Image courtesy of marin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of marin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We all want toned legs, but that’s easier said than done. Most of the stuff you’ll find on the Internet is either half-baked or flat-out wrong. Here’s what it really takes to get legs of steel to go with your abs.

Get Plastic Surgery

OK, so this might not be what you had in mind when you thought “toned legs,” but it’s the easiest way to shape and tone the skin after you’ve lost a lot of weight. Sometimes, it’s absolutely necessary because permanent, or semi-permanent, changes have occurred that won’t allow you to have that lean, toned, look.

In fact, plastic surgery can be used to shape all parts of your body, like breasts, hips, thighs, and butt, so that the sagging skin doesn’t kill your morale: see here what can be done with a simple scalpel and a few hours worth of work.

Walk More

If you want stronger leg muscles, you have to use them more often. That means walking more. Walk everywhere. When you have the option to walk or take an escalator, walk. When you have the option to take the elevator or walk, walk.

Park at the back of the parking lot and walk. If it’s less than a mile to wherever you’re going, walk. If you can afford to, walk before and after work. Are you getting the idea?

Walking is underrated but it’s, by far, the easiest way to improve muscle tone, coordination, and overall health. Another thing you could try is petitioning your boss for a standing desk. Move around more at the office. If he or she says no, take more breaks. If you can’t take more breaks, consider a different job. Unfortunately, there’s no substitute for walking. You have to do it.

Sprint

Have you ever seen a sprinter’s legs? They’re ripped. Almost every sprinter has very defined glute, hamstring, and quad muscles owing to their exceptional “off the line” force production and limit speed training. Contrast this with “runner’s legs” which are usually lean and a little flimsy looking.

Bottom line: if you want strong-looking legs (they don’t have to be huge), start sprinting. Go to the local YMCA, YWCA, or join a gym with a track.

Do Squats and Deadlifts

Squats and deadlifts are the king of quad, butt, and hamstring workouts. The squat, especially, is a particularly effective way to train the leg muscles. Squats done for strength, in the 3 to 5 rep range, are less likely to produce bulky “bodybuilder legs,” and are more likely to make you lean and toned, especially if the weights are sufficiently heavy to prevent a sarcoplasmic hypertrophy – a condition where fluid fills the muscles, making them appear large.

This effect can be significant, and is responsible for the “bubbly” look that bodybuilders are known for. A gymnast’s body, on the other hand, is lean, very muscular, and strong. This type of strength is typically build through heavy weights, but lower rep schemes, muscle endurance exercises, and static holds – something your leg muscles naturally love.

Dr. Kevin Ruhge is a long-time cosmetic surgeon who as elected to the Alpha Omegal Alpha National Honor Medical Society during his extensive medical training. Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, he hopes to help people live better lives by sharing his insights and experiences online. You can find his illuminating and informative posts on a variety of today’s best websites and blogs.