9 Expert Tips For Toned Summer Legs | sheerluxe.com

9 Expert Tips For Toned Summer Legs

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If you’ve been hanging on to your cropped trousers and midi skirts until now, it’s time to get your legs ready for summer. And there are plenty of ways to make you feel confident showing more than the usual amount of skin. We went straight to the experts for their top tips...

Think About Your Glutes

“Sitting at your desk all day makes your bum muscles (the glutes) extremely lazy but switching them on is crucial for toned legs. The glutes are some of the strongest muscles in the body, and I recommend starting your workout with glute activation exercises such as glute bridges, hip thrusts, clams and banded side steps. This means that when you move on to lower body exercises such as squats, lunges and deadlifts, your glutes will be used, too. If you don’t do this, your quads (thigh muscles) could become imbalanced – and you can’t have toned legs without a toned bum.” – Tanya Niedzwiecki, Founder of Tanya N Fitness

Get Brushing

“Body brush every day for three to four weeks and you’ll notice a significant improvement in the tone and texture of your legs. It helps stimulate circulation and lymphatic drainage to carry away trapped fluid that emphasises cellulite, making legs feel lighter and leaner. To further reduce water retention, make an effort to cut out hidden sources of salt and sugar within processed foods. For example, soup might seem saintly, but the salt it contains can easily be retained by the body. And it sounds trivial, but making sure you drink the best quality red wine and coffee available makes all the difference.” – Kate Shapland, Founder of Legology

Don’t Fear Supersets

“Resistance training is a sure-fire way to tone up the entire body, including legs. When it comes to lifting weights, don’t be afraid to carry out two rounds of your circuit back-to-back – known as a superset. Combining two, or even three exercises in one set will keep the heart rate as high as if you were jogging up a hill, meaning you’ll reap the benefits of cardio and resistance training. In short? You’ll burn a tonne of calories and activate more muscle fibres in your legs.” – Tanya Niedzwiecki

Choose HIIT

“For the best and quickest results, your weekly training plan should consist of three to four resistance training sessions and if you enjoy or have time to do cardio, favour high-intensity interval training (HIIT) over low-intensity steady state (LISS). With HIIT, your muscles will always be challenged to adapt and change, resulting in a lean figure, and studies show that HIIT continues to burn calories for up to 48 hours after your workout. Try sprinting at 80-100% for 30 seconds and then walk or rest for 60 seconds; complete 15 times for a killer workout.” – Tanya Niedzwiecki

On a Similar Note

Get Rolling

“If you’re not yet foam rolling, you should be. It’s an essential part of any fitness regime (it acts as a deep tissue massage and can even be used pre-workout as a warm-up). Plus, it can help tone up your legs. Using a foam roller helps liquefy and smooth congestion, flush out and boost the lymphatic system, increase immunity, stimulate blood circulation and hydrate the body’s connective tissue, all of which will help to banish pesky dimples and leave your legs feeling significantly more toned. Commit to foam rolling for 20 minutes a few times a week before a big event or summer holiday for best results.” – Lauren Roxburgh, author, presenter and alignment expert

Do Hill Sprints

“There’s a reason hill sprints are one of the hardest exercises you can do – they work your entire lower body and will supercharge any regime if you’re looking to tone up. Incorporate hill sprints (either outside or on the treadmill) into your workouts and you will see amazing weight loss and leg toning results.” – Steve Whittle, Virgin Active Senior Fitness Manager

Keep Them Busy

“The best legs are those which keep moving. Do weight training, cardio, Zumba… anything to use your legs. Walking is an underrated activity – it’s low impact, burns energy, increases metabolic rate, doesn’t raise stress (cortisol) levels and is good for mental health. Aim for at least 15,000 steps a day for maximum results.” – Tanya Niedzwiecki

Eat Well

“You can’t out-exercise a bad diet but there’s also no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to food. Eat for your body size & activity levels, aiming to get 70-80% of your calories from unprocessed, nutritious sources. If you want toned legs, you have to lose the fat, so learn to eat well every day – fruit, vegetables and plenty of lean protein.” – Tanya Niedzwiecki

Slow Down

“When doing squats, lunges and other leg exercises, start slowing down your reps to at least five seconds. If you can't do exercises that slowly, then at least perform the negative as slowly as you can – so, if you are doing a squat, make the squatting down five seconds long. This will boost progress quickly as although you are not ‘pushing’ weight per se, your muscle fibres are still contracting.” – Steve Whittle

 

 

Inspiration Credits:   Nike.com, Instagram.com/PepaMack
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