QUESTION: Now that the weather is warmer, I want to wear more dresses, shorts, etc. Can you suggest an effective exercise to tone my legs?
First, I encourage you set aside at least 30 minutes per day for general exercise, in addition to any toning exercises you might require. New research says we should all be logging at least 10,000 steps per day.
The main point is that you should be moving. Unless you are consistently active and eating a sensible diet (fruits, vegetables, low fat, etc.), you will not see the results you desire.
Now, for those legs: My recommend wall sits. This one exercise will strength the quadriceps (front of leg), hamstring (back of leg), calves and glutes (butt). In addition, it can also strengthen the adductors (inner thigh). During a recent trip to NYC, I did wall sits outside in a park. You can do them anywhere there is a wall.
Let’s get started.
• Place your back against a wall. Your feet should be roughly two feet away from the wall, planted firmly on the ground and shoulder width apart.
• Keeping your back against the wall, slowly slide down until your legs are bent at a right angle. This angle is vital because if your thighs are not parallel to the ground, the muscles will not get a proper workout.
• Your knees should be directly above your ankles, and your back should touch the wall at all times.
• Try to hold that position for 30 to 60 seconds. Start off with three sets, resting 30 seconds between each sets.
• As you gain strength, add 10 seconds to the time you hold the 90-degree position.
You may feel a slight burn in your quadriceps, which is normal. Stop if you feel pain in the knee area. Consult a physician before starting any new exercise regime.
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Until next time, I wish you good health, joy and wellness!
Sondra E. Z. Hines is an AFAA-certified group fitness instructor, Zumba instructor, workshop presenter and motivational speaker. Follow her on Twitter.