Many women come to me, a personal trainer, asking which exercise works best at sculpting the legs and which burns the most fat.
Truth is, there are lots of leg sculpting exercises that burn fat. Below are four leg exercises that will help sculpt as well as burn fat, not just in the legs, but all over the body.
Women Will Burn Fat with the Hack Squat
Do you load up the hack squat machine and then “squat” only five inches? You’re far better off seeing what you can do with no added weight. How far down can you squat while then being able to get back up – and for reps?
Make sure your feet are ahead of your knees. Full range of motion with very light resistance is more important than loading up the machine and then doing quarter squats. Aim for deep squats and half squats.
Once you complete sets of those, then you can do the quarter squats. But if all you’re doing are the quarter squats, you’re not being very efficient with this exercise.
Women Will Burn Fat with the Jump ‘n Squat
In between back squats, do some light jump roping. Not enough to punish you, but enough to delay your recovery from the set of squats that precedes the jumping. Jump for two minutes, then do your next set of squats.
Women Will Burn Fat with Stepping
Stand several feet away from a 12 inch exercise stool so that you must almost lunge to get the right foot onto the stool, then bring the left foot forward and stand erect on the stool.
Then return the right foot where it started, far behind you, and then bring the other foot flush with it. Do the right leg 50 times, then the left leg 50 times.
Long stepping will recruit more of the glute-hamstring tie-in than conventional stepping, which targets more of the quads.
Slow Bear Crawl Will Burn Fat
Get on all fours: hands and feet, not hands and knees. However, your hands aren’t on the floor; they are holding onto pushup handles.
Start walking, but don’t scramble. Just walk casually. Stroll, bear-walk style, for 30 to 60 seconds. The bear crawl means both legs are nearly straight as you “walk.” Your butt is sticking up in the air because your body is in a tight, upside-down V. Your feet are very close to the pushup handles right before you move a handle out. You should really feel this in the glute-hamstring tie-in.
For many women, this will be tiring very quickly-not in the cardiorespiratory sense, but the butt and upper hamstrings will fatigue quickly and will feel uncomfortable. The shoulders, too, may fatigue quickly. If you can do this for only a very brief time, then rest, and repeat a few more times.
If you do this once a week, then over time, you’ll have to do it longer before fatiguing enough to stop. Aim for being able to bear crawl the entire length of a basketball court and back without resting. Eventually “walk” with five pound dumbbells or kettlebells to add some resistance.
These leg exercises will help any women help sculpt their legs and burn more fat.