the rest of your lower body but not the hip muscles, you’ll be missing out on adding shape to the top of your legs. Besides, you want balanced leg strength so you’ll be able to strut your stuff and show off all your hard work.