Everybody wants a nice toned body, but few are willing to do the work to get it. For those willing to put in the work, we’ve compiled a list of exercises that work optimally to tone your legs. However, first, we have some myths to dispel about toning itself.
Dispelling Myths About Toning
What is “toning” anyway? For most people, this just means displaying more muscle tone, but what does that entail physically? A more extraordinary display of muscle tone is generally a combination of two factors. Namely, a lower body fat percentage is necessary to display the muscle itself better, unobstructed by body fat. Additionally, a larger muscle, which is easier to see, is essential. Muscular hypertrophy (exercising the muscle to make it bigger) and fat loss are necessary to achieve the toned look many seek. There are several myths revolving around this process that we need to dispel before getting into anything else.
Myth 1: You Shouldn’t Exercise With Weights Because You’ll Get Too Bulky
This is universally a myth because building muscle is hard and requires a concerted effort to do so. No one has woken up finding that they have accidentally gained 20 pounds of muscle. It simply does not occur. People spend years of effort and deliberate diet and exercise strategies on building muscle intentionally. Almost no one gains large amounts of muscle unintentionally.
Myth 2: Spot Fat Loss is Possible With Exercise
The concept that you can target specific areas for fat loss with exercise is generally a myth. You can lose or gain body fat based on your diet, but you cannot lose body fat in a specific spot just by exercising it a lot. Fat loss is systemic, and your body tends to lose fat overall in a specific order. Certain areas of the body are where fat is first deposited when body fat is gained, and these are generally the last spots the body chooses to lose body fat from when dieting. You can only control your overall energy balance with diet and exercise and try to lose body fat overall. You cannot section out a part of your body and exercise it to lose fat specifically there. This is why all those “10-minute ab exercises for a six-pack” programs are frauds. You cannot selectively lose stomach fat by exercising the abdominal muscles. You have to lose body fat overall until the abdominal muscles are no longer covered with body fat.
What Makes For a Good Exercise
Now we will look into what makes a good exercise. There are a few factors that make an exercise good, and we will go over them below.
The amount of muscle activation achieved by an exercise is basically how many muscle fibers in the targeted muscle are recruited to perform the exercise. An exercise with good muscle activation will target the most significant amount of muscle fibers in the target muscle possible.
An exercise’s programmability is the ability to be programmed into a scheme of progression. This means that you can add resistance or repetitions when the existing sets and repetitions of the exercise become easy due to muscular adaption. Programmability is very important because an exercise without it cannot be appropriately progressed once you adapt to the stimulus it provides.
Here are a few exercises that make for exceptional leg development. They target different areas of the leg, which is necessary for complete development.
This exercise holistically trains all the muscles in the leg, with an emphasis on the hamstrings. It is extremely programmable, and millions of progression schemes for the squat exist. Squats additionally utilize many stabilizer muscles, including the core, to stay upright during the exercise, making it broadly beneficial for the whole lower body. Muscle activation with barbell squats is high, and it is easy to simply add weight or repetitions when the existing load becomes too easy.
This is an isolation exercise for the quadriceps. It is very programmable with simple weight addition serving as an easy vehicle for adapting resistance. Additionally, muscle activation with this exercise is very high, focusing on just the quadriceps and maximizing the use of those muscle fibers.
The leg curl is an isolation exercise for the hamstrings. This exercise is similarly programmable to the leg extension, and it provides maximal muscular activation for the hamstrings. This exercise can be progressed with the addition of resistance or repetitions.
Frequently Asked Questions About Toning the Body
Here we will go over some of the most commonly asked questions about toning the body.
What If I Want to Build Muscle and Lose Body Fat at the Same Time?
This is generally only possible in individuals who are relatively new to training, as the energy requirements for these two goals are diametrically imposed. You typically have to eat in a caloric surplus to build muscle tissue because building that tissue takes energy. You have to be in a caloric deficit to lose body fat. This means that in all but the newest trainees who can easily make adaptions, it is impossible to gain muscle and lose body fat at the same time. And instead, phases must be devoted to each activity individually.
There are a number of other options for achieving toned legs, including cosmetic procedures which involve a lot less effort than just diet and exercise. Here we will go over a few of these alternative options.
Body contouring, also commonly known as cryolipolysis, is a process by which extreme cold is used to target fat cells in a specific area of the body for spot fat reduction. The cold destroys the fat cells, and they are then excreted from your body by the immune system. However, this procedure carries the risk of paradoxical fay hyperplasia, which is when the number of fat cells in the treated area increases rather than decreases.
Laser Fat Reduction
Laser lipolysis, also referred to as “laser lipo,” involves the application of a low-intensity laser. Lasers can generate singular-directional light and heat to a minimal area. With laser lipo, the technician will target the cell with the laser. The laser penetrates the skin, reaches the targeted fat cells, and bores a tiny pore into the cellular membrane. In addition to creating a small hole, the laser emulsifies (melts) the lipids inside the cell, which allows them to seep through the pore. The body’s lymphatic system then naturally disposes of the lipids. Emerald Laser by Erchonia works differently from other laser lipolysis methods. Emerald’s system uses ten 532 nanometer lasers to target fat cells. While the system allows the cells to drain, they remain intact. Other laser systems destroy the fat cells, which can lead to fatty deposits developing in other areas of the body. With Emerald Laser, you can get inner thigh fat removal and target the most stubborn areas.
Additionally, Emerald Laser is relatively painless when compared to other laser systems. Most patients don’t feel anything at all. Laser lipolysis is a non-invasive weight loss method that targets body fat exclusively. It is innovative and relatively new, and it is a way for you to offer a service that is not yet widely available. Laser lipolysis by Emerald Laser is the first FDA-approved laser lipolysis process. Offering this treatment would allow you to corner the market for laser fat reduction in your area.
Why Choose Emerald Laser by Erchonia
Even if you’re sold on laser lipolysis, it’s important to recognize that all laser lipolysis processes are different. The Emerald Laser method has several significant features that other laser lipo processes don’t:
- Emerald Laser is relatively painless when compared to other laser systems.
- Emerald is the only laser system approved by the FDA for individuals with a BMI over 30.
- Erchonia is a pioneer in the medical fat reduction industry. They received the first FDA market clearance for a body fat reduction laser. Since that time, Erchonia has received multiple FDA market clearances.
- With packages ranging from $1,500 to $2,500, Emerald is one of the most cost-effective weight loss systems on the market.