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Legs workout: Get long and lean

Try this four-week legs workout plan for long, lean, dancer-like legs

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woman legs beach

Get lean, strong legs

Exercises are to be done two or three times a week on non-consecutive days for four weeks. Combine walking, jogging, cycling or climbing the stairs in your home for 20-45 minutes three to five times a week for the results you desire.

To increase the challenge:
Increase the intensity (reps or sets) or the difficulty (beginner-advanced).

Rest options:
Option 1: Rest 30 seconds between sets. Once sets are completed for that exercise, move on to the next exercise.

Option 2: Do exercises 1, 2 and 3 one after the other with no rest between exercises. Once completed, rest 30-45 seconds and repeat circuit. This will keep your heart rate high and keep your metabolism constantly burning those pesky unwanted calories.

15-20 repetitions each leg / 2-3 sets / Rest option 1 or 2

What you need: Gliding discs or paper plates (carpet) or small hand towel (bare floor), a ball and a set of dumbbells (for the added challenge)

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lateral lunge slide

1. Lateral Lunge Slide

Works inner and outer thighs, butt, quadriceps and hamstrings

• Stand with your feet together, arms stretched out in front of you at chest level. Place the ball of your right foot on the disc, plate or towel.
• Begin sliding the right foot out to the side as you sit back onto your left leg. Keep your toes facing forward, both heels on the ground, chest up, back straight, abdominals in and gaze looking forward.
• Once at the end of the movement, the moving leg should be fully extended and the thigh of the stationary leg should be parallel to the ground with the knee behind the toes. 
• Press down into the plate and contract the inner thigh as you slide the right foot back to starting position. • Repeat on the same leg.

Intermediate: Add light dumbbells for extra weight.
Advanced: Alternate legs (imagine a skating pattern) in a rhythmic pattern. Use with or without the dumbbells.

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wall sit with ball

2. Wall Sit with Ball

Works all four muscle bellies of the quadriceps

• Place the ball in the small of your back against the wall with your feet approximately two feet away from the wall, shoulder width apart. 
• Slowly begin lowering your torso until your thighs are parallel with the ground.  Ensure your knees remain behind your toes and your weight is evenly distributed on each foot.
• Hold each position for 20-60 seconds before returning to starting position. (Click to view leg positions.)
(a) feet and knees shoulder width apart
(b) feet apart and knees together
(c) feet and knees together
(d) feet together and knees apart

Tip: If you feel discomfort in your knees, adjust your feet so your ankles are directly under your knees. Shift your weight onto your heels.

Intermediate: Hold your arms outstretched at shoulder height. Add a weight if you want more intensity.
Advanced: Incorporate a torso twist. Hold the dumbbell with outstretched arms at chest level. Continuously rotate your torso back and forth throughout the duration of holding the wall sit.

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3. Kneeling Hamstring Curl

3. Kneeling Hamstring Curl

Works hamstrings

• Place your forearms and both knees on the mat. Make sure your elbows are directly under your shoulders. Draw your belly button in toward your spine with your face pointing down.
• Fully extend your right leg in the air toward the ceiling. Bend the right knee and bring your heel toward your butt. Contract your hamstring when bending the leg. 
• Without dropping the right thigh, bend and extend the right leg for 15-20 repetitions before switching sides.

Intermediate: Work from your hands and knees, with hands directly under shoulders and knees directly under hips.

Related:
The ultimate legs workout for women
3 easy moves to tone your legs and tummy
Walk your way to slimmer, stronger legs