The best way to lose weight on the legs is through a healthy diet and regular aerobic exercise. Sometimes, however, weight loss efforts are taking longer than they should or you reach a plateau in your weight-loss efforts. Helping to slim down the legs through the right exercises can help your slimming efforts. The best part is that you can do the exercises at home, saving money on those expensive gym memberships.
Leg circles can be an effective thigh workout. Begin by laying flat on your back, your hands resting at your side, palms downward, and toes pointed. Lift your left leg, keeping both legs straight, and slightly turn your lifted leg out. Breathe in deeply and draw a circle with your toe, using your whole leg and hips firmly on the ground. Repeat for five clockwise circles, then switch directions. Switch to the right leg and repeat.
For a more difficult workout, try to write the entire alphabet with one leg before switching to the other.
Lunges are another classic leg-toning exercise. To begin, stand with your shoulders pulled back, chest out and eyes facing forward. Take a step forward with the right leg and slowly bend your knees, lowering toward the floor until your left knee is almost touching the ground. Your right knee should be lined up with your right toes to prevent knee damage. Take a larger or smaller step next time if this isn’t the case. Slowly return to a standing position and repeat the motion 10 to 15 times, then switch legs. Do three or four sets for each leg, resting between sets.
For a more intense workout, hold dumbbells in each hand while lunging.
Squats are another effective exercise for the leg muscles. To do a standard squat at home, stand about 24 inches from a wall, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lean your back to the wall and bend your knees to a half squat, feeling the thigh muscles begin to work. Hold this for 10 seconds then lower a couple more inches and hold 10 more seconds. Move lower once more, hold another 10 seconds, then slowly raise back to standing and rest before repeating again.
For an alternate squat exercise, using a fitness ball, place the ball between the wall and your lower back, then lower down to a squatting position–similar to sitting in a chair–and hold for three to 10 seconds then return to standing. Do five to 15 reps, depending on your fitness level, then rest briefly before doing another two or three sets.
You can also do squats at the gym, with barbell, for a more intensive strengthening exercise
Losing fat in the legs will improve your appearance and your health. Carrying too much fat slows you down and increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes. MayoClinic.com recommends a weight loss goal of 1 to 2 pounds a week, which means in 30 days you can lose 4 to 8 pounds. Losing leg fat in 30 days requires a plan of healthy eating, cardiovascular workouts and leg toning exercises.
Eat a healthy, low-calorie diet. Eating more calories than your body need leads to fat gain. Cut your calories by eliminating sugary and fatty foods from your diet. Measure your portion sizes to avoid overeating. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest eating fresh, healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins such as poultry.
Perform 30 to 60 minutes of cardiovascular exercise five days a week during the course of 30 days. Cardiovascular exercise burns fat speeding up the weight loss process over dieting alone. Consider doing exercises that also target the legs such as rollerblading, running, hiking and bicycling.
Do squats two to three days a week over the month. The American Council on Exercise reports that squats along with lunges are the best exercises for thighs. Start by standing with your legs a little wider than hip-width. Bend your knees, shifting your weight back as if you’re going to sit down. Don’t allow your knees to extend over the toes. Straighten your legs to return to the start position. Add resistance by holding dumbbells or a barbell.
Perform lunges two to three days a week for 30 days. Stand with your legs hip-width apart. Step forward with your right leg, bending the knee as shift your weight forward. Keep your right knee over the ankle. Push back with the right foot to return to the start position. If you have bad knees, step backward instead of forward into the lunge. Add resistance by holding a dumbbell in each hand. Perform the lunge to the side to target the adductors and abductors — inner and outer thighs.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator during the next 30 days. Using the stairs burns fat and tones the legs. It can also cut your risk of premature death by 15 percent, according to WorldHealth.net