To slim down and firm your legs, you need to target the right areas. Many exercises can help slim and tone your overall body, but few exercises actually reduce leg size and increase muscle tone. A combination of the following leg exercises can help you achieve results.
Do lunges. Stand in an upright position with feet next to each other. Take one large step forward with your left leg, making sure that your back remains straight, and bend both knees. Your left knee should be at a 90-degree angle, and your right knee should be resting several inches above the floor. Use your left leg to come back to a standing position. Alternate legs, and do 15 to 20 repetitions on each leg. Lunges should be performed three to four days a week.
Step up. Stand in an upright position facing a step or bench. Beginners should use a bench that is no more than 12 inches high. Experienced users may increase step height to a level that is more challenging, such as 15 to 20 inches. Step up onto the bench with your left foot, allowing your right foot to follow and lightly touch the bench, while keeping your weight on your left leg. Gently step down from the bench, and repeat on the other leg. Do 20 repetitions on each leg. Step exercises should be done two to three times a week.
Swim to get slim. Water provides a natural resistance that helps to tone and slim legs. Begin at one end of a shallow pool and swim to the other end, focusing on kicking your legs. Return to your beginning spot by slowly running underwater until you reach the other side. To achieve best results, spend 30 to 40 minutes on this exercise three to four times a week.
Try cycling. Cycling, either indoors or outdoors, will engage all of the muscles in your legs. If you are using a stationary bike, choose a program that replicates flat terrain as well as hill intervals. Switching between terrains will allow all of the leg muscle groups to be used. If cycling outdoors, select a location that has a mixture of moderate-to-steep inclines as well as relatively flat areas, which can often be found along hiking paths and nature trails. Beginning users should cycle two days per week, gradually working up to four days.
Do squats. Stand on a flat surface with your feet placed hip distance apart. Bend at the knee forming a 90-degree angle. Be sure that your knees do not extend past your toes. Hold the position for 10 seconds and then come back to a standing position. Continue until you have completed three sets of 10 squats. Rest in between each set. For best results, do squats four to five times a week. A vibration plate can help you maximise your effort. Vibration plates send gentle vibrations throughout your body 40 to 50 times per minute, causing muscles to contract at a much quicker pace than with weight resistance alone. These contractions, combined with the resistance produced from squats, make muscles work harder, resulting in increased calorie burn and muscle tone. Vibration plates can be found at some private gyms or purchased online from such sites as Vibradepot.com, Generationplate.com and Europlate.com. Vibration plates range in price from £650 to £6,500 depending on the model and features.