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What are the Best Exercises to Tone Legs?

Diane Goettel
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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One of the best ways to tone the legs is to practice regular cardiovascular exercises. Running, walking, bicycling, hiking, or using machines such as elliptical gliders or stair climbers are all great cardiovascular exercises to tone legs. This is because the legs are the targeted body part in all of these exercises. Also, cardiovascular exercises like these will help to burn body fat, which will show off the muscle tone that exists within the legs as well as the muscle tone that will be achieved through these exercises.

In addition to sticking to a regular cardiovascular exercise routine and keeping a healthy diet that is low in saturated fats, there are a number of specific exercises to tone legs. Lunges and squats are both exercises that are great for toning the legs. A lunge is performed by standing straight with the feet together and then stepping one leg out as far as possible. Then, the other leg is brought down as close as possible to the ground while keeping the leg mostly straight and then pushing back up.

A squat is an exercise to tone legs that simply involves starting in a standing position, squatting down to the ground, and then standing back up all while keeping the back and head erect. Both squats and lunges are two of the best exercises to tone legs. To start, do one cycle of 15 repetitions of each — that's 15 repetitions using each leg for the lunges — and then increase the number of cycles of these repetitions. These exercises to tone legs can be intensified by holding light hand weights while performing the exercises.

Other exercises to tone legs include glute crunches, inner thigh leg lifts, and outer thigh leg lifts. There are a number of great fitness resources online that include videos and descriptions about how to perform these exercises. It is important to remember to check with a medical professional before beginning any kind of exercise regimen.

There are two main keys to getting the tones legs. One of the most important keys is to keep a healthy, balanced diet that is low in saturated fats and refined sugars. This will help the entire body, but will also help to shed excess fat that is cover the muscles in the legs. The second key is to combine exercises to tone legs with cardiovascular exercises. Doing all of these things in combination will lead to the best, most visible results in the shortest amount of time.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Diane Goettel
By Diane Goettel , Former Writer
"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount Vernon, New York with her husband, Noah. They are the proud parents of a Doberman Pinscher named Spoon. Specialties: book editing, book marketing, book publishing, freelance writing, magazine publishing, magazine writing, copywriting,"

Discussion Comments

By irontoenail — On Nov 29, 2014

@bythewell - I don't really think about it as being a goal so much as just that I have exercise in my daily routine. I looked up exercises to tone legs as well as the other major muscle groups and just figured out how often I needed to do them in order to stay healthy. Generally it seems you need a mix of body-weight exercises and cardiovascular exercises regularly.

By bythewell — On Nov 29, 2014

@browncoat - It depends on what kind of pain and also what your goal happens to be. If you are just looking to tone your legs I agree that you shouldn't be pushing past the point where you don't feel good. But if you're competing in a race or a triathlon or something like that, there is going to be a point where you have to push past the wall and that can be pretty painful.

I think that's probably a better goal than just toning up your legs, even if that's going to be a welcome result. I don't mean to imply that some goals are morally better than others because I don't believe they are, but completing a race is an obtainable goal and easy to manage, while you might never be completely happy with your new legs because there isn't an exact goal to aim for.

By browncoat — On Nov 28, 2014

Make sure that you know how to do exercises like lunges correctly, and try to do them in front of a mirror or maybe even a friend until you know you've got it. They are very popular as exercises that you can do at home to avoid going to the gym, but they can be very damaging to your knees if you aren't doing them properly.

Most exercises to tone your legs don't have to be that difficult and they absolutely shouldn't be painful. If you're experiencing pain you're doing it wrong.

Diane Goettel

Diane Goettel

Former Writer

"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount...
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