It’s almost time to bare those legs.
Short season, when the weather is warm and it feels good to wear shorts, skirts and dresses. When it comes to toning up your legs, you can’t beat the squat. This multi-muscle movement targets your hips, thighs, core and calves.
Squat technique can be complex but with the right instruction you’ll be squatin’ like a pro in no time. Watch the below video on learn how to perform a squat correctly. You can do a squat with body weight if you are new to this exercise. Add weights when you need an increased the challenge.
Once you have your basic squat down then it’s time to change it up. Here are three ways to change up your squat to target different muscles groups and tone your legs for summer short season.
Heels Up Squat
During the heels up squat your quadriceps will be emphasized with each movement. Use a plate or small dumbbells to raise your heels 1 to 2 inches. Going higher than that may put too much pressure on the knees. If you are new to this exercise, start with just body weight. As you progress, include weights like dummbells or kettlebells.
Watch the video below to learn how to do the heels up squat.
The sumo squat is a great way to tone your inner thighs. Think second position ballet plie’ when you preform this exercise. Make sure to push your knees back so they stay in line with your middle toes. Master this exercise first with body weight. Once you can do 10 sumo squats with good form, add a kettlebell or dumbbell.
Coach Amber, who’s 25 weeks pregnant, demos how to do the sumo squat.
Single Leg Split Squat
Unilateral exercises are not only great for toning your legs but balancing out muscular asymmetries. Do this exercise correctly and you’ll feel it in your glutes (butt muscles). Focus on keeping your front heel down as you bend both knees. Like the other exercises, get the body weight version down first. Progress to grabbing a dumbbell in each hand to make this exercise more challenge.
If you are new to these exercises, I want you to start out with 2 sets of 15 repetitions only using your body weight. Trust me, if you use perfect form and maximize your range of motion you will totally feel it and get results.
When it’s time to increase the intensity of these exercises grab some weights. Change your workout to 3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions. Make sure you feel the burn in your muscles when you are done with each set.
These strength training exercises will do more than just make your legs look better in shorts. Adding lean muscle to your legs will also increase your metabolism and help you burn overall body fat.
Let me know how these exercises go.