Guide to Lean and Shapely Legs: Exercise and Nutrition
If you want shapely, lean legs, then you’ll need to work hard and exercise daily. Achieving this goal will require a combination of exercises that target legs specifically and can help you to grow well-defined muscles that will make you look stunning. You will also need to switch to a healthy weight-loss diet and completely exclude processed foods, as they are the main contributors to the growing fat deposits around your thighs and butt.
Don’t confuse this type of fitness exercise with so-called ‘spot reduction’. Research in this area is limited, but what’s available indicates that targeted weight loss is generally ineffective. However, a workout routine to shape up your legs isn’t the same as a targeted weight loss program. This routine focuses on growing and strengthening your leg muscles, which is what gives them that shapely look. In the meantime, your diet will help you to lose weight all over and provide you with the necessary nutrients to grow muscles faster.
In addition, before you start planning a workout routine that will help make your legs shapely and lean, you need to remember the importance of exercising correctly. The most effective workouts which target the legs and butt are very intense and require a moderate-to-high fitness level. If you are only a beginner, you should take it easy and work your way up gradually. Start with 10 or less reps and aim to achieve at least 30 through regular training.
Top 6 Exercises for Shapely Legs
Lunges help shape your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. This is possibly the most effective exercise for toning your legs and you should practice different variations of it every day. Mix different types of lunges to diversify your daily workouts.
Much like lunges, squats are an excellent exercise which develops strength and muscle definition. They are particularly effective for toning your glutes. Do bodyweight squats first and then add resistance as your stamina improves. Remember to bend your knees only until your thighs are parallel to the ground, otherwise you will place undue strain upon your joints. It is also imperative to keep your back straight during a squat and hinge forward a little during the movement. Squeeze your butt on the way up for maximum effect. Always keep your feet shoulder-width apart and slightly turned out.
- Plie squat calf raises
This exercise is extremely effective but very difficult, so don’t try to perform too many reps until you are comfortable with it. The trick is to squat with your feet wide apart and turned out to the max. Keep your hands clasped in front of you or on your hips, depending upon which position feels the most comfortable for you to maintain your balance. Stay in a squat position while raising your heels as far up as you can and freezing there for two seconds. Lower your feet and repeat.
- Squat jumps
The results that squat jumps produce for your legs can be explosive. The principle is the same as with a regular squat (don’t bend your knees too much!). However, instead of lifting yourself up you jump up with all your might to straighten your legs completely. Your main goal when performing this exercise should be to increase speed whilst maintaining perfect form.
- High knee toe taps
Put a chair or a bench in front of you and your hands upon your hips. Keep your back straight and lift your leg to tap the chair with your toe. Switch to the other leg and repeat at least 10 times for each side. Aim for speed, and you can also add complexity by using a higher chair.
- Single leg raises
Lie down on your side and lift your body up on one elbow while the other hand goes to your hip. Lift the top leg as far as it will go while keeping it straight, with toes pointed forward. Make sure the movement is slow and controlled. Once you have completed the desired number of reps on one side, switch to the other.
Shaping up your legs requires daily exercise focused on toning this particular area of your body. Whilst doing various specialized exercises will definitely help, you should also consider using fitness machines which will provide you with a targeted workout. There’s a reason why a stair mill is near the top of the best weight loss exercise equipment for home list, and that is that it helps you to shed fat on your thighs fast and provides fantastic muscle tone and definition to boot. Steppers and benches are also good choices for shaping up your legs at home.
You can learn more tips on how to burn more fat through your workout routine from:
In order to prevent injury always remember to go at your own pace and do not overwork yourself.
Is There a Special Lean Legs Diet?
There isn’t such a thing as a specialized ‘lean legs diet’. Any weight loss diet follows the same principle, which is to consume whole healthy foods in reasonable quantities. The number of calories you need to consume each day depends upon your lifestyle, health, body composition, and level of physical activity.
If you are committed to shaping your legs using the exercises described above, you will need to consume about 1,500 calories a day to give your body sufficient energy for such intense workouts. Be sure to eat more protein-rich foods (poultry, legumes, and leafy greens) to feed your muscle growth.
Most importantly, avoid sugar and processed foods completely. Remember that every pastry and candy bar you eat adds annoying and unwanted fat to your thighs.