5 Ways to Quickly Trim and Tone Your Legs

By Marnie Duncan
5 moves to trim and tone your legs

Legs and glutes are a personal favorite to teach and work during class. They’re our largest muscle group in the body and biggest calorie burner. For women, hips and legs can be our hard-to-tone “trouble” spots. MOD incorporates strength training exercises with light weights and heavy repetition to help tone and strengthen your body. As you build lean muscle you will burn more calories throughout the day and effectively trim body fat.

photography by Molly Winters; tutorial by Marnie Duncan of MOD Fitness; outfitting by Outdoor Voices

Twisted Leg Bridge

We like to end every class with a set of bridge (aka back dancing) to get one final lower body strengthener in before you leave. We give clients the option to grab a light set of weights to place on their hips to give their glutes and hamstrings one last burn!

  • Start on your back in a bridge position with feet hips width apart and hips raised off mat, keeping the middle of your back on the mat. Hold a weight over your hips for an added challenge.
  • Twist your left leg under your standing leg. Extend your left leg straight, lining up your knees. Lift the leg straight up to the ceiling, then lower back to the diagonal. Do 10 reps and repeat on the other side.

Criss Cross Leg Lifts with Weight

Leg lifts are a client favorite at MOD Fitness. You will tone your inner and outer thighs while stabilizing your core.

  • Start on your side with shoulders and hips stacked and your forearm under your shoulder to support your upper body. Bend your knees so they are at a 45 degree angle from the hip and place the weight on your outer hip for additional resistance.
  • Lower your top knee behind your bottom leg while keeping your ankle raised off the mat. Lift the knee back to your starting position.
  • From there extend your leg straight for 1 rep. Do this 30 times and repeat on the other side.

Raised Tabletop Kickbacks

  • Start in a tabletop position with your knees under your hips and hands under your shoulders. Place a 2-4 lb weight behind your right knee for an added glute and hamstring challenge.
  • Curl your toes under and raise your knees off the mat.
  • Lift and lower your right leg for 1 rep. Do this 10 times and repeat on the other side.


High Lunge with Weight

  • Start in a lunge position with your right leg forward and left leg back. Make sure your right knee is on top of your right ankle for proper alignment.
  • Hinge forward from hips with a light weight in your hands. Bend your knees and lower the weight to your ankle and back to the knee for 1 rep. Do this 20 times and switch legs.


Jump Squats

Expect to tone your thighs, legs and hips when adding jump squats to your daily routine. In addition, you will boost your heart rate and increase calorie burn with a quick high intensity interval.

  • Start in a squat position with your feet slightly outside your hips and toes pointed forward. Bend your knees and lower into a squat position with your hands pressed together, shoulders relaxed and spine neutral.
  • Extend your legs straight and jump off the ground, pushing your arms behind you as you jump into the air.
  • As you come back down, bend your knees and lower down into your starting position. Do 1 minute of jump squats. The trick to jump squats is to master the landing. Try to land lightly on your feet.

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