If you are one of those busy women who just can’t seem to find time for yoga, pilates or sculpt class but you desperately want strong, sculpted legs, there is no need to be discouraged. There are many at-home sculpting exercises you can do which target your thigh and calf muscles. The good news is, most of these exercises require no paraphernalia and can be done while you are multitasking.
After-Shower Thigh Power
Whether you shower in the morning or before bed, there are some great thigh exercises you can do while you are blow drying or styling your hair or even brushing your teeth. Perform plie squats while you finish your beauty routine. Stand in plie position, with your spine stacked and tall, buttocks tucked in, knees wide and toes turned out. Lower your hips until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor or at 90-degree angle to your shins. Not everyone can get this low, so pay attention to your knee joints and be careful not to over strain the groin area. At the bottom of the squat, perform 6-inch lifts up and down squeezing from underneath the thighs and up into the gluteus muscles. Return to the starting position. Perform the sequence for eight to 10 repetitions or until muscles feel fatigued.
Stairs for Stunning Calves
Your lower calf has a long, broad smooth muscle called the soleus, and the large round muscle at the top part of the calf is the gastrocnemeus. Stair calf raises target the whole calf and will help to tone and sculpt your lower leg muscles as well as strengthen the derrier. Stand on the bottom stair with just the balls of your feet. Hold on to the the wall or banister for balance. Squeeze your buttocks muscles and do not bend your knees. Keeping your toes straight ahead, slowly lower your heel towards the floor until you feel a full stretch. Raise your heels back up and lift high onto the balls of your feet. Perform about 10 repetitions of lowering and raising your heels. Repeat the sequence with your toes slightly turned out, or duck feet. Finally, repeat the sequence with your toes slightly turned in, or pigeon-toed.
Recipe For Thinner Thighs
When you are cooking up something good for dinner, think thighs. While you are standing chopping, peeling and stirring, stand on one leg with a slightly softened knee and work your outer thighs. Make sure your hips are squared, and your knees are facing straight ahead. Without rotating your knee up toward the ceiling, slowly lift one leg straight out to the side keeping your foot flexed and facing forward. Once it is as high as it will comfortably go, lift your leg up and down about six inches, controlled, without leaning to the other side. Perform 20 to 25 reps and repeat sequence on the other leg. Comple three or four sets. If you want to challenge your outer thigh muscles more, strap on a 3 or 5 lb. ankle weight.
Tone Your Adductors
You toned your outer thighs or abductors while cooking, now your favorite show is on the tube, which just happens to be the perfect time to target your inner thighs or adductors. This exercise requires a prop. You can use a couple of throw pillows, a 6-to-8 inch-wide box or stool, or a stability ball. Take a seat on the floor. Place your hands directly behind you and sit up tall with both legs extended straight out in front of you a little more than hip-distance apart. Place your prop firmly between your ankle bones with feet flexed up towards the ceiling and heels pressing forward. Contract your abdominal muscles and lift your heels one to two inches off the floor. Squeeze the prop between your feet for about 10 to 20 seconds. These are isometric contractions and are very effective for toning and strengthening specific muscles. Try to work up to holding the contraction for 30 to 60 seconds, or throughout the duration of a commercial break.