Toning with Tina

Three moves for strong legs

By Tina Kissavos

Recent studies suggest that the average Canadian between age 18 to 79 spends up to 10 hours sedentary a day, excluding sleep. In addition, females over 40 are proving to be even more inactive than their male counterparts. While lean, toned legs may be motivation for moving more, strong legs go far beyond aesthetics. Physical activity is an absolute necessity for living a healthier life.

These three simple exercises, performed 15 times on each side, will help strengthen your legs to improve daily functional movements, and come with the added bonus of toning, too.

Squats have a great muscle-building reputation and also offer amazing overall fat-burning benefits. A successful squat ensures you sit slightly lower than 90 degrees without compromising your posture. Once you are able to master the basic squat, you can introduce the “squat curtsy lunge”. The coupling of these two exercises will set your legs and glutes on fire, encouraging muscular stamina.

Unlike squats, the lunge is a single-leg bodyweight exercise that helps even out muscular imbalances, in addition to strengthening the hips, glutes, core and most of the muscles in the legs. Adding an element of difficulty like a front kick combination will challenge your balance, improve coordination and up your cardio. Hold on to a chair if necessary.

Side lunge
Consider the side lunge, a power-packed lower body exercise great for strengthening the muscles around the knees, and improving flexibility. Keeping your feet facing forward, step into a wide “V” stance and bend far back at the hips while keeping your posture upright. When you’re ready to challenge your cardio, balance, and core strength, step feet back together and add a side kick.

Check out the exclusive video for a demonstration of all the moves mentioned above.


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