Wondering why those extra pounds seem to pile on effortlessly around the midsection and the legs when people gain weight? Testosterone and estrogen are two of the biggest drivers of fat storage – they’re the primary reason that men and women tend to have different body shapes. Unlike a female body which stashes the stuff in thighs and butts, for men it’s the stomach where that extra fat ends up. This is also partly the reason why men tend to have more cardiovascular problems. And if you want mini-skirt worthy legs or wish to get rid of that ugly belly fat, including these exercises suggested by fitness expert Shivani Patel can help you build muscle and burn calories.
Here are some exercises that help tone abs and legs fast
To begin the workout, take five minutes to warm up by incorporating dynamic movements such as jogging, high knees, butt kicks, karaoke, walking lunges and high kicks.
The lunge is one of the most effective exercises for targeting the lower body. It activates the quads, glutes and hamstrings, and helps improve lower-body strength, balance and stability. Whether you want to shape your lower body or burn belly fat, lunges can help achieve your goal.
Begin standing with feet together. Step the right foot forward and assume the standard lunge position. Push off the floor with the left foot and bring it forward to meet the right foot or step forward with the left foot into a forward-lunge position. Alternating legs, repeat for the desired time or distance. At times lunges may cause strain to the knees, so, be sure to receive clearance from your physician.
A popular and effective form of cardio, cycling workout uses fat as fuel to decrease your body weight and burn off fat stores all over your body, including your belly. It helps reduce the thickness of your thighs – but you cannot tell your body to burn fat from only your thighs. Adding interval training program to your workout is a great way to encourage a response in your thighs or your belly.
Leg extensions are a key exercise in strengthening the patellar ligament and quadriceps attachment for the knee. This exercise focuses on strengthening the quad alone and, hence, it strengthens key attachments for the knee joint at the same time. A machine-assisted training is a very good option, especially for exercise beginners. It is also a good finisher exercise that can be performed after compound exercises like squats or dead-lifts.
Side-lying Leg Circles
A great Pilates exercise that helps strengthen the core, flatten the abdominal muscles and tone the inner and outer thighs.
Start by lying on your side with your bottom leg long beneath you. Perform small focused circles for 20 repetitions in one direction and then complete 20 reps in the other direction. Flip over onto your other side and repeat with the other leg. Remember to consciously control your breathing throughout the movement – breathe in as you circle up, breathe out as you circle down. Repeat 8-10 times.
Regular Stance Squat
This is a total body workout that works on all the muscles in your lower body, and some of the muscles in your upper body. It can help you burn more calories and reduce body fat.
Stand with feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Extend arms out straight so they are parallel with the ground, palms facing down. Initiate the movement by inhaling and unlocking the hips, slightly bringing them back. Keep sending hips backwards as the knees begin to bend. You may start out with three sets of 10 reps – or depending on your fitness levels.
Swimming is a great way to burn body fat and tone your legs if performed routinely. It requires the use of muscles from your hips and thighs to your ankle so you can get a workout that uses all the muscles of your legs. The number of sets and repetitions you choose to do will vary based on your fitness level.
As with any exercise, a leg or abs workout should not be done on more than five consecutive days. This is because your body needs recovery in order to rebuild muscle tissue which has been stressed by exercise. This workout will usually be 15 to 20 minutes as part of a larger exercise routine that can be as long as one hour. The best way to do is to target different parts of the body on each successive workout day. For example, one day you can target the abdomen, the next day target the thighs, the third day target the calves, and the fourth day work on the hips. This alternating routine gives you a more thorough and balanced training experience. Without enough rest time, continuing your workout will end up doing more harm than good. Muscles which don’t have sufficient time to rest and rebuild may even reach a point of digression.