Ten steps to tone-up your legs

This week is the third part of N2 Fitness’s winter diary. Last week we looked at toning up that bottom. This week, Emile Solomons and Heinrich Smith will give us their top ten pointers on toning up your thighs and calves and get you bikini-ready in no time.


Squats – Stand with your feet approximately shoulder width apart, extend your arms above your head (this will help you keep your back straight), bend your knees to 90 degrees and return back to the starting position. Intermediates/advanced can use a barbell across the upper back to increase the intensity.

Squat jumps – Do a normal squat but when you’ve bent your knees to 90 degrees, jump up off the ground and return to the starting position. (Not recommended for beginners).

Lunges – Stand upright and take a step forward with one foot and bend the front knee to 90 degrees (you should lower your back knee to a couple of cm above the ground). Step back to the starting position and repeat the action.

Resistance running – To do this, you would need a partner and a resistance exercise band. Your partner should stand behind you holding the two loose ends of the band, while the rest of the band loops around your waist. You then run forward while your partner trails behind you adding some resistance. This exercise can also be done running backwards.

Adductors (groin/inner thighs) – Sit on top of a gym ball in a “saddle” position as if you would ride a horse. Squeeze the ball, hold for three seconds and relax. Repeat.

Abductors – Lay down on your side. Tilt your hip forward slightly and raise your leg as high as you comfortably can and then return to the starting position. Once you have done your repetitions, flip over and do the same with your other leg.

Standing calve raises – Stand on the edge of any step/ledge/box so that your heels can go below the horizontal. Rise up onto your toes as high as you can and then lower down to the starting position.

Seated calve raises – Sit on a chair/gym ball with your feet raised slightly by using a plank or brick. Add some weight on top of your thighs and then raise your heels as high as you can before returning to the starting position. In the gym, there should be a “seated calve raise” machine that you can use.

Leg press calve raises – In the gym, a variation you could do on the leg press machine is to do calve raises. Position yourself on the machine as if you would do a leg press but instead, place your feet against the plate and do calve raises.

Single leg calve raises – Stand on the edge of a step/ledge/box with your one leg crossed behind the other. Holding onto a rail, or any supporting structure for balance, raise your body up by doing calve extensions on the one leg.