Skinny-jeans-and-tall-boots season is in full swing. For shapely legs that rock these styles right, working out your quads and inner thighs is a must. These three beginner-friendly moves will help build strong, toned legs and have you feeling confident when you hit the streets.
Step-ups are a great exercise to work your thighs, glutes, and hips simultaneously. If the beginner version is too simple for you, be sure to try out the intermediate or advanced variation (shown here):
- To start, find a step (or bench) that you can place your foot squarely on that will bring your knee up to a 90-degree angle.
- Step up, leading with the left foot and following with the right, bringing both feet completely onto the bench.
- Return to the starting position by leading with the right foot to step down to the floor, following with the left and ending with both feet on the ground.
- Complete 20 steps before stepping with the left foot for another 20 steps.
Sumo Squats With Side Arm Raises
Sumo squats are one of the first moves trainers recommend for strong and shapely legs, because they work the glutes and inner thighs. If the side arm raise is too much right now, forget the dumbbells and just work the legs:
- Stand with legs wide and toes pointed slightly outward. Hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands with arms at your side, palms facing down.
- While raising your arms to just below shoulder height, bend down until your knees are directly above your ankles.
- Straighten your legs and lower your arms simultaneously.
- Complete three sets of 15 reps.
Wall Sits With Leg Extension
These are no ordinary wall sits! By extending your leg, you will definitely feel the burn in your quads and core, too:
- Stand with your back against a wall, placing your feet about two feet out in front of you. Feet should be hip-distance apart.
- Bending your knees, slide your back down the wall until your knees are at 90-degree angles. Your knee joints should be over your ankle joints, so you may need to inch your feet farther from the wall to create proper alignment. Your thighs should remain parallel.
- With your core engaged, extend your left leg out. Hold for 15 seconds, then lower.
- Repeat the same motion, slowly lifting your right leg. Hold for 15 seconds.
- Perform for one minute.
— Additional reporting by Emily Bibb