Jun 212010

When you watch a man exercise his legs you see him focus on only two parts, the quadriceps in front, and the hamstrings in the back. Leg exercises for women need to be a little more encompassing. Women want to target not only the front and rears of their legs, but the inner and outer thighs, too.

To cover all parts of your upper legs is going to require a minimum of four exercises. To get the best looking legs possible you want to tone and condition the front, rear, inner, and outer portions of your thighs. Here are four exercises which can help you target all of the areas, giving you the gorgeous legs of a dancer.

1. Squats – This traditional exercise is still the most effective and powerful exercise for toning and conditioning the front of your legs. You can start off doing squats without weights, but as your legs become stronger you may want to hold a barbell, dumbbell, or other household items to add a little more resistance. Bend your knees lowering your buttocks as if you were sitting down onto the edge of your bed. At approximately the level of sitting down into a chair, push back up to a full standing position, and squeeze the thigh muscles tightly. Repeat this exercise for 15 repetitions, take a 1 minute break and repeat two more times.

2. Hamstring Curl – This exercise targets the back of your leg and can be performed using a weight bench, exercise ball, or even a chair. On a weight bench you will use the leg attachment and weights to bend your leg, contracting the hamstrings with the resistance of weight. Using an exercise ball or chair requires a little different technique. Lying on your back with the feet resting on the top of the exercise ball or chair, bend your legs pushing down on your heels, bending your knees to raise your buttocks and lower back. If you are doing the exercise correctly you will be contracting the hamstrings and feel the work in the back of your legs.

3. Lateral Leg Raise – Any leg exercises for women designed to target the outer thighs require a motion of spreading your legs against resistance. Starting off the resistance may just be the weight of your own legs, but with time you may want to add ankle weights, or use an exercise band to increase the difficulty. Lying on your side with your legs together, lift the upper leg straight up to your side. This spreading motion should be felt in your outer thigh, hips, and even up into the sides of your abdomen. After doing 15 reps, roll over and do the other side. Repeat for 3 sets on each side.

4. Inner Thigh Crunches – Your inner thighs can only be toned and strengthened by pressing your knees together powerfully. You can use equipment in an exercise gym, or purchase an inner thigh machine, but you can get almost as effective of a workout using a simple exercise or playground ball. Place the ball between your knees, then using your inner thigh muscles crush the ball with your knees trying to draw your knees together. You can vary the amount of air in the ball for more motion or to increase the resistance.

Leg exercises for women do not need to be complex or difficult. Using only these four simple exercises, you can tone, condition, and re-shape your entire leg. You do not even need to run to the gym, buy fancy equipment, or worry about exercise clothes. These exercises are simple to do at home, and are highly effective.

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