TARGET TRAINING: Slim Those Legs
Get lean, toned legs. These three moves together target the hips, legs and core, as a whole. The first exercise works mainly the glutes. The second, the quads, while the final exercise hits all the above. The combination of these three simple moves gives your lower body a super-effective workout and hits your legs in all the right places.
These three exercises are compound movements. This means that they utilise multiple muscle groups while they tone your legs. Between them, these exercises develop muscles and then strengthen the major muscle groups, namely the back (erector spinae), legs (hamstrings, quadriceps, and soleus) and hips (gluteus maximus and adductor magnus). While these exercises are mainly designed to work on leg strength and tone, they also provide a great overall workout for the whole body.
You’ll need either kettlebells or dumbbells to do these moves at home or in the gym.
Works glutes, hamstrings and lower back
Lie face down with your hips centred on a stability ball and hands on the ground in front of you, elbows slightly bent.
Bend knees and press soles of feet together.
Lift legs until thighs are parallel to the ground. Lower legs and repeat.
Trainer’s tip: “Allow the back to maintain a neutral curve without it hyper extending. This will be helped by keeping the arms slightly bent and not lifting the legs any higher than parallel to the ground. If in doubt, use a mirror to watch your form.”
Works quads, glutes, inner thighs, calves, arms, shoulders and core
Hold a kettlebell over right shoulder, left hand over right and elbows pointing forward. Stand with left foot in front of right, knees slightly bent and right heel lifted.
Bend knees deeper (until left thigh is parallel to the ground) as you rotate shoulders to the left and lower kettlebell to outside of left hip.
Straighten legs as you raise kettlebell to starting position; repeat. Switch sides to complete set.
Trainer’s tip: “Keep your core muscles engaged at all times by pushing your hips forward so you feel a stretch through the hip flexor. This will allow you to stay stable and control the movement.”
Works upper abs and stability core
Hold a kettlebell in right hand in front of right thigh and stand with weight on left foot, right knee bent and toes on the ground behind you.
Bend left knee and lift right leg as you bend forward, lowering kettlebell toward the ground.
Rise up; repeat. Switch sides to complete set.
Trainer’s tip: “Focus on correct form throughout the movement. Should you initially be unable to reach all the way down to your toe without falling over, then try reaching to mid-shin (or as far as you comfortably can) instead.”
Trainer's Strategy "These exercises are what I would call ‘Primitive’ exercises. Imagine if you saw a child perform these exercises. They would not worry about their knee, hip alignment, or their spinal alignment, they should all come very naturally.”