Having strong and sexy legs is every woman’s dream. However, getting lean, muscular legs may seem like a difficult achievement when busy daily schedules leave you with little time for exercising. The challenge is to find a leg workout that yields the greatest results in 15 minutes or less each day without disrupting time planned for other responsibilities. Fortunately, there are a number of short but effective exercises that target the various muscle groups in the legs. Here are five leg exercises that target the different areas of the legs and, when done correctly and performed regularly, will help you get the shapely, sexy legs you desire. Perform each exercise for a one-minute interval and repeat the sets in three total circuits.
Weighted side lunges
Side lunges are the perfect way to shape not only your quadriceps but also work the inner and outer thighs and calves. Complete weighted side lunges on each leg while holding a medicineball or a set of dumbbells. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, step to the side with your right leg, and sit into your lunge. Watch your form by ensuring that your back stays flat, your core is tightened, and your knee on the bending leg always remains behind your toes. To challenge yourself, add a rotational twist to each repetition by holding your dumbbells or medicine ball at chest height and turning your upper body to face the side of the bending leg.
Alternating step-back lunges
The step-back lunge is another effective exercise that helps improve balance by strengthening the hamstrings. Perform alternating step-back lunges for each leg while holding a pair of dumbbells. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step back with your right leg into a backwards lunge and keep your knees bent. Ensure that your knee on the forward-bending leg always stays in line with your ankle. Keep your chest up and your core tightened. Return to your original position and repeat with your left leg.
Squats are one of the best ways to strengthen the muscles of the legs and other parts of the lower body. The numerous variations of squats all have one thing in common: They are an easy, equipment-free way to train and to strengthen both the quadriceps and hamstrings. Jump squats are a variation that combine strength and flexibility with aerobic exercise. To perform a jump squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and sink into the squatting position. Keeping your core engaged, jump upward from below by straightening your legs. Finally, as you return to the floor, land back in your original squat position and watch your form. Squats should always be done with your body bending at the hips and thighs parallel to the floor. For additional safety, always shift your body weight to your heels and retain a flat back.
Deadlifts are an effective exercise to tone and strengthen the hamstrings. Select an adequate weight, such as a barbell or dumbbells, and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hold the weight in front of you and slowly bend from the waist to lower your weight all the way to the ground. Keep your legs mostly straight, but be sure to keep your knees slightly bent. Keep your back flat and tighten your core while bringing your upper body parallel to the ground. This will protect your lower back from accidental injury. Slowly return to your starting position by raising your upper body back up and tightening your hamstrings and butt.
For sexy, well-defined calves, try incorporating several sets of calf raises into your workout. There are a number of different ways to do calf raises effectively and to keep challenging yourself while working your calf muscles. Try the basic variation by standing behind a chair, holding on to its backrest, and slowly lifting your heels off the floor until only the balls of your feet are touching the ground. Lower both feet back to the floor while squeezing your calf muscles and repeat. If this exercise is too easy, you may want to try out more challenging variations. Complete this exercise on only one leg while keeping the other leg raised at a 90-degree angle to the back, or add 10 to 15 pound dumbbells to each hand for each repetition.