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Mature woman doing forward lunges while exercising outdoors.
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Lifestyle

Get Your Gams In Sleeker Shape — In Just 3 Weeks 

You should notice a difference in your legs — soon.

By the time you hit your 50s, there are probably a couple of aspects of your body you’d like to change. Maybe you’d like to whittle your waist a bit or tone up your arms. If sleeker, trimmer-looking legs are on your wish list, however, take heart — we’ve got several proven leg-toning moves that will strengthen and improve the look of your gams in just a few weeks.

Better still, your legs contain the largest muscle groups in your body. That means that exercising them burns extra calories, which can help you shed excess body fat. And these moves won’t make your legs bigger or bulkier — instead, they’ll give you more definition, help reduce the look of cellulite, and even make loose skin less noticeable. Another bonus? You’ll reduce your risk of injuries and may even notice an improvement in your golf or tennis game!

So, let’s get going!

Two-way squats

Squats are the best bang-for-your-buck leg exercise. They work your glutes (your butt); your quads (the muscles in the front of your thighs); your hamstrings, which run along the back of your thighs; and your calves.

Start with your feet under your hips, toes pointing out slightly to engage your glutes. Keep your weight in your heels, bend your knees (as if you were lowering yourself into a chair) until your thighs are nearly parallel to the floor, pause briefly and then stand back up. Do 15 to 20 repetitions in a slow, controlled fashion.

Then step both of your feet out a few inches and repeat the same move. (This foot position will target your inner thighs as well as your other leg muscles.) Do 15 to 20 reps; you should feel a little bit of a “burn” with your last reps!

Wall sit

This deceptively simple exercise helps strengthen your quads, hamstrings and calves — and is a great core move as well.

Stand about 12 to 18 inches from a wall, with your feet hip-distance apart, and slide down the wall so that your knees make 90-degree angles. Activate your quads to hold this position. Count slowly for 20–30 seconds, breathing normally, and then slide back up your starting position. Do three to five reps.           

Alternating lunge

Lunges work all of your leg muscles, especially your quads, hamstrings and calves. Stand with your feet under your hips, and step forward with your left foot 2 to 3 feet — far enough so that both of your knees will make 90-degree angles when you lower your left knee toward the ground. Push back up and step your left foot back; repeat, stepping your right foot forward. That’s one rep; do six to eight reps on each leg.

Calf raise

This exercise strengthens and stretches your calf muscles. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, and slowly lift your heels up to bring your heels off the ground as high as you can; lower down slowly and repeat. (Have balance issues? Stand next to a wall or chair with your hand on it for balance.) Do 18 to 20 reps.

Do one set of these exercises, three times a week, for week one. Do two sets, three times a week, for week two; and three sets, three times a week, for week three. By week’s end, you should see a difference in your legs! 

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