Toning any part of your body takes time and dedication. And, especially for toning your legs.
Keep reading below for our key evidence-based techniques for toning your legs, and getting summer-ready.
Rule #1 – Resistance Training
Let me start by saying, if your current training program revolves solely around cardio, you will be in an uphill battle for developing well-toned legs.
So, what exactly is toning anyway?
Toning involves building muscle in certain areas of your physique. While dropping your body fat % low enough to see the muscle.
Hence, those nice curves and toned look.
Women should be training the lower body at least twice per week.
When it comes to cardio I would suggest incorporating HIIT sessions instead of long cardio sessions.
Recommended HIIT Sessions
- Hill sprints (twice per week)
- Sprint up a hill for 30 seconds (100% intensity), followed by a slow jog back down (30% intensity), repeat this for 10 minutes.
Rule #2 – Increase Your Calories
Around 80% of women who attempt body recomposition are under-eating, unfortunately by quite a lot.
It’s important to have an understanding of your body’s caloric requirements with an appropriate diet plan.
And, ensure your calories are either slightly below or at your maintenance levels (TDEE).
If you are quite lean and have a very low body fat % then you could increase calories to a surplus.
This would be around 150-300 extra calories per day for the first few weeks.
In summary, make sure you monitor your weekly body weight/measurements.
Rule #3 – Training Volume
The next important rule, make sure you are adding enough volume into your training plan to force growth.
You will need to be training your lower body at a minimum twice per week with resistance training.
And, 45-minute sessions would be suitable for fast results.
Firstly focus on hypertrophy for 4-8 weeks. Followed by a phase of strength training, and then an endurance phase.
Recommended Training Phases
- Hypertrophy – 8-12 reps, 3 sets, 60-second rest (between sets)
- Strength – 3-5 reps, 3-5 sets, 2-minute rest (between sets)
- Endurance – 15-20 reps, 4-5 sets, 30 seconds (between sets)
Rule #4 – Track Your Progress
You wouldn’t hop in your car ready to drive to work blindfolded, would you?
Well without tracking your progress, you are basically driving blind.
Because you won’t know or understand what’s working and what’s holding you back.
Each week I would recommend the following measurements:
- Thigh measurement (cm)
- Hips measurement (cm)
- Waist measurement (cm)
- Body Fat % (if possible)
- Progress Photos
- Body Weight (lb or kg)
- Strength (increases / decreases)
Although measurements are a huge part of tracking progress, you will notice that I’ve also added progress photos.
Not everyone is comfortable taking photos of themselves, but it’s highly recommended.
Once you start seeing your dream toned legs developing, you will definitely want to see where you started.
If the scale weight is going up and your body fat % is going down, you have achieved body recomposition.
This is very common for beginners, and a great sign you are on track.
Check out some of our body recomposition success cases here.
Rule #5 – Use The Correct Exercises
If you’re turning up to the gym and only targeting your legs with 3 exercises, then you’re probably not providing enough variation.
And, not stimulating enough muscles for growth.
Below is our recommended exercises and muscles groups you should be targeting each week:
- Leg Press (high feet position)
- Lying Leg Curl (machine)
- Seated Leg Curl (machine)
- Barbell Squats
- Front Squats
- Bulgarian Split Squats
- Leg Extension (machine)
- Leg Press (low feet position)
- Hack Squats (machine)
- Static Lunges (smith-machine)
- Glute Kickbacks
- Glute Bridge
- Leg Curls
- Barbell Hip Thrust
- Calf raise (smith-machine)
- Sled Push
- Leg Press Calf raise
- Seated calf raise (machine)
Before we finish up, make sure you don’t forget to check out our 28 Day Mind & Body Challenge.
We incorporate body recomposition, guided meditations, subconscious reprogramming, calorie meal plans for long-term results.
Still not sure? Check out all our client’s success stories here!
In conclusion, that’s our top 5 important rules for toning your legs.
Leave a comment below, let us know your favorite!