So we spoke to James Trevorrow, National Fitness Experience Manager at Virgin Active Health Clubs, to find out how us mere mortals can get our legs in shape with some simple exercises. Turns out it’s easy, promise.
5 at-home exercises
1. Step over lunge (bum/thighs)
Step over lunges are an evolution of the highly celebrated lunge, guaranteed to make you feel even more stretch, tone and strengthening in your bum.
Stand with both feet facing forward. Take a big step forward and across yourself and allow both legs to bend so your back knee lowers towards the floor.
Without holding, push back off the front leg to your original starting position.
Continue by alternating which leg you lunge forward. Do 20 repetitions, then wait 1 minute and repeat the set.
2. Side lunge (Inner & tops of thighs)
Another cousin of the lunge, this exercise will stretch and tone your inner thighs and help with hip mobility.
Stand with both feet pointing forward. Step out to the side (3 o’clock) and allow that leg to bend with the foot slightly turned out while the standing leg stays straight. Without holding push off the bent leg and return back to your original position.
Continue by alternating which leg you lunge with. Repeat for 20 reps. Rest for 1 minute and repeat another set of 20.
Take it easy initially, but the wider you step the more you target the inner thighs.
3. Wall Squat (Thighs)
Lean your back up against a wall, walk your feet forward until your feet are out in front of you.
With your back still in contact with the wall bend at the knee so you slide down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor. (You may need to adjust your feet so they are slightly forward of your knees).
Hold this position for 20 seconds, and then stand back up. Rest for 1 minute then repeat the squat one more time.
The goal is for you to hold this for longer and longer as the weeks go by as the harder you push yourself, the better your legs will look.
4. Single leg bridge (Backs of legs / front of hips)
Sit on the floor with the back of your head and shoulders resting on your sofa/chair/bed. Rest your hands on your stomach or legs.
With your feet flat on the floor and slightly in front of your knees, lift your hips up into the air as high as you can go. Hold for 1 second then lower your hips down again.
Just before your bum touches the floor lift the hips again. Repeat for 12-15 reps. Rest for 1 minute and perform the set again.
If you really want to get legs to die for, try this same exercise but on one leg.
5. Skipping (Calves/feet/cardiovascular fitness)
All you need is a skipping rope. There are many ways to skip but let’s start with the good old fashioned two foot jump.
Hold the skipping rope, one handle in each hand with the rope resting on the back of your heels. Swing the rope over your head and time your two footed jumps just as the rope swings in front of you and under both feet.
Continue for 1 minute. Rest for a minute and a half and repeat. You’ll burn calories and fat while developing ripped calves everyone will be jealous of.
If these exercises become comfortable after a few weeks, put them into a circuit where you repeat each one after another without stopping - only resting when you have completed all 5 exercises.
Virgin Active also runs 20 minute fast classes to give you even more ideas of how to tone up, burn fat and strengthen the whole body. To find out more information visit virginactive.co.uk