Are you looking to trim down the excess fat on your legs? You’re certainly in the right mindset. In fact, your health and overall well-being depend on it. According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, extra body fat is linked to a number of serious health risks, including stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and even early death. With this in mind, we’re here to share exactly how to lose leg fat with five exercises that trainers swear by.
Kate Meier, a certified personal trainer and member of the Garage Gym Reviews team, tells Eat This, Not That!, “The exercises below are all useful for toning the lower body. As you work these muscles, your body burns calories and, over time, needs more calories while at rest, supporting fat-loss goals.” Meier also notes that you should perform these exercises in your fitness routine one or two times a week, depending on how intense your workouts are. Keep reading to learn more.
“This exercise gets your legs working hard and helps build strength and stability. Over time, more muscle means burning more calories, even while at rest,” Meier explains, adding, “The split squat really functions more like a lunge, with one foot in front doing the work while your back leg provides stability.”
In order to do the Bulgarian split squat, you’ll need two dumbbells and a stable bench. While holding both dumbbells, plant one foot on the bench behind you. Your other leg will be in front of you as far as it might be as if you were doing a lunge. Once you’re in the proper position, start to lower your body down until your thigh is straight and parallel to the floor. While doing so, be sure your torso is straight and your core is tight. Finally, push yourself back up into the position you started in. Perform three to four sets of 10 to 12 reps for each leg.
When it comes to how to properly perform tempo squats, Meier says, “The essential piece of this exercise is taking your time and allowing your muscles to stay engaged as you descend and hold the squat for each rep. These get your muscles working hard throughout the entire movement.”
Get yourself into position by standing with your feet roughly hip-width distance apart, although you can keep your feet a little wider apart or closer together if that’s more comfortable, according to Meier. Make sure your posture is straight and that you have a tight core. Then, sit back until you’re in a squat. Don’t rush the movement; give yourself four seconds to get down into the full squat before holding that position for an additional two seconds. Next, you’ll “explosively” come back up into the starting position. Perform three to four sets of six to eight reps.
“Wall sits may be done without moving, but sometimes the most difficult exercises are the ones where we resist movement,” Meier explains. Wall sits will give you a total lower-body tone.
If you’re unfamiliar with the exercise, then you’ll be pleased to find out that it’s relatively straightforward. However, as Meier mentioned, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily easy to do.
Start off standing up and facing away from a wall. Then, put your back flat up against the wall, and take a few steps out. Allow your back to move down the wall as you get your legs into a bent position as if you’re sitting in an invisible chair. Your thighs should be parallel to the floor. Once you’re in the correct position, remain there for 30 seconds. Then, slide back up until you’re standing. Perform three to four sets of 30-second wall sits. As you grow stronger, you can increase the amount of time until you reach 60 seconds for each set.
Meier also suggests making lateral band walks part of your leg-toning workout, saying, “This move activates both your glutes and inner and outer thighs for a well-rounded upper-leg and hip workout.”
This time around, you’ll need a mini-looped resistance band which is also known as a “booty band.” Place that around your legs so that it’s right above your knees. Get yourself into a slight squatting position before moving into a half squat. If you can go down even further, that’s also fine. Next, step out to one side while pulling on the band to create tension. Use both your thighs and your glutes to do this before stepping back in. Meier says you can continue stepping out with the same leg or switch it up to the other side. For best results, keep your muscles engaged as well as tension on your band. Perform three to four sets of 12 to 15 steps in each direction.
The last exercise if you’re looking to lose leg fat is the squat jump. As for its effectiveness, Meier explains, “This classic exercise is a glute- and quad-burning movement that gets your heart pumping. The cardio element of this move helps burn fat, and the squat is a muscle-building exercise that works the entire lower body and core.”
Start out with your feet shoulder-width distance apart or a little wider, if necessary, before lowering down into a squat. Now, get ready! Jump to come back up. Meier says to make sure to extend your legs and use both your glutes and quads. Do your best to fully stretch out while jumping. As you come back down, allow yourself to get back into a squatting position. Perform three to four sets of 10 reps.