Finally! Spring is coming. Time to bring out the Capri pants and shorts in preparation for summer. If you’ve been exercising all winter long, go ahead and reward yourself with a pedicure, some sandals and your best pair of shorts and go out with your friends.
If you feel like you’ve got a bit more work to do before getting into your favorite shorts, don’t despair – you’ve still got time. Memorial Day Weekend is about 7 weeks away, and that means with the right workout, you’ve got time to safely and easily lose about 7 – 11 pounds before then.
Here’s my “Great Legs” routine that is sure to give you the results you desire:
Cardio – Start and end each day with a minimum of 6 minutes of light cardio such as walking, stationary bicycle or cycling. Shoot for a maximum of 20 minutes every morning and evening to help your body burn fat for its fuel source. It’s very important not to exceed 20 minutes first thing in the morning or last thing at night when you have an empty stomach or you risk burning muscle and ultimately slowing down your metabolism.
Mid-Day Workout – These exercises should be performed about an hour and a half to two hours after eating. Be sure to warm up with some cardio and light stretching before moving into these exercises.
Wide Stance Squats – Stand with your feet about 30 – 36 inches apart, knees and toes turned out on a 45 degree angle towards the corners of the room, and your knees slightly bent. Keeping your back up straight, chest up and eyes forward, slowly bend at the knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Slowly rise up until your knees are just slightly bent and repeat for 25 repetitions.
Medium Stance Calf Raises – Move your feet in about 4 – 6 inches each, keeping knees and toes turned out and knees slightly bent. Rise up onto your toes and the balls of your feet, contracting your calf muscles. Slowly lower down just until heels touch floor and repeat for 25 repetitions.
Butt Squats – Move your feet in until they are shoulder width apart. Turn your knees and toes in so that they are pointing straight forward. Keeping your back up straight, chest up and eyes forward, slowly bend at the knees and push your butt back until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Imagine yourself squatting as if you were using a public restroom. You may swing your arms out in front of you for balance, or hold onto the back of a chair. Slowly rise up until your knees are just slightly bent and repeat for 25 repetitions.
Rear Lifts – Keeping your knees and toes pointing forward, legs slightly bent, shift your weight onto your right foot. Slide the left toe along the floor straight behind you. Keeping your hips and shoulders level, chest up and eyes forward, slowly lift the left leg up toward the ceiling, lower to floor and repeat for 25 repetitions. Switch legs and repeat.
Close Stance Calf Raises – With feet shoulder width apart, knees and toes pointing straight forward, roll up onto your toes and the balls of your feet, contracting your calf muscles. Slowly lower down just until heels touch floor and repeat for 25 repetitions.
Diagonal Rear Lifts - Keeping your knees and toes pointing forward, legs slightly bent, shift your weight onto your right foot. Slide the left toe along the floor toward the left corner behind you. Leg should be extended at a 45 degree angle back from the hip. Keeping your hips and shoulders level, chest up and eyes forward, slowly lift the left leg diagonally back and up toward the ceiling, lower to floor and repeat for 25 repetitions. Switch legs and repeat.
Lying Down Inner Thighs – Lie down on the floor on your back, bend your knees into your chest and then extend the legs up toward the ceiling. Be sure to keep the legs and feet above the torso, with the shoelaces being almost directly over the chest. When doing this correctly, your lower back and waist band should be touching the floor throughout the entire exercise. If you cannot keep your back pressed down on the ground, please place your hands underneath your butt to slightly elevate your hips and push your lower back down before beginning. Keep the knees slightly bent as you open the legs wide to the sides forming a giant “V” with your legs. Slowly bring the legs back together and repeat for 25 repetitions.
Depending on your level of fitness and commitment, you may repeat this entire routine two to three times before stretching and cooling down. If your goal is to firm up and slim down, you do not need to add any weights to these exercises, but you may increase the number of repetitions.
Be sure to drink lots of water, eat at least 25 grams of fiber every day, and limit your fried and fatty foods. Perform my “Great Legs” routine four, five or six days a week for maximum results.