Friday, April 1, 2011

How to Get Gorgeous Legs by Summer!

Hello, Lovelies!  I'm sure many of you have been working hard to shed some weight before bikini season.  However, a trim tummy isn't the only thing that will make you look fabulous in your swim wear, dress, or skirt!  Toned legs can make anyone look thinner, stronger, sexier, and more poised.  While running and other cardio workouts can help you shed pounds, tone up, and increase your endurance, it usually won't give you the sexy legs you dream of.

Flashing some leg at a friend's wedding.  My legs are the second from the left.
Although you can't get great legs overnight, you can get them by the time summer arrives!  As a volleyball player, I have gotten many compliments on my legs (surprisingly, more often from other women).  This is because volleyball involves a lot of lower body strength, which is acquired from quick muscle movements and a ton of jumping.  However, you don't have to take up a sport to get the same results.  Below are some great exercises that I do to help keep my legs looking good year round.  Click each link to go to a tutorial from Shape Magazine that explains how to properly execute the exercise.  

  • Leg Press - If you've never done this exercise before, do not add any weight to the machine to start. Also, push with your heels to really work your butt and hamstrings!
  • Leg Extensions - Make sure to adjust the chair so the inside of your knees is pressed against seat. This will stabilize your legs and prevent knee injuries.
  • Hamstring Curl - If you are feeling a burn in your calves, try lifting your toes towards the ceiling- this will stabilize your lower legs and help you target your hammies!
  • Wall Sits - I recommend doing longer sets than what is specified in the tutorial (try working your way up to 3 sets of 60 seconds each)!
  • Cable Abduction - If you have trouble keeping your hips facing forward when doing these, try lowering the weight.
  • Lunges - Try to lower your knee until it nearly touches the ground before raising back up. This will give you the best results.
  • Calf Raises - You do not need the machine shown in this tutorial- you can simply do this exercise on a stair or aerobic step. Another benefit of calf raises is that they will help you walk in heels with ease.

Keep in mind, you don't have to lift a ton of weight to see results, but you should always be challenging yourself. Doing these exercises correctly is the most important thing. This will help you avoid injury while providing the greatest benefit to your muscles!  When first attempting exercises involving machines, start with little to no weight until you feel comfortable with the motion. Once you feel ready, add weight until it is fairly difficult, but not painful to complete each set. If you do these exercises a few times each week, you will have longer looking, stronger, sexier legs by summer!

If you have any other tips or questions about leg exercises, I'd love to hear them!  Leave a comment below and let me know what's on your mind!


  1. This is great, Tara!! I love it! Shape magazine has a lot of great exercise tutorials, don't they!? Volleyballers usually do have hot legs, too! Good for you, lady! Keep up the volleyballin'! :) Thank you for letting me know about your post, I'm going to tweet it for ya!


  2. Thanks so much, Krys! I always appreciate your support!

  3. Great tips!!! I love working my legs ... The best feeling when they are sore .. :) Good Luck for your match tomorrow and Thank you for such a sweet comment on my post and for cheering for India!!!

    ♡ from ©

  4. My legs are my favorite thing to work out! I agree with Tanvi above, I actually like it when they get sore -- tells me it's making some progress!

  5. i really need to do more wall squats and lunges--i'm just so lazy about working out, haha. but i do mountain climb on the weekends!