When it comes to getting a fit body, there are no shortcuts outside of committing to a regular exercise routine and healthy diet. Although achieving a toned tummy and lean legs takes time and effort, it is possible to see quicker body-changing results by doing the right exercises consistently. In addition to strength training three to four times per week, you will also need to do cardiovascular exercise five times per week to burn calories and achieve optimal results.
Hold the Plank
The plank is one of the top abdominal toning exercises. Perform a plank by lying face-down on a mat. Push yourself up so that you are resting on your toes and forearms with elbows underneath your shoulders. Contract your abdominals by drawing your belly button into your spine. Your body should form a straight line from head to toes. Hold this position until fatigue sets in or aim to hold for 30 to 45 seconds, progressing to one minute holds. Repeat three times per day up to five times per week for tummy toning results.
Squat It Out
Get toned legs quickly by adding squats into your usual workout routine. Squats target the major muscle groups of the lower body including the quadriceps and gluteals. Aim to do squats three to four times per week with a day off in between to allow muscles adequate recovery time. Do squats at home or in the gym by standing tall with feet hip-width apart and feet slightly turned out. Contract your abdominals as you lower down into a squat position. Your knees should be over your toes as you stick your butt out behind you. Rise to start position and repeat 10 to 15 times for a total of three sets. Progress this exercise by holding a dumbbell in each hand for added resistance.
Crunch To The Beat
Save time and target both the abs and legs with an exercise termed Crunch Beat by Better Homes and Gardens. Do this exercise on a mat facing up with knees bent at 90 degrees and shins parallel to the floor. Place hands gently behind the head and perform a crunch by lifting your shoulders off the mat. Next, extend your legs such that they are diagonal to the floor and simultaneously extend arms up overhead. Cross ankles under and over each other in a scissoring action up to 10 times. Rest and lower to start position before repeating for two more sets.
Pump Up Your Heart
Cardiovascular exercise burns calories for weight loss all over the body including the stomach and legs. You can do as many abs and leg exercises as you desire but if you have extra layers of fat, your muscles will remain hidden. Aim to do cardio five times per week for a minimum of 150 minutes per week at a moderate intensity. If you have a lot of weight to lose, you will need to exceed this number. Try running, biking or swimming for 45-minute sessions five times per week. Alternate hard workouts with easy workouts to avoid boredom and increase the metabolic rate for fat-loss.