How to get the legs you want without weights
Updated: Sep 7
Most of us struggle with looking great in a pair of shorts but at the end of the day it's down to toning those muscles and shredding that fat.
Most people make such a fuss out of training at the gym or training in general and it doesn't need to be that way. Fifteen minutes a day is all you need to tone those legs, you don't need weights all you need is the motivation, time and determination to do it. The fat, well that's down to diet and i'll cover how to shred the fat in a future blog.
You can't spot reduce for fat loss but the more you tone those muscles the better those legs will look. The more you train whilst eating the right foods the more definition you will get as the fat will start to reduce and your muscle tone will show through.
The ideal leg workout that you are looking for, the one that pummels away the fat whilst building muscle, well that one doesn't exist but this one goes someway close to achieving what you are looking for.
Tone up your legs with these 7 exercises which you can do from home or the gym with or without weights, all you've got to do is actually, do them and more than once.
You may need a exercise mat for some of these exercises, a pair of dumbbells or/and a pair of wrist weights and a pair of ankle weights. These are not necessary but are worth the extra effort as more weight means toned muscles faster.
CROSS-STEP WALK TO RUN
YOU SHOULD BE PRETTY MUCH WORN OUT BY THE END OF THIS EXERCISE. IT IS A CARDIO EXERCISE AND NECESSARY TO GET YOUR HEART RATE UP TO THE RIGHT INTENSITY TO BURN FAT AND STORED ENERGY.
You will need a flight of stairs for this exercise whether it be a set of outdoor steps or indoor steps. Cross-stepping can feel a bit strange at first as it is not natural to walk or run this way but this is a really good exercise to do for the inner thigh and the outer hip. Start off slowly then get faster as you do more flights. To make the exercise harder increase the distance between each leg.
Start at the bottom of the stairs. Start with the leg you feel most comfortable starting with.
Cross one leg over the other and place it on the first step.
Cross the opposite leg onto the second step and repeat until you are at the top.
Walk back down to the bottom of the stairs.
Repeat the exercise, this time a little faster than before.
Repeat for a series of ten flights with each flight getting faster each time.
THIS IS THE SECOND EXERCISE WHICH ALSO ACTS AS A CARDIO EXERCISE WHILST HELPING TO TONING YOUR LEGS AND SHOULDERS.
Stand with your legs slightly more than shoulder-width apart with your feet flat on the ground and with your toes pointed slightly outward.
Raise your arms in the air with your fingers pointing towards the ceiling.
Squat down to the count of four making sure your knees are over your toes and hold the position for two seconds. At the same time lower your arms out to the front of you in line with your shoulders. Move back to the starting position at a count of one second and return your arms to the starting position.
Repeat fifteen times at a decent speed, rest for thirty seconds then repeat for a further two sets of fifteen reps. You should find it difficult to speak if you have accelerated your heart rate to the right level to continue on to exercise and burn fat and tone those legs.
EXTENDED LEG LIFT
Lie on your side on the floor and support your neck on your straightened arm.
Move the top leg forward so it’s resting on the floor in front of you, point your toes so it forms a straight line and do not bend it at the knee.
Keep the leg which is on the floor underneath you extended and point your toes.
Lift your bottom leg off the floor approximately six inches, hold for thirty seconds and lower it back down. If you feel the burn keep your leg in place, do not lower it down. If you do not feel the burn assess your posture and straightness of your leg and continue for one minute rather than thirty seconds.
Turn over and repeat with the other leg.
Repeat for three sets of 30 seconds on each leg.
STANDING FORWARD LEG RAISE
Start by standing up straight with one foot flat on the floor. Make sure your toes are pointing forward and your knee and foot are aligned.
Place your opposite foot on the floor in front of the flat foot with your toes pointed and touching the floor.
Very slowly lift the foot in front as high as you can get it, keeping those toes pointed and close to the other leg. You should aim to raise it to the level of your other knee.
Very slowly lower it back down to the starting position.
Hold out your arms to the sides in line with your shoulders for balance, this will also help to tone your shoulders. If you need to hold onto a chair for balance instead you can but this takes the weight off the leg supporting your weight which will not help to produce the same results.
Perform the move for 30 seconds then change legs.
Perform three sets of 30 seconds on each leg.
Lie on your back on the floor with your arms at your sides and your knees bent.
Place your feet shoulder width apart and flat on the floor.
Pull your abdominal muscles in toward your spine and ensure your lower back is flat on the floor.
Squeeze your glutes (bum muscles) tight and slowly lift your bottom off the floor, pushing up with your feet. Make sure you do not bend your lower back by raising too high. you should aim 45 degree angle from your knees to your back (inline with the floor)
Count for 4 seconds on the way up, hold it for 2 seconds at the top and lower for 1 second.
Repeat for 3 sets of 12 floor bridges.
Make sure you squeeze your glutes and keep your stomach pulled in throughout the exercise.
I've popped this video in to show you how far up you should raise your hips. Too far will damage your back eventually and too little will not cause the tension you need.
WALKING SINGLE-LEG STRAIGHT LEG DEADLIFT
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your toes pointed forward.
Place your arms hanging to the side of your thighs.
Lift your right leg behind you, keeping your lower back naturally arched, bend forward at your hips and lower your body until it’s nearly parallel to the floor.
Reach forward with your opposite hand and touch the floor. Return to the starting position.
Take two steps forward, and repeat the movement with the opposite leg.
Repeat the exercise ten times then turn around and repeat the exercise until you have returned to the starting point.
Stand with your feet twice shoulder-width apart.
Keep the right leg straight and push your hips to the left bending your left knee.
Lower your body until your left thigh is parallel to the floor. Your feet should remain flat on the floor at all times.
Pause for two seconds, and return to the starting position.
Perform twelve reps on this side then switch to the other side.
Repeat twelve times on the other side.
Repeat for 3 sets of 12 reps
And that's it for this leg workout. It is an achievable workout no matter what your size and fitness ability are. You may have to do less sets or you may need to do the exercises over a longer period of time. The more you do it, the easier it will become.
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