It doesn’t matter how funky the print on your uber-cool leggings, at some stage during the warmer months you’re going to have to cast them aside and bare your legs.
Although most of us chase the ultimate flat tummy, this is hidden from public view most of the time, but our legs are out there for all to see (depending upon hemlines!) which is why waxing and self-tan alone will not cut it.
So with this in mind we give you the route to the runway, a workout that will allow you to catwalk with confidence and give you the shape to go short on skirt but heavy on strut.
• Target is 12 repetitions of each exercise; two or three circuits.
• Warm up with around five minutes of cardio, moving your limbs through their range of motion.
• For better results, perform each exercise slowly, as this will recruit more muscle fibres.
• Never hold your breath; try to exhale on the exertion.
• Don’t perform this workout directly after eating and sip water as you go.
• Cool down with around three minutes of gentle cardio to avoid possible dizziness.
1. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, weight evenly balanced.
2. Shift your weight onto one foot and take a long step back with your other leg, crossing it behind you. Bend your knees to lower your body down as far as is comfortable.
3. Drive up through both legs and return to the neutral start position. 4 Keep your shoulders back, hips square and front knee pointing forwards at all times. Repeat on the other leg.
1. Stand on a step platform, such as a bench or bottom stair, with your feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Take a leap off the platform and aim to land about a stride length forward.
2. As you land on both feet, immediately drop into a deep squat by bending the knees. Your upper body should hinge forward slightly at the hips, but keep the tummy pulled in tight.
3. Immediately leap upward from this crouched position using a maximal contraction in your thighs. Use your arms to generate extra momentum on the lift. Ensure you have a soft landing to reduce the risk of impact injury.
1. Stand in a lunge position, feet shoulder-width apart, with your rear foot on the ball of the foot.
2. Slowly lower down into a lunge by bending both knees, keeping the toes pointing forwards. Maintaining the bend in the front knee, curl the rear heel up to the backside.
3. Lower the rear foot to the ground, with the knee dropped to the floor, back in the lunge position. Use your butt and thigh muscles to lift up from the lunge so both legs are straight. Repeat on the other side.
1. Start by standing with your feet together, tummy pulled in and shoulders back.
2. Take a wide step out to the side, placing the foot so that it points slightly outwards.
3. Bend the knee, keeping the other leg straight and simultaneously hinge at the hip to reach down.
4. Drive through the wide foot to push back to the start position. It is important to focus on alignment so that you don’t round your spine when you hinge at the hip.
1. Stand with your feet together, hands on your hips, chest lifted and your head up.
2. Lift one knee up towards the chest, without tucking your pelvis under or dropping your chest down.
3. Take a long step forward and immediately lower towards the ground into a lunge position. Don’t allow your front knee to overshoot your toes, as this puts undue pressure on the knee tendon.
4. Contract the thighs and buttocks to lift up from the lunge and bring your feet together. Repeat, this time lifting the other knee and taking another big step into a lunge down. Keep the shoulder blades drawn back and down.
SINGLE LEG CALF RAISE
1 Stand on a step platform, such as a bench or bottom stair, on one leg, holding on for balance.
2 One foot should be placed right on the front of the step so the heel is hanging over the edge.
3 Roll onto the ball of the foot, lifting the heel as high as possible by contracting the calf muscles.
4 Lower down gently, working to full range of motion, dropping the heel below the level of the step. Throughout the exercise, ensure the knee on your standing leg is not locked out but slightly soft.
SINGLE LEG DEADLIFT
1. Start with your feet together, holding the weight down in front of your body in both hands.
2. Hinge at the hips to lower the weight towards the ground, lifting one leg straight behind you. Aim to lower down until the upper body is parallel to the ground then straighten back up by driving the hips forward.
3. Ensure to keep the tummy pulled in, shoulders back and neck relaxed. Repeat on the other leg.
Personal trainer: Dean Hodgkin (deanhodgkin.com) Clothing: Bra and shorts from We Are Handsome, (wearehandsome.com). Top from Wellicious (wellicious.com) Hair and makeup: Sarah Massie Model: Danielle Holbrook, W Athletic Studio: Cliqq Studios (cliqq.co.uk)