2 Vital Facts and 5 Powerful Exercises for Toning Your Legs and Butt

Need to tone up your thighs and hamstrings? Need to shape your out-of-shape butt? These 5 leg toning exercises are just the thing you need!

Two Facts Vital to Toning and Shaping Your Legs

When it comes to leg toning women who read Real Women’s Fitness have a huge advantage over the rest.


Simply because you are not going to find any misleading information here that is trying to get you to buy a product or try a workout that doesn’t work. You see, most fitness websites re-hash old information without studying it and without testing it and as such you can never be sure whether you are getting the best ideas for your body.

So, I am not going to tell you that these are 5 leg toning exercises that will get you thin and firm legs in a matter of days. Nor am I going to pretend that these exercises alone are ALL you need to tone your legs. That would be silly. What I am going to do is provide you with 5 leg exercises that are much more effective and powerful at developing toned legs than the rest.

However, first you need to know a few facts.

Toning Exercises

Fact 1 – Leg toning is more about losing fat

Toned legs do not come because you go crazy at the gym and work your legs like you are going to lose them. Toned legs are a result of a controlled diet and cardio plan so that you lose the fat that is covering the muscle.

Like any body part, you will not be able to see definition and tone unless you strip away the fat that is covering the muscles. If you want toned and firm legs then you need to lose the fat on them and that will only happen by eating healthy and doing some cardio.

Fact 2 – Leg toning takes time

Women often write to me asking how they can tone their legs up in two weeks. I always cringe when I read it. For many women the process of losing weight and building muscle takes years.

That’s right – years.

If you start out a little bit overweight or not very fit you need to build up your fitness levels before you can start getting into the hard cardio. The same goes for the muscle building – it just ain’t going to happen overnight. So, from the very outset you should approach your leg toning like your health; do it for the long term.

Now that you know that leg toning isn’t going to happen over night and it isn’t just a matter of a magic exercise we can move on to those 5 powerful exercises.

5 Exercises Vital for Toning Your Legs and Butt

If you want to give yourself the best change of toning your legs and butt you need to make sure you have the best information and the best exercises. There is no point in wasting your time.

1. Jumping squats
I will say it again and again and again, the jumping squat is one of the best ways to develop your legs and butt.

The jumping squat works your entire lower body as well as your abs. It also gets your heart rate up which means you will boost your fitness and lose some fat at the same time as developing your legs.

And when I say it works your whole lower body I mean it works your WHOLE lower body. The day after your first set of jumping squats you will know what I mean. Your hamstrings and quadriceps will be so stiff you struggle to walk, your calf muscles will be tight and sore and your glutes will be all worn out. It is an amazing exercise that every woman should get in to.

2. Sprinting
If you are interested in toning your legs then you should start to build up to sprinting. It is one of the best ways to burn fat and it really helps tone those legs and butt.

Sprinting is a very explosive exercise and as such makes progress come a lot faster. When I switched from a slow jog everyday for an hour to 20 minutes of flat out sprinting three times a week my weight loss progress sky-rocketed. I found myself getting leaner and more defined and my lower body took on a new and more athletic shape.

3. Weighted squats
Adding some resistance to your legs is vital if you want to change their shape. The legs are the strongest group of muscles in the entire body and unless you push and challenge them they are not going to go far at all.

I often hear from women who have been doing squats and other leg exercises for months and have seen zero progress. The first thing I always ask them is “how often do you add weight to your squats?” and the answer 100% of the time is “never”. Like any area of life, you will not progress unless you put new challenges infront of yourself. The human body adapts quickly so if you want it to change quickly you need to keep adding resistance. Weighted squats are one of the best way to change the shape of your lower body.

4. Step ups
Step ups are like hiking with a huge heavy bag on your back. By holding on to some weights and stepping up on to a bench that is higher than your usual steps you are adding a new dimension to your workouts. The legs are not used to moving in this fashion and they feel challenged. This is especially good for women who want to work on their butts and hamstrings.

5. Kickboxing
Throwing your legs around for an hour a day whilst practicing your deadly martial arts kicks is a fast way to tone and shape your lower body. It really is very powerful.

Like the jumping squats, kickboxing makes you combine a strength workout with a cardiovascular one and in doing so challenges your leg muscles more than they normally would be challenged. However kickboxing is especially good because you have to kick at different angles and heights. This brings flexibility into the mix as well.

Any woman can tone and shape her legs and butt if she wants. It takes a clean diet, cardio and some strength training exercises. It also takes a lot of hard work and dedication. However, while you are out trying to get a sexy butt you will achieve some excellent health and reach new levels of fitness. There really is no downside.

About Katie

Katie has transformed her body from a flabby 186lbs, to a fit & toned 124 pounds through healthy diet and exercise. Katie joined the Lean Curves team in 2007 and has posted hundreds of articles on fitness, fat loss and healthy eating.


  1. Well, I have to say, I actually liked your work-out article (even though I’m generally not a fan of exercise nor of exercise-talk). More importantly, I am actually encouraged to try out your 5 pointers.
    So thank you.

    In fact, I already started working on the sprints, as was suggested by my
    husband, Jimson Lee, Track Coach & writer of http://www.speedendurance.com , and I actually really like the efficiency and the results of this workout.

    So I shall try the jumping squats, etc, in moderation at first of course, – thanks for your post-workout muscle-ache warning!

  2. alba says:

    Hi, I totally agree with your article. When my boxing coach had me do this jumping lunge, I thought it was pretty easy move. But, from the next day for 3days, I nearly died of sore muscle. Although I am long time jogger, it was an eye opener. Even after one session, the shape around my knees & upward look much tighter now. Your information genuinely work.
    I have a question too. By sprinting, how fast do you mean to run? Can you tell me approximate speed rage, please?

    Thank you.

  3. C. Martinez says:

    I will try these exercises then let you know what I think…

  4. Reema says:

    How many jumping squats would you consider one set? 20?

    Thank You

    • Mariah B. says:

      I found on another one of her articles 4 exercises and the sets and reps for them. Jumping squats was 3 sets (how many times you repeat) and failure on reps (how many of them you do at one time).

  5. olivia says:

    what is a flying squat

    thank you

  6. Carolyn says:

    what is sprinting?

  7. Sandra says:

    what if i been playing sports for years and now my legs are super muscle status? i want them lean but not jiggly.

  8. Suzanne says:

    what exactly is a JUMPING squat,…..it never detailed it…i know what a squat is….but whats a (jumping squat)?

  9. R says:

    Lunges work for me,I dont do squats,i dont want my butt or hips to
    get big or wide.

  10. lebogang says:

    your tips are wonderful i will try them thanks a million.

  11. nidhi says:

    how should we do sprinting. i have pear shaped body kindly suggest me some exercises to reduce fat from my lower body

  12. Daniel says:

    Regarding toning the legs. very good. i like what i read. i would like to ad a few things if i may.

    -in order to tone, you need to have something to tone! this siply means that you must some muscle mass in order to tone it.
    -I have a different view on exercises then this article. all of the examples are good, here are mine, with my clients
    *front squat and back squat (full depth, this means all the way down)
    *deadlift (conventional and sumo)
    *lunges (only if they can do a proper squat)
    *and Olympic weightlifting

    as far as the sets and reps are concerned, i keep the reps low, 1 to 5, per set (strength training). here is one example, one of my clients is down 6 sizes in 7 weeks and she trains 3 times a week following this simple approach

  13. courteney :) says:

    i am 14 and i really want to tone my legs, stomach and arms but i am starting with my legs because all my frineds say i have nice skinny legs but there not tonned and i think if i get them tonned i will have more confidence in showing them more, just like my stomach and arms. do you need to have a healthy diet for this to work tho because i tend to say i will start eating healthier then when i actually go to getting food i pick up crisps and chocolate rather than an apple, i know this is bad but :/ ? and how long ruffly would if take to tone my legs and that if ive got long skinny legs? :$

  14. Nicolett says:

    Thanks for the information. Can you please suggest specific plan for a week to tone legs? I will definitely do the 5 things you recommend but how can you combine them?
    I guess first the cardio and then the squats?

  15. Mariana Gaona says:

    This is exactly what I wanted to hear. With all the misleading information on tv we look for instant results. I now understand this will be a long process..but it will have long term results.
    thank you.

  16. click here says:

    i expect these exercises would really help me cut down my weight. i had tried a few exercises bfore but as i read through the article i realised that the way and the body postures that i was following was wrong. i think i can work on it.

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