3 Easy and Effective Leg Exercises for Women

May 25, 2013 | Jazmin Dorsey

Coming Up

No one is completely happy with how they look. But Dove Ads have made it clear that females are unhappier with their body image then males. And one of the major areas of dissatisfaction for many women is their legs.

Take charge this summer. Instead of covering up your legs, make a concerted effort to change how they look and feel. There's no way around it; you've got do it the old-fashioned way—with hard work. But the process can be made easier if you perform the following exercises. (Try these as well: 3 Fun Workouts for Women.)

Lunges

Lunges work your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. There are multiple variations—forward, reverse and side lunges. The move is simple and you can quickly begin to feel your legs gaining strength.

Sets/Reps: 3x10 each side

  • Start in a standing position
  • Step your right/left foot forward about two feet, bending into the position with your hips and legs aligned
  • Step back into your standing position
  • With your opposite foot, step about two feet forward, bending into the position with your hips and legs aligned

Plié Squats

There's a reason dancers have such great legs. They constantly do plié squats. Different from regular squats, plié squats work the glutes, quads and hip muscles. Check out the video at the top.

Sets/Reps: 3x15

  • Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart
  • Point your toes out
  • Keeping your upper body straight, squat into a sitting position
  • Come back up to your starting position and repeat

Stair Climbing (Step-Ups)

Sets/Reps: 3x6-8 each leg

  • Holding a bar on your upper back, assume athletic stance six inches from knee-high box or bench
  • Place your right foot fully on the box
  • Contract your right quad and glute to explosively drive your body up
  • Drive your left knee up until your thigh is parallel to the ground
  • Bend your right knee and hip to lower your left leg to the ground and return to starting position
  • Repeat for specified reps; perform set on opposite leg
Topics: LOWER BODY

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