Lean and Leggy: Best Workouts for Your Lower Half


By Brooke Chaplan


Let’s face it, the legs are the hardest section of the body to tone no matter your gender or body type. It’s difficult to rid yourself of those stubborn fat areas, but there has to be a secret, right? Simply looking at any athlete’s legs will confirm something at least is working. Combined with healthy eating habits and regular exercise, your thighs can be tamed. Just be ready to put in some hard work.

Free Weights

Free weights are incredibly effective, especially if you are not a fan of running. If a toned body and sculpted, tight legs are what you are looking for, weights are the way to go. You can do reps of squats to slim your thighs and butt, and you can do deadlifts for the backs of your legs.


Perform weighted toe raises to hone those calves. Best of all, starter free weight programs only take up about 30 minutes of your day for three days a week (poo-poo on those that say they have no time). And, if you really like it, you can start investing in a personal free weight set, saving you time and money.




Not everyone can do weights. It puts a lot of pressure on the lower back and knees. Luckily, there is a sport that circumvents this. Swimming is a sport that requires tremendous leg strength and muscle. There is not a swimmer around that does not have a set of finely toned legs. You use the legs to propel you through the water and your arms will be getting an extra workout as well. You also use your legs to help keep you afloat when you tread water.


Swimming practice involves more leg work than can be fit into this small description. If you don’t swim competitively, you’ll want to find good swimming instructors. They will guide your technique, as well as teach you the various exercises necessary to condition your body. A bonus for swimming is that you never feel sweaty.



One of the hardest cardio pushes out there, running works your entire body as it tones your legs. It also releases what’s known as the “runner’s high” when your brain floods your body with endorphins. Some runners enjoy marathons and long distances, which require merely a steady pace and a distance goal. Others focus heavily on sprints, running as fast as they can a short distance, and resting for an even shorter time before doing it again.


Put your legs to work by building and strengthening all leg muscles and the gluts. Depending on where you live, you can even push yourself to run along beaches and hiking trails to really take your training to the next level. Requiring only your two legs and determination, you can turn this exercise into anything you want to always keep it interesting. The only thing that limits you is your imagination.
Even these three sports mentioned and all of their conditioning fail to include all of the exercises known to build the lower half. What you put in, is what you get out. Never stop pushing yourself and you’ll see the results you’ve been looking for. Sign up with your local gym and take swimming lessons or get tips on proper technique for running and lifting. There are countless others out there to help you achieve your dream and want you to succeed. With endurance and hard work every day, you’ll finally have a lower half you will be proud to show off.


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