Written with love, by Kimberly Riegel Dore
Traditionally, a bride's legs are covered by a long wedding dress and rarely seen except when the garter is coming off. Nowadays, some women opt to change into a second dress during the reception which tends to be a little shorter and sexier. Whatever your dress style happens to be, I am going to give you some tips on how to get long, lean legs in time for your wedding.
The legs are comprised of mainly four quad muscles in the front, three hamstring muscles in the back, and two calf muscles. Below are a few options to get your leg workout started!
Take the stairs! Not only are stairs incredible cardio, but they are great for toning the quads, the butt, and the hamstrings. You can run up the stairs quickly on the balls of your feet to get a calf workout as well.
A fun option is to change up how you do the stairs. One way is to run up and down quickly every single stair. Then on the next set do more of a slower walking lunge up the stairs by skipping every other step and dropping down into a lunge alternating legs.
Speaking of lunges, there are many different variations but I will just focus on a couple different kinds that will help give you shapely, sexy legs.
When doing a basic lunge you will have one leg in front and one leg behind with a wide stance. Keeping good posture, bend the back need down towards the floor, but don't touch the knee to the ground. Try to aim for both knees to about a 90° angle and do not let the front knee go over your toes. The focus will be on the glutes of the front leg and the quad of the back leg. Be sure to do the same amount on each leg. You can make this harder by holding 10 pound dumbbells in your hands to really work the leg muscles.
Reverse Lunge to Front Kick
Start with both feet together. Pick a leg that will start the reverse lunge. You will step backwards into a reverse lunge, then pull that leg through to a standing front kick. The opposite leg will be your base leg that you stand on and will not move throughout the set. Stay with the same leg for high repetitions.
You should really feel the glutes of the base leg activating as you shift your weight from back to front. After you feel a good leg burn, switch to the other side.
One Leg Squat Touchdown
If this exercise is done correctly, you will definitely get a great burn in your glutes. This is a harder exercise since you will be balancing on one leg and bending over to touch the ground.
Start by choosing a leg to stand on and lifting the other one off the ground. Your first movement is to squat as low as you can on the base leg and shift your weight into your heel. Once you have done that, keeping good balance, you then lean over and touch down to the ground. Then using the force of your heel, push up to stand all the way back up.
Do not shift your weight forward and let your knee go over the toe. Keep your weight back and in the heels for glute activation. Do as many as you can on each side.
This exercise requires intense firing of the glutes and the quads for strength and the core for your balance. If you are a beginner to this exercise, you may not be able to touch all the way down to the ground. You can use a water bottle to touch as a modification. As your legs get stronger and your balance gets better you will be able to go all the way down to the ground and come back up.
Stay tuned for Wedding Ready Legs part two next month where I will give you even more tips for long, lean, sexy legs! Happy leg training!