It’s no secret that the legs and glutes are some of the biggest muscles in the human body. In this article, I want to share with you 5 leg workouts on how to tone your legs without bulking up.
Women have about four times as many foot problems as men; lifelong patterns of wearing high heels often are the culprit.
I actually don’t mind wearing heels if they are the right kind. To be honest, women usually, wear them to make their legs look better. You know what else will make your legs look better…doing the exercises described below.
If you have a strong base, more than likely the rest of your body is fit and tone too. Also, when you work the largest muscles in your body, you burn an extraordinary amount of calories.
We all know what squats are, and how effective they can be at building leg strength. But squats aren’t the only workout around for the legs.
As a matter of fact, when it comes to applicable and practical movements, the squat might be kind of low on the list of exercises.
So if you are you wanting to firm and tone up your legs, glutes, and backside, I’ve got 5 leg workouts that can get those legs looking shapely and toned.
5 Workouts To Tone Your Legs At Home
1) Prisoner Squat
- Stand with your feet just greater than shoulder-width apart.
- Clasp your hands behind your head.
- Keep your elbows back and shoulder blades pulled together to work the upper back.
- Start the movement at the hip joint. Push your hips backward and “sit back into a chair.” Make your hips go back as far as possible
- Squat as deep as possible, but keep your low back in a neutral position.
- Don’t let your lower back round.
- Push with your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps to return to the start position.
2) Split Squat With Elevated Front Foot
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Step forward with your right leg, taking a slightly larger than a normal step, and put it on a 6-inch platform. Press the front of your left foot into the ground and use it to help keep your balance. The left knee should also be bent.
- Contract your glutes, brace your abs and keep your spine in a neutral position.
- Lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the ground.
- Keep your upper body upright and lower your back flat.
- Push up to the upright position, but don’t step back. Stay in a split-squat stance.
- Perform all the reps for one leg then switch.
3) The Step-up
- Stand facing a bench or elevated platform. Place one foot on the bench and the other on the floor.
- With your abs braced and glutes squeezed, start the movement by pushing through the bench foot to lift the body up to the standing position.
- Lower your body under control. Pause briefly at the bottom and repeat.
- Complete all reps for one side before changing legs.
- Start on a low step (6-inches) and increase the height of the step as you improve.
4) Bulgarian Split-Squat
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Place the instep of one foot on a bench. Step forward with the other foot, taking a slightly larger than normal step.
- Contract your glutes, brace your as and keep your spine in a neutral position.
- Lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the ground.
- Keep your upper body upright and lower back flat.
- Push up to the upright position. Stay in a split-squat stance.
- Perform all reps for one leg and then switch.
5) Prisoner Forward Lunge
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a light dumbbell in each hand.
- Clasp your hands behind your head. Keep your elbows back and shoulder blades pulled together to work the upper back.
- Step forward with your right leg, taking a slightly larger than normal step.
- Keep your left toe on the ground and use it to help keep your balance. The left knee should also be bent. Lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the ground.
- Keep your upper body upright and your lower back flat.
- Push with your right leg to return to the starting position.
What To Eat For Toning Your Legs
The above-mentioned workouts will be great for burning calories, shredding bodyfat, and giving definition to your shapely legs. It would be dismissive or naive to think that nutrition won’t play a part in getting those toned legs.
Tone and definition come through on your body only when your body fat percentage is low. You can have the nicest legs, abs, or muscles, but if you’re not eating correctly, they’ll never show through.
Notice I didn’t say anything about losing weight. There’s a big difference between losing weight and lowering your bodyfat percentage. It’s quite possible to lose bodyfat add a little bit of muscle, for definition and tone, and weigh the same.
When you’re making food choices, make sure you’re eating plenty of protein, vegetables, and slow-digesting carbohydrates. This will give your body the fuel it needs to power through these workouts, and simultaneously reducing your bodyfat percentage.
How Do I Get Toned Without Bulking Up?
There’s a big misperception about women getting “bulky” when they workout. As a trainer, I hear this all the time, yet I rarely see bulky women. And the women that are bulky, are the ones in competitions, and they’re actively trying to add muscle mass.
For the most part, women just don’t have the testosterone levels to add muscle mass as men do. This isn’t to say, that women can’t add muscle mass, it’s just different, and probably harder since our bodies aren’t designed to add muscle.
To add muscle mass, you need to be lifting hard, and you need to be lifting heavy! And I’m not talking about doing squats with 30-pound weights. I’m talking about adding plates on the bar and doing multiple sets and repetitions.
If for some reason you are a woman that can add muscle mass easily and you want to avoid it, the best thing you can do is lift lighter weights, with more repetitions. This will allow you to burn calories, while still maintaining your muscle tone, and possibly adding a little bit more muscle.
How do I Tone up While Getting Leaner Legs?
Definition in your legs and calves will be mostly a contribution to what you eat. The overall body fat will determine how toned your body looks. While lifting and exercising will add or maintain the muscles, if they’re covered in a layer of body fat, you’ll never get the definition you want.
The best thing you can do to get tone while getting leaner legs is to consume a healthy diet. Minimize the sugar intake, and stick to lean proteins, lots of vegetables, and slow-digesting carbohydrates. This will minimize any body fat, combined with a regular exercise routine, and you’ll get thinner more defined legs.
Conclusion of Bodyweight Leg Workouts
Your lower body is the foundation for so much in everyday movements and physical performance as well as overall health as we age.
Building strong and powerful glutes and thighs will help you do all your favorite activities better.
Practice the exercises I’ve shown you, choosing those that match your goals best, and you’ll have a strong lower body in no time.
And let’s face it ladies, having a shapely body is a confidence booster. It makes you feel good, and it’s nice to see our hard work paying off.
To get more details on how these exercises can help your overall fitness check out both of the reviews on my website.
FAQ on Leg Toning Workouts
Will squats help with toning my legs?
Yes, doing exercises like squats, deadlifts, and lunges are excellent at reducing cellulite and adding definition.
What foods will help with toning my legs?
Foods high in protein with moderate levels of healthy fats and carbohydrates will help with muscle gains and reducing bodyfat.
How do I get a nice booty quick?
Sticking to a strict routine of squats, deadlifts, walking lunges and leg extensions will help get a nice booty. Be sure to incorporate the correct fuels to make the muscle mass gains.
What kinds of exercises target the glutes?
Stick to doing lower half workouts that include, hip-thrusts, squats, deadlifts, single-leg exercises, and dumbbell step-ups.