No doubt about it: You want firm, sculpted legs that look great in flirty skirts and skimpy shorts. For the sleekest, strongest shape, you need to target the muscles in your calves and thighs. When it comes to legs, most lower-body exercises that you perform while standing work all the muscles at once. That's because when you support and move your body weight, surrounding muscles, as well as specific target muscles, kick in to help out. For example, a lunge targets the front of your thighs (your quadriceps), the back of your thighs (your hamstrings), your inner thighs (a group of five different muscles), your calves (gastrocnemius) and your rear end (gluteal muscles.) We picked six great lower-body moves that you can do in less than 20 minutes.
One thing to keep in mind is that even though sculpting moves absolutely firm you up and take away the jiggle, they won't whittle away excess fat. So to optimize results, include cardio in your daily routine to decrease fat on the thighs, and perform the following leg moves two to three times per week.
How to do it:
• Choose a weight that is heavy enough to challenge your target muscles, but not so heavy that your joints feel strained. Start with dumbbells that are at least 5 to 8 pounds and gradually work up to using 8 to 12 pounds, depending on the exercise.
• Start by performing one set of 12 to 15 repetitions of each exercise, and work up to doing three sets of 12 to 15 reps. Do this workout two to three times a week with a rest day in between.
• Modify this workout to match your fitness level. Follow the recommended moves, or adapt them as needed to make them easier or more challenging.
• What you need: weights, a step and a stability ball.
More Fit Zone Workouts on MSN Health & Fitness:
This diet and exercise program should not be followed without first consulting a health care professional. If you have any special health conditions requiring attention, you should consult with your health care professional regularly regarding possible modification of this program.
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