01/09/2010 12:42 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

The Luscious Leg Workout


If your pins are not as toned as you'd like, Malcolm Armstrong, national personal training manager at Virgin Active, has a string of tips to get yours into short skirt shape.

The key is resistance or cross training and keeping an eye on your diet, he says. "By combining yoga and Pilates with two to three days of conventional weight training a week, your legs will become more toned and slim. You can also substitute cardiovascular exercise for weight training, but the former will have a more profound effect on sculpting your legs."

So whip your legs into shape with his exercise workout. Malcolm suggests 15-25 repetitions on each leg without a break, working to the point of temporary fatigue. At the most strenuous parts of each move, hold the position for a few seconds, and to make it tougher, go slower.

Outer thigh leg lifts
Lie on your right side with your legs at a right angle to your torso and stacked on top of each other - to make it harder, you can add light ankle weights (around 2lbs) to your left leg if you wish.

Place your left hand on the floor in front of your chest for extra support. Keep your hips squared and raise your left leg into the air until you feel the muscle contract. Hold at the top and then slowly lower back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.

Inner thigh leg lifts
Lie on your right side with your body in a straight line. You can rest your head on top of your right arm which should be flat on the floor. Keeping your right leg straight, slowly bend your left leg and place your left foot on the floor in front of your right leg.

Holding onto your left ankle, gently raise your right leg a few inches off the ground. As before, you can add a light ankle weight to your right leg to make it harder if you wish. Repeat on the other side.

Stand tall with your feet together (you can hold light dumbbell, around 2lbs, in your hands if you wish). Step forward with your right foot, taking a slightly bigger step than normal. Bend your right knee and lower yourself towards the floor until your left knee almost touches the ground.

Your left thigh should be in a straight line with your back. Push backwards off your right leg to return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.

Stand with your feet parallel and your legs around shoulder-width apart. Cross your arms in front of your chest, or if you're holding light dumb-bells, rest your hands on your hips. Inhale and slowly lower your bottom as if you were about to sit in a chair, making sure your knees don't jut out beyond your toes.

Keep your head up and your back straight, and exhale as you stand up. Straighten your legs completely, but don't lock your knees.

Glute crunches
Start on all fours on the floor, then lower your forearms and your palms so they're touching the floor. Slowly extend your right leg straight out behind you - again, you can wear light ankle weights if you wish. Then bend it so your right thigh is parallel to the floor and the sole of your right foot is facing the ceiling - your right leg should be in a right angle behind you.

Lifting from the hamstring, slowly press your right foot up towards the ceiling and then gently lower to the starting position. Avoid arching or rounding your back while doing this move.