Here are 4 simple exercises that isolate muscles in your core and lower body, specifically, the glutes and thighs. As I mentioned before, if you are looking to shape your legs it is crucial that you incorporate cardio and interval/resistance training into your workout routine. However, I promised I would provide some spot toning exercises, so here they are! I figured I would start with 3 classic moves, and one somewhat unique or different exercise. Let’s see what muscles each of the below exercises targets! Feel free to modify these workouts to fit your needs. You’ll notice I didn’t explicitly say to do 50 lunges or plank for 3 minutes….I merely wanted to orient you to some awesome exercises for toned legs and firm thighs.
The plank position largely targets the abdominal muscles. While in the plank position, forearms and toes on the floor-flat back, keep your abdominal muscles engaged. Don’t let your stomach drop or allow your hips to rise up. Planking will lead to a toned abdomen, flexibility and improved balance and posture.
The lunge is a lower-body exercise that works several muscle groups at once. The targeted muscles include the glutes in your hips and butt along with the hamstrings and quadriceps in your thighs. The calf muscles in your lower legs, your abdominal muscles and your back muscles act as stabilizers during this exercise. Lunges will lead to increased hip flexor flexibility, toned and sexy glutes, and better balance and body symmetry!
3. Spiderman Plank
The Spiderman plank is a bodyweight exercise that works mainly the core, but also the upper body. Start in a low plank position with your body in a straight line, elbows bent under your shoulders and feet hip-width apart. Bring your right knee to your right elbow. Extend your right leg back to the starting position. Repeat on the left side. This exercise will get your heart pumping! Trust me!
4. Single Leg Hip Drops
This is an exercise I had never tried until recently in a Pilates class. The targeted muscle groups here are the hip abductors and adductors, quadriceps, and gluteus medius. This is a challenging exercise if you have weak outer thighs and obliques, but I promise you it will target those “Saddlebags” ya know, the fatty part on the outside of our legs?! ya. there. Bam. Blast away that fat with these single leg hip drops!