Exercise for Toning Up the Belly & Legs

Exercise for Toning Up the Belly & Legs

You can tone your belly and legs through a variety of exercises. By working out, you can burn calories, build muscle mass and shed body fat for a more toned appearance and healthier body. By choosing from exercises such as cardio, strength training, yoga and circuits and by eating a calorie-appropriate diet, you can tone your belly and legs and achieve a new level of fitness and health.

Cardio
Cardiovascular exercise helps you tone your legs and belly by building muscle and burning calories. Workouts such as running, walking, biking, swimming and elliptical training help you create a calorie deficit that forces your body to use its fat stores for energy. The more fat you burn, the less is stored on your body, which makes your muscles become increasingly more visible. For even better toning results, choose cardio workouts such as hill running or stair climbing that provide a greater challenge for your leg and glute muscles by adding an incline.

Strength Training
Strength training can help you get a more toned belly and lower body by increasing your lean muscle mass. With more muscle, you increase your metabolic rate and naturally burn more calories per day, helping you shed extra weight. As the fat disappears, your muscles will begin to show. The more muscle you have built through strength training, the more toned your appearance will be. To build muscles in your legs, target your quads, hamstrings, calves and glutes with squats, lunges, deadlifts and leg presses. Work your midsection with planks, bicycle crunches, oblique twists and standing wood choppers.

Yoga
Yoga engages both your mind and your body for an effective strength-training exercise for your legs and belly. By engaging in specific poses, you can tone your lower body and core by forcing your body to remain in challenging positions that increase your balance and flexibility. To target your legs, focus on poses such as Warrior I, II and III and the Eagle, Triangle and Wheel poses. Tone your belly with poses such as the Plank, Side Plank, Boat and Dolphin poses.

Circuit Training
Circuit training involves mixing short bursts of high-intensity cardio with sets of strength training to burn calories and build muscle. By focusing on your legs and abs during your strength sets, you can tone and shape them while burning 30 percent more calories than during a standard weight workout. Alternate cardio moves such as jumping lunges, high knees and jump ropes with leg-building squats and lunges and belly-toning crunches and planks.