Lean, powerful legs give you a solid base for all your daily activities. Getting your legs in shape gives you even more reason to put on your favorite skirt or shorts. Fancy weight machines allow for leg workouts, but there are many options to do at home without any special equipment.
The heel raise is a basic move that helps tone your calf muscles. The calf muscles are often visible when wearing skirts, capri pants or shorts, so toning this area is beneficial. Start with the feet about shoulder-width apart. Stand tall throughout the movement. Slowly raise your heels off the ground so your toes support your body. Stay in control of the movement, rather than bouncing or make jerky movements. Dumbbells held in your hands add an upper body element to the exercise. Lift the dumbbells up as you raise your heels.
This exercise involves squatting down to work the leg muscles. There are different versions of the squat, including some with a stability ball. The basic one starts with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees while pushing your buttocks outward, much like you would move to sit down in a chair. Avoid extending your knees out further than your toes, which could cause injury. Raise the arms as you squat. Hold the position for a few seconds before going back to the starting position. Repeat the squat 10 to 15 times. To add the stability ball, hold it in your hands, and raise it above your head as you squat. For a different stability ball version, lean against the ball which is pressed against a wall. Slide down a few inches for the squat movement.
The lunge is another leg exercise with different versions. A basic static lunge starts with one foot in front of the other, with about 3 feet between them. Bend your knees so your body goes toward the floor, keeping your body upright the entire time. The front knee must be directly above the ankle, while the knee on the back leg almost touches the floor. Stand back up and repeat the movement. For more of a workout, hold dumbbells in your hands throughout the movement. Another variation is the walking lunge, which means you switch which foot is forward in the lunge as you move forward.
An exercise step or platform is an relatively inexpensive piece of home exercise equipment that revs up your leg workout. You can also use a flight of stairs in the home. Stepping up and down on the step platform is a basic move that works the legs. Add kicks or squats as you step off and on the platform for additional toning.