Leg Workouts For Women: Get Shapely Legs! (2023)

Strong is the new sexy, and utilizing leg workouts for women is how you too can achieve a shapely lower body!

Toned, muscular legs are one of the first things you notice on some of the fittest women around.

Leg workouts for women are a great way to build strong, sculpted legs.

Not only will you look great, but you will be able to perform everyday activities with ease and enhance your overall health.

Building lean muscle mass in your legs will help your body burn calories and fat.

Plus, you will be decreasing your risk of injury by strengthening the muscles around your joints.

And don’t forget, strength training also will decrease your risk for osteoporosis.

The benefits of building strong legs are numerous, so get started today with these leg workouts for women!

Don't forget the guns! Check out these bicep exercises for women!

Benefits of Strength Training in Women

Strength training has been found to have a number of benefits in women that go beyond just looking great too.

For one, weight training has been found to improve body image and health-related quality of life in women.

This is important for promoting psychological and mental well-being, and keeping women motivated to continue to engage in physical activity.

Research has shown that resistance training has numerous health benefits, including improving cardiovascular risk factors.

This is achieved through better insulin sensitivity, lower blood pressure, and an improved cholesterol profile.

In addition, resistance training can increase bone mineral density, which lowers your risk of osteoporosis, and chronic issues like low back pain.

As you can see, strength training is essential to any fitness routine.

And leg workouts for women are a great place to start.

Having strong legs allows you to perform everyday activities, like walking and climbing stairs.

Lifting, pushing, and pulling all require a strong lower body as well.

Doing leg workouts for women also means working out large muscle groups.

This will increase your calorie burn and build lean body mass.

This means you'll be able to lose weight and burn fat more efficiently too.

Always remember that form and quality is more important than how much weight you are using.

Studies have shown that as long as you are working the muscles to fatigue, you are going to achieve muscle growth and strength.

Find out why strength training for women over 40 is important to combat muscle loss and promote longevity!

Top 12 Leg Workouts for Women

When working out the legs, you will be focusing on several different muscle groups.

(Video) Do This Everyday To Have Long Straight Sexy Legs - Thigh and Leg Workout #6

This includes the hamstrings, quads, and calves.

I also include the glutes in leg exercises as these are prime movers in many of the leg workouts for women.

Plus, having toned glutes is essential in rounding out a toned lower body.

For all of these exercises, start out at a low weight and build up from there.

Aim to complete 10-12 reps of each movement for three sets.

Squats

Squats are one of the ultimate leg workouts for women. You will be working your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

Plus, you'll also be engaging and strengthening your core!

  • Begin with bodyweight squats if you are new to this move.
  • Stand with feet hip-width apart and squat your hips down and back while you bend your knees.
  • Try to keep your weight in your heels.
  • Then explode back up through your heels to a standing position.
  • Once you have perfected the form you can move to goblet squats.
  • This involves holding a kettlebell or dumbbell held at your chest and performing the same movement.
  • You can stick with dumbbells or if you feel confident, you can also move to squatting with a barbell across the shoulders.
  • You should always use a spotter, or at least a spotter rack to make sure you are safe doing this movement.

Deadlifts

Deadlifts are an amazing leg exercise that targets the glutes, quads, and hamstrings.

Of course, you will also be working the back and core as well, making this a great total body move as well.

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Hinge forward at the hips with a slight bend in the knees and grip the bar just outside of legs.
  • Keep the bar close to your body as you straighten your legs and explode up.
  • When the bar gets past your knees and your arms are straight, bring it against your thighs while keeping a straight back.
  • Then slowly lean forward at the hips while also bending your knees a little at the same time to lower the bar back down.

Standard Lunges

This is another great movement that will hit the glutes, quads, and hamstrings.

It will also help you improve your balance and core stability.

  • Keep your upper body straight, with your shoulders back.
  • Step forward with your right leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle and does not track over your toes.
  • Keep the weight in your heels and push back to the start position.
  • Then repeat on the left.
  • Keep alternating until you repeat 8-10 reps on each side.

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(Video) Get that Toned Legs & Round Booty Workout | Hourglass Program

Curtsey Lunges

The curtsey lunge will target the legs from different angles and really hit the medial and lateral quads, along with the adductor and abductor muscles in the legs.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips for stability.
  • Use your left leg to take a large step back and across to the right.
  • You will actually cross your left leg behind your right leg.
  • Then squat down so that your right thigh is parallel with the ground.
  • Push off with your left leg to straighten your legs and return to the top.
  • Then repeat on the other side.
  • Alternate between each side until you complete 8-10 reps on each side.
  • Once you perfect the form and gain strength, try holding dumbbells in your hands while you do this leg exercise.

Side Lunges

Another lunge variation, this one targets multiple muscles all at once.

This includes the lateral quad muscles, adductors, abductors, hip flexors, and glutes.

  • Stand with your knees and hips slightly bent and your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Take a step to the right.
  • Keep your toes pointed forward and stay low.
  • Extend the left knee, driving your weight to the right, flexing the knee and hip into a side lunge.
  • Pause at the bottom, and then extend and push up through the left leg to return to a standing position.
  • Then repeat to the right.
  • Do 8-10 reps on each side.

Walking Squats with Bands

This is a great move to strengthen the outer leg muscles — the abductors, glutes, and tensor fasciae latae.

  • To do this move, start in a shallow squat position with your legs hip-width apart and feet parallel.
  • Make sure you have a long length of space to walk down.
  • Place a looped resistance band around your thighs just above your knees.
  • Take one step to the right at a 45-degree angle while keeping yourself in the low crouched position.
  • Then step to the left at a 45-degree angle in the same crouch position.
  • Do 10 steps with each leg.

Barbell Hip Thrusters:

This lower body exercise will strengthen the gluteus maximus and medius and will also work the quads and hamstrings.

Strengthening these muscles will not only give you a great-looking butt and legs but will help you improve other exercises like the squat and deadlift.

  • Sit in front of a bench and lean your upper back on the bench with a barbell across your hips.
  • Place padding, such as a squat pad or a towel, around the barbell so that the bar doesn’t dig into your hip.
  • Keep your feet planted firmly on the ground, close to your butt.
  • Push your hips upward, driving the barbell up.
  • Hold for a second then lower back to the ground.

Standing Calf Raises

This is an excellent exercise to isolate the gastrocnemius muscles.

You can also do this exercise with a slight bend in the knees and you will hit the soleus muscle in your calves as well.

  • Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Push down into the soles of your feet and explode up to your toes.
  • Then slowly lower back down.

Side Leg Raises with Bands

This is a great addition to your leg workouts for women as it targets your glutes, lateral quads, adductors, and abductors.

You will also be engaging your core and abdominal oblique muscles.

  • Lie on your right side with a looped resistance band around your thighs, just above your knees.
  • Raise the left leg up to about 30-45 degrees and hold for a pause at the top.
  • Then slowly lower the leg back down to meet your bottom right leg.
  • Do 8-10 reps with the left leg, then flip over to lie on the left side and repeat 8-10 reps with the right leg.

Leg Workouts For Women: Get Shapely Legs! (8)

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Wall Sits

This is an excellent exercise to improve muscular endurance while working the quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

  • Hold yourself in a seated position with your back against a wall.
  • Try to keep your thighs parallel to the floor.
  • Try to hold this position for 30 seconds to start and gradually work your way up.
  • You can also hold a dumbbell or weight to increase the intensity.

Step-Ups

This exercise targets the glutes, hamstrings, and quads.

Additionally, it has the added benefit of improving your balance, stability, and core strength.

  • Stand with a step between 6 to 18 inches in front of you.
  • Start at a height that you feel comfortable stepping onto.
  • Step up onto the step with your right foot.
  • Place your whole foot on the step with the toes pointing forward.
  • Bring your left foot up behind you and up towards your chest while balancing on your right foot.
  • Hold this single-leg stance for a moment.
  • Then move the raised left leg back to the ground.
  • Step back with the right foot so that both feet are now on the ground where you started.
  • Do 8-10 reps on the right, then switch and repeat on the left.

Split Leg Squats

This works the same muscles as the standard squat, however also engages the core and enhances your ability to balance yourself by concentrating on one leg at a time.

  • Take a step forward with your right leg as if you were doing a lunge.
  • The heel of your left foot should be raised.
  • Slowly bend your right knee until your left knee almost touches the floor, then push back up.
  • Complete 8-10 reps on the right leg, then switch to the left.
  • Keep your knees in line with your toes and don’t let the front knee go past your toes as you lower your body.
  • Start out using your own body weight, and then add dumbbells as you gain strength.
  • You could also put your back leg on a bench to really up the intensity of this leg exercise!

Leg Workouts For Women: Get Shapely Legs! (13)

(Video) 17 Min Home Leg Workout Routine - Legs Thighs Buttocks Workout for Women & Men Lower Body Exercises

Holly Smith, M.D.

B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer

Writer, The Fit Mother Project

Holly is an osteopathic physician, runner, triathlete, and fitness and nutrition enthusiast.

She is board certified in nephrology and internal medicine, has a bachelors degree in dietetics and is a certified personal trainer with NASM-PES certification.

Holly has completed four full ironmans, twelve marathons, countless half ironmans, olympic distance triathlons, half marathons and numerous other road races.

Holly joined the Fit Father Project in May 2019 as a regular writer, contributing articles on health, wellness, exercise, and nutrition.

She has also recently qualified for the 2020 World Championships for Ironman 70.3, in New Zealand!

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Leg Workouts For Women: Get Shapely Legs! (15)

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FAQs

How can I get shapely legs fast? ›

Use these body weight workouts to help build muscle, burn fat and sculpt those shapely legs.
  1. Squats.
  2. Weighted squats.
  3. Lunges.
  4. Plank leg lifts.
  5. Box jumps.
  6. Burpees.
  7. Yoga or pilates.

How long does it take to get shapely legs? ›

You can see small results in even two to four weeks, after you begin a leg workout. You will have better stamina, and your legs will look a little more defined. But all in all, depending on your fitness levels, it does take three to four months for any remarkable difference.

How do you get gorgeous legs? ›

8 Ways to Make Your Legs Feel and Look Great
  1. Exercise Your Options. Shapely legs come from a combination of cardio and strength training or stretching. ...
  2. Shield Them From the Sun. ...
  3. Oil Them Up. ...
  4. Hair: Take It All Off. ...
  5. Combat Cellulite. ...
  6. Banish Varicose and Spider Veins. ...
  7. Dress to Impress. ...
  8. Walk the Walk.
18 Apr 2016

How do you get rid of jiggly thighs? ›

5 Best Strength Training Exercises To Get Rid Of Jiggly Thighs,...
  1. Barbell Back Squat.
  2. Bulgarian Split Squat.
  3. Stability Ball Leg Curl.
  4. Single-Leg Dumbbell Hip Thrust.
  5. Leg Extensions.
2 Mar 2022

How do I get rid of cellulite and tone my legs? ›

9 exercises for cellulite prone areas
  1. Step-ups. Muscles worked: Glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, core muscles. ...
  2. Curtsy lunge. Muscles worked: Glutes (especially gluteus medius), quadriceps, calves, core. ...
  3. Lateral lunge. ...
  4. Bulgarian split squat. ...
  5. Reverse lunge. ...
  6. Glute bridge. ...
  7. Squats. ...
  8. Squat jump.
27 Jun 2020

How do you get nice legs in 2 weeks? ›

Perform just strength-training exercises or combine strength training with cardio. For instance, do lunges, followed by chest presses. Then do jumping jacks and squats, followed by dumbbell curls and pushups.

What is the #1 leg exercise? ›

Best Single-Leg Exercises
  1. Cable glute kickbacks. ...
  2. Cable side leg raises. ...
  3. Bench supported single-leg deadlift. ...
  4. Bulgarian split squats. ...
  5. Pistol squat. ...
  6. Single-leg RDL. ...
  7. Single-leg feet elevated glute bridge. ...
  8. Single-leg stability ball leg curl.
23 Aug 2021

Can flabby inner thighs be toned? ›

Resistance training can help you build muscles in flabby inner-thigh areas, toning and filling out loose skin. Schedule resistance training exercises that require the movement of your inner thigh muscles.

Can you change the shape of your legs? ›

"You can change the composition of your leg muscles — the ratio of fat to lean mass. Increasing your strength and endurance will lead to a change in how your legs look," says Dr. Wright.

What is the best thigh slimming exercise? ›

The five most effective thigh slimming workouts include the squat, squat with leg raise, side leg raise, step-ups, and lunges. All the exercises have been discussed with the correct forms on how to do them.

How many times a week should I train legs? ›

Generally, it's recommended to train your legs three times a week, with each workout lasting 15 to 20 minutes and targeting different parts of the legs in each routine. For instance, a good plan would be to work on calves one day, thighs the next and then hips during the final session.

Does walking tone your legs? ›

Walking Benefits for Legs

Muscle tissue burns four times as many calories as fat, so the muscle you get from walking can also help you lose more weight. This means that you can realistically trim some of the fat from your legs and tone them within a month or two by walking briskly every day for 60 minutes per session.

How do you know if your legs are getting toned? ›

In the first weeks and months of a new workout, though, the signs will be so subtle that you might miss them.
  1. Increased Mobility. One of the first signs of muscle toning is an improvement in mobility, particularly if you're new to exercise. ...
  2. Longer, More Intense Workouts. ...
  3. Muscle Soreness. ...
  4. Weight Changes.
18 Apr 2018

How do models have smooth legs? ›

First, you combine white sugar, extra virgin olive oil and freshly-squeezed lemon juice in a bowl. Then, in the shower, you scrub. Really scrub—slough off all that dead skin. Then shave (I use a razor for each leg, as per some advice I screen-shotted on Pinterest).

How can I tighten my sagging legs? ›

Try to do 10 - 15 repetitions of each exercise and repeat for 2 - 3 sets.
  1. Squats. Squats will help tighten both your legs and your butt. ...
  2. Front Lunges. To begin this exercise, stand up with your feet slightly less than shoulder width apart. ...
  3. Alternating Squat Kicks. ...
  4. Reverse Plank Dips. ...
  5. Side Lunges.

What causes saggy thighs? ›

Inner thigh sagging can be the result of factors like weight loss, muscle loss, or aging. As we age, our muscle tone tends to decrease unless we work very hard to maintain it through specific and specialized exercises. Skin on the legs, including the thighs, will also begin to lose tone and youthfulness with age.

How long do you do squats before you see results? ›

Without weights, the more squats, the better. If you complete three sets of 12 reps three times a week alongside cardio, you should start to see results after two to three weeks.

Can drinking more water reduce cellulite? ›

According to health experts, maintaining hydration is key to the prevention of cellulite, and may even reverse it. Cellulite is a common lipodystrophy in women caused by compaction of adipose tissue, which puts pressure on connective tissue, causing the 'orange peel' effect.

What foods cause cellulite? ›

Without much thought put into the products we are consuming and how it may affect our body, we are unknowingly ingesting food that causes cellulite.
  • What Food Causes Cellulite? ...
  • Dressing, Sauces, And Spreads. ...
  • Processed Meats And Cheese. ...
  • Carbonated, Caffeinated and Alcoholic Beverages. ...
  • Fast and Fried Foods. ...
  • Sweets And Treats.
6 Aug 2018

How do you get rid of cottage cheese legs? ›

While it may not be possible to completely eliminate cellulite, a few products and lifestyle changes may help reduce its appearance, including:
  1. Staying hydrated. ...
  2. Maintaining a healthy weight. ...
  3. Using creams or lotions. ...
  4. Taking collagen peptides. ...
  5. Trying massage.
30 Sept 2019

How do I tone my thighs in bed? ›

5-Minute Inner Thighs & Abs in Bed | Joanna Soh - YouTube

How long does it take to tone legs and bum? ›

Tip. If you're consistent with your workouts, you can start to see results in about 4 to 6 weeks. However, modest muscle growth requires about 6 to 8 weeks of consistent work, and in 6 months to a year, you can change the musculature and body composition of your butt.

What does a glute bridge look like? ›

How To Do A Glute Bridge | The Right Way | Well+Good - YouTube

Are single-leg exercises better for glutes? ›

In fact, single-leg training will not only produce stronger and more developed glutes, it also improves the strength and development of your quads, hamstrings, and lower leg muscles. Greater strength in your squat, deadlift, and hip thrust.

How can I tone my 60 year old thighs? ›

Leg Exercises for 60-Plus Women : Safe & Effective Exercises - YouTube

How can I tone my inner thighs after 50? ›

Fit Over 50 - Inner and Outer Thigh Exercises - YouTube

Do squats make your butt smaller? ›

A regular squat regimen might shrink the fat on your glutes while simultaneously growing the muscles beneath. The net result may be a butt that's bigger, smaller, or the same size as before. But at the end of the day, squatting regularly will do nothing but good for your rear view.

How do I get a nice bum and thighs? ›

The most common exercises for the butt, hips and thighs are the big three — squats, lunges, and deadlifts. Deadlifts - Deadlifts are great for the butt as well as the lower back and the hamstrings. Dumbbell Squats - This is the perfect exercise for engaging all of the muscles of the lower body, including the glutes.

How do I avoid bulky legs when exercising? ›

The key to strengthening the legs without bulking up is to keep the reps high (at least 15 reps per set). Perform three rounds of each exercise with minimal rest between each movement. You can also add upper-body movements to your lower-body exercises for a great two-in-one move for overall fitness.

How can I slim my thighs in 2 weeks? ›

How Can I Lose Weight in My Thighs in Two Weeks?
  1. Remove 250 to 500 calories from your daily diet. ...
  2. Choose low-fat and free-free foods. ...
  3. Perform cardio exercise everyday. ...
  4. Increase your intensity during cardio workouts. ...
  5. Use strength training exercises to tone the muscles in your thighs.

Does walking tone your inner thighs? ›

Walking is the absolute best exercise for getting rid of overall excess fat, including your inner thighs.

How long does it take to build noticeable muscle for females? ›

The question: “When should I expect to see more defined muscles?” The answer: Depending on how often you exercise and the intensity of your workouts, give it between four to eight weeks for your muscles to get ripped, says Kawamoto.

Is 3 exercises enough for legs? ›

As a beginner looking to increase general fitness — and following the theme of keeping things simple — choose 3–5 exercises per leg workout. Then complete 3 sets of 8–12 reps of each exercise, ensuring that you're working your muscles to fatigue but not failure (1).

What happens if I train legs everyday? ›

Lets see what will happen if you workout on lower body everyday: You will never grow them as you are training your leg daily. You will always have soreness in your legs that may lead injury during workout as your body is not fully recovered.

Is it better to walk or run to tone legs? ›

Tip. Jogging and walking both work your leg muscles. Walking is gentler on your joints, while jogging makes your muscles work harder. Combine the two with interval training to experience all the benefits.

Will walking 30 minutes a day tone legs? ›

Adding 30 min of brisk walking to your daily fitness program can help you burn around 150 more calories daily. At the same time, it tones your calves, buttocks, and thighs. Moreover, it will strengthen your back and tummy core muscles, giving you firmer glutes and a flatter stomach.

How long does it take to see results from walking? ›

After 3-4 days of walking: you will notice the “better fit” or more room in your clothes! After 7 days of walking: real changes are happening! You have used body fat as energy (fat burning!) Muscles feel more toned!

How long does it take to tone legs? ›

You can see small results in even two to four weeks, after you begin a leg workout. You will have better stamina, and your legs will look a little more defined. But all in all, depending on your fitness levels, it does take three to four months for any remarkable difference.

How can you tell if a woman works out? ›

You see them daily at the gym. But most of all, you're likely to see progress. If someone is consistent and working hard, they will lose weight or gain muscle. Whether they just start and you notice changes, or they're a pretty muscular or toned person, these things are indicative.

Why are my legs not toning? ›

You're not doing enough cardio.

If you're training your lower body 3 times a week and still not seeing any definition, add some cardio. Don't have much time to exercise? Try spinning—the pedaling tones legs while combusting 420 to 780 calories per hour.

Why are women's legs so attractive? ›

Studies have shown that men prefer women with longer-than-average legs and a higher leg-length-to-body ratio. Men's interest in women's legs may explain the preference for tall fashion models. Admiring a woman's legs might have mostly to do with innate attraction to the sensual, rather than the more explicitly sexual.

What is the perfect shape of legs? ›

( a ) The ideal shape of the legs is often de fi ned as no gap under the knee joints. O-shaped shins can be attributed to a redistribution of the soft tissues ( b ) and to shin-bone deformities ( c ).

What makes a woman attractive physically? ›

Generally, men prefer women with full breasts, lips, symmetrical face, big smile, wider waist-hip ratio, healthy hair, high-pitched voice, clear skin, and big eyes are the morphological features in female bodies that men find attractive. However, this may vary depending on individual preferences.

What is the gap between a woman's thighs called? ›

A thigh gap is a space between the inner thighs of someone who is standing with their knees straight and their feet together. It's a so-called standard of beauty particularly applied to women's bodies.

Can you change the shape of your legs through exercise? ›

In order to have longer-looking, shapely legs, over-emphasise training the hamstring and bottom (gluteus maximus) muscles, and de-emphasise training the quads and adductor groups (front of thigh). This will give less width and more depth to the thighs.

How can I shape my legs in 2 weeks? ›

Perform just strength-training exercises or combine strength training with cardio. For instance, do lunges, followed by chest presses. Then do jumping jacks and squats, followed by dumbbell curls and pushups.

How do I get a nice bum and thighs? ›

The most common exercises for the butt, hips and thighs are the big three — squats, lunges, and deadlifts. Deadlifts - Deadlifts are great for the butt as well as the lower back and the hamstrings. Dumbbell Squats - This is the perfect exercise for engaging all of the muscles of the lower body, including the glutes.

How many times a week should a woman train legs? ›

Generally, it's recommended to train your legs three times a week, with each workout lasting 15 to 20 minutes and targeting different parts of the legs in each routine. For instance, a good plan would be to work on calves one day, thighs the next and then hips during the final session.

How many workouts should I do on leg day? ›

As a beginner looking to increase general fitness — and following the theme of keeping things simple — choose 3–5 exercises per leg workout. Then complete 3 sets of 8–12 reps of each exercise, ensuring that you're working your muscles to fatigue but not failure (1). Why no more than 5 exercises?

How can I tell if my thighs are fat or muscular? ›

How to Know if it's Muscle or Fat - YouTube

How many squats should I do a day? ›

When it comes to how many squats you should do in a day, there's no magic number — it really depends on your individual goals. If you're new to doing squats, aim for 3 sets of 12-15 reps of at least one type of squat. Practicing a few days a week is a great place to start.

How do you get a teardrop quad? ›

7 Best Teardrop Muscle Exercises BESIDES Leg Extensions! - YouTube

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