Tired of exaggerated claims that toning shoes will give you a great butt and legs? Here’s the real way to get showoff-worthy legs and improve your running.
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Not only will you lose weight while running, but you will also tone and shape your legs like never before. Adding strength training leg exercises will help speed the leg-sculpting process, as well as improve your running and help prevent injuries.
The three exercises that follow target the leg muscles that matter most to runners, says Kitty Consolo, PhD, an exercise physiologist and instructor at Ohio State University. For each exercise, select a weight you can lift for 8 to 12 repetitions before tiring. Lift slowly to a count of four, and lower to a count of six. The slower you lower the weight, the more strength you'll gain. Exhale as you lift, and inhale as you lower.
Do the exercises 2 days a week after you run, and allow at least 2 days of rest before lifting again. Within 8 weeks, you'll see an improvement.
Develops the front of the thighs (quadriceps)
At home: Sit on a bench or a chair with your ankles directly below your knees. Using a stretch band for resistance, extend your left leg out, being careful not to lock your knee. Then slowly lower to the starting position. Do one set of 8 to 12 reps on the left leg, then repeat on the right.
In the gym: Sitting in the leg-extension machine, slowly raise the weight until your legs are extended. Don't lock your knees. Hold, then slowly lower to the starting position.
Develops the back of the thighs (hamstrings)At home: Lie facedown on the floor. Using a stretch band for resistance, curl your left heel, bringing your left leg toward your buttocks, then release. Do one set of 8 to 12 reps on the left leg, then repeat with the right.In the gym: Lie facedown on the leg-curl machine with the bar of the machine just above your heel. Push against the bar, curling your heels toward your buttocks.Calf Press
Develops your calf musclesAt home: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and with a dumbbell that you can comfortably hold in each hand (try 5 or 8 pounds). Raise your heels until you're on your toes, then slowly lower.In the gym: Sitting at the leg-press machine, place your toes and the balls of your feet on the edge of the platform. Keeping your legs straight, push the platform by extending your feet. Then slowly return your feet to the starting position, keeping legs extended. Don't bounce the weight.4 Best Butt Moves You Can Do
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