How to Tone Up Your Legs

I am always being asked by clients “ How can I tone up my legs”?


“I would love to have those lean, tight and toned dimple free legs”

So today I am going to share with you the secrets I give to my clients


The below picture is the before and after of an actual client from my studio

So next time you tell yourself you cannot change your lower body well then you are just making excuses.

You see we all have our trouble spots

Its common for women (even thin women) to hold a vast amount of fat on their thighs and butt.


But in order to Tone up your legs you need to:


1)     Understand why you hold fat in your hips and thighs,

2)     Gain the right knowledge to make change and …

3)     Be consistent in your actions to transform your legs.


So why do women carry more fat in their lower body then men


Estrogen causes fat to be stored in the buttocks, thighs, and hips in women.

The storage of excess fat deposits is also what creates cellulite –  > > see my post on How to get Rid of Cellulite > >

Body fat percentage recommendations are higher for females, as this may serve as an energy reserve for pregnancy.

Recommended Body fat % for women is 18% -25%

(By the way all the girls below weigh the same amount on the scales – the difference is their body composition)

compared to men which is 10% – 15%.

When women reach menopause and the estrogen produced by ovaries declines, fat migrates from their buttocks, hips and thighs to their waists where the fat is stored in the belly.


The fastest way to Tone up your legs and decrease the fat on your hips and thighs is going to be through clean eating >> see How to Eat Clean>> and strength work on the legs.


Cardio and running is the first exercise most women think they need to do to shrink their lower body but this is not the case


In order to change the shape of your lower body you need to target all the different muscle groups in your legs, this will burn a lot of fat in your lower body, make your legs look lean and toned and will help reduce cellulite.


So here is the exact formula I use with clients for transforming your legs and lower body


1)     Take a before photo – front on, side on and from behind – when your working hard and looking in the mirror everyday you will not notice the changes to your body but when I show clients their progress photos they are amazed at the difference.


2)     Take some measurements with a tape measure

  • Waist – hold the tape measure on your belly button and follow you natural waist line around and record
  • Hips – This is the largest part including your butt
  • Thigh – Measure 20cm up from your knee cap and measure around your thigh


3)     Clean eating as discussed above is essential – but if you are a little bottom heavy I would eliminate all dairy products for 28 days


4)     Stretch  – your legs will appear leaner Just by lengthening your muscles each day – my favourite are the leg exercises commonly associated with Ahstanga yoga – downward dog,  etc


5)     Strength work for your legs – See below for a killer workout

You need to target all the large muscle in your legs for example working your hamstrings will give you an instant butt lift

Heres your workout

complete all 3 sets for a Total of 15mins cardio intervals and 300 reps



If you have access to cardio equipment choose your favourite

Treadmill, rower, spin bike, x-trainer,

Otherwise do a run of equal time or interval stationary cardio exercises
– jump rope, jog on spot, star jumps, Mountain climbers,

– e.g: 45 Seconds ON and 15 Seconds REST Or  30 secs easy  and 30 sec HARD – repeat for 5 mins

Minutes Power Intensity Recovery
1-2 45 secs 15 secs
2-3 45 secs 15 secs
3-4 45 secs 15 secs
4-5 45 secs 15 secs


SET 1:  Complete 5 mins of cardio intervals


20 Step Back Lunges – 20 each leg
Keep your foot out front and lower up and down for 20 reps then change legs
optional: hold weights by your side or a barbell on your shoulders – to make it more challenging place your front foot on a low step


20 Leg Press or 20 Leg lifts (10 each leg)


20 Straight leg Dead lifts
from stance – Lower the weights slightly forward and towards the floor –  keep your back straightand lean slightly backwards with your hips and booty to feel the stretch in the back of your legsas you come back to stance pull your tummy in TIGHT and  finish by slightly thrusting your hips forward and pulling your shoulders back


20 Single leg Step ups – 10 each leg
Keep one foot on the bench and step up and down with the other for 10 reps then change legs – hold weights by your side

20 Sumo Squats
Feet wide and toes turned out to engage your inner thighspush up thru your heels


SET 2:  Complete 5 mins of cardio intervals and repeat the above 5 exercises


SET 3:  Complete 5 mins of cardio intervals and repeat the above 5 exercises


complete all 3 sets for a Total of 15mins cardio intervals and 300 reps

Enjoy Vix

By Vix Milicevic

Facebook Comments


  • Carla

    Reply Reply March 22, 2013

    Awesome workout can feel the legs workin hard 😉

    • Vix

      Reply Reply March 22, 2013

      Carla you are SMASHING IT!

    • Sara

      Reply Reply February 24, 2016

      do you have to stretch before or after the workout?

  • angel

    Reply Reply May 30, 2013

    Ok wish I had Ur body 🙂 I have really big hips and thighs having trouble getting into my jeans I used to be size five now mine BC of my hips everything I eat goes straight to my ass and thugs I just had a baby and it’s been six months I’m having a hard time I can’t wear shorts BC of the dints in my legs and the extra skin from the pregnacy it sucks and hard to get slim down please give me some advice what I can do I cute out soda , candy, cakes, coffee , any thing with caffeine because I’m allergic to that no milk no I’ve cream and no results I do exercise when I can my baby does keep me up I don’t get alot of sleep that could be the reason why I don’t have any energy . Please help thanks 🙂 Angel

  • Tiana

    Reply Reply June 3, 2013

    Hi I’m a mum of ten children , my last two were c sections , my problem is my Caesar area , it’s disgusting . Could you please advice me the best exercises to tighten the flabby skin , if there’s anything that can be done

  • Annie

    Reply Reply June 4, 2013

    Yowsers. This was a goodie! Just a quick question, I note today we had sumo squats, tomorrow we have ballet squats, but the pics look the same. Are they the same squat, but a different name? Thanks.

    • Vix

      Reply Reply June 4, 2013

      Hey Annie! Great to hear from you- The sumo and ballet squats are the same squat! Thanx, Vix

  • Cari Robertson

    Reply Reply June 4, 2013

    oh boy….now that took some effort!! 😀 feeling great though at the end of it….am finding it a tad tricky with cutting all sugars and processed out, though I’ve been picking at grapes all day, and made a lettuce & carrot leaf taco for lunch ( I rolled the grated carrot & some capsicum in a lettuce leaf!!) and am feeling more YAY than I have for a very long time!!!

    Thanks for the shove in the right direction!!

    • Vix

      Reply Reply June 4, 2013

      You are doing AWESOME Cari! Congratulations!

  • Tracey

    Reply Reply June 4, 2013

    Loved todays workout!!!

  • Amanda

    Reply Reply June 4, 2013

    Is there a format for the 5 min cardio? Did I miss that somewhere. Sorry if that’s the case. Amanda 🙂

    • Vix

      Reply Reply June 5, 2013

      Hi Amanda! Complete all sets with a 1x 5min cardio interval in between each set. Let me know if you have any other questions, Vix!

  • Muchelle

    Reply Reply June 4, 2013

    Loved this workout!!! Can’t wait to see the results in a couple of weeks. No sugar was ok today but struggled not having my morning coffee!! Being on Wednesday!!!

    • Vix

      Reply Reply June 5, 2013

      AWESOME work Michelle! 1-2 cups of coffee a day is fine. It’s the sugar, milk cream and syrup that is the real issue with coffee so no double Frappachinos! Herbal Teas are also great to have and there is no limit on herbal teas. All the best! Vix

  • Emily

    Reply Reply June 4, 2013

    Hi Vix, I’m really impressed with your website and advice! Do you have any specific running guides that you publish? Again, commend you on your business.

    • Vix

      Reply Reply June 5, 2013

      HI Emily, Thanks for getting in touch! I dont have any running specific guides as I specialise in body transformations- so, my focus is on my clients getting lean through a decrease in their bodyfat% and increasing lean muscle tone for a lean and toned look. This is best achieved through workouts that are 80% weights and dynamic strength. All the best, Vix

  • Emmys

    Reply Reply May 11, 2014

    Hi there,

    I did this routine about 3 times on alternating days and loved it!!!! The only problem is that I can no longer do the back lunges – I’m experiencing sharp stabbing pains on the top of each front thigh. Can you help shed some light on what I’ve done wrong? I’m still pretty new to strength straining, but after the first and second workout I was only experiencing the typical post-workout soreness and stiffness so I just kept going. Now all the stiffness is gone, but I have these pains when I do the lunges (and I notice them a bit throughout the day whenever climbing stairs). Thanks so much for your help! Really appreciate you posting the routine and I’m so anxious to get back into it!

  • Mona

    Reply Reply May 28, 2014

    Hi!! 🙂 my only problem is that the calves of my legs is so big in front view my legs look good but if u look back u will get shock how big it is… …hope this exercise will work to me…:)

  • Kirr

    Reply Reply March 16, 2015

    Hi vix! I’m mainly just struggling with toning (areas such as thighs and stomach) I’m a petite person but because I did intensive sports (gymnastics) years ago and haven’t done much since my thighs which had a large muscle mass area and my stomach have gone all “loose” and even when I sit I have a few “dimples” on my thighs near the bum/’hip area. Is there any workouts/ diets to follow to help with this? Making me really unhappy with myself for a while and anything will help! And are they exercises you can do at home?as I’m not a member of a gym. Thank you!

  • Hannah A

    Reply Reply March 18, 2015

    Hello! I am recently starting to tone up my body after a few cheeky comments of being bottom heavy! I am 20 years old and tbh I do hold weight around my bum thighs etc. Im so self conscious of my bottom and thighs and also want to add scuplture and muscle to my puny arms. Im going to start doing these exercises but was just wondering if we can eat foods that contain healthy fats like pistashio nuts (excuse spelling) amd other peanuts like cashews etc as well as dried fruits during the odd snack. I am definitely looking out for the fat intake! Swapping white bread for brown bread rolls etc. Would you also recommend 15-20 daily exercises because as lazy as it sounds thats all my body can take! I waa taking protein milkshakess but do not see the benefits so am not going with it. I need some spurring on to stick with being good 🙁 My bottom half makes me really self conscious in summer dresses sorry for moaning! Thank you!

  • Katie

    Reply Reply March 19, 2015

    Hi!! I’m looking forward to starting this as I need something to tone. I’ve lost the motivation for what I usually do, and my pants are slowly getting tighter, I can feel the muscle loss 🙁 Anyway.. I’m just wondering what the “5 mins of cardio intervals” is? Thank you so much in advance 🙂

    • Vix

      Reply Reply March 21, 2015

      Hi Katie I just added some detail the the post. All the beset!

  • Zady

    Reply Reply April 15, 2015

    Hi, do I have to train my legs every day? Or just like 2-3 times a week?

    • Vix

      Reply Reply April 16, 2015

      Hi there Zady old school training where you focus on one or two body parts in a session is great for gaining bulk, not so good for rapid toning. For the best results follow the workouts in the Slim Down Challenge exactly here is the link to join:

  • Michelle

    Reply Reply April 18, 2015

    Hi Vix, great article and very encouraging 🙂 Just a quick question, I am tall and have long legs and pretty big feet. I am over 16stone but Im told I carry it well as it doesn’t gather around my waist, generally my legs. I was wondering, what would you advise for legs with never ending calfs and thick ankles? My legs are not stubby, but I guess Im bigger boned than most. I would just like my legs to look half-decent in a skirt!

  • Clarissa

    Reply Reply June 12, 2015

    Hi, I’m an 18-year-old female that has undergone significant weight loss (I went from 160 to 116). I eat clean and I go for long bike rides and long walks everyday but I still haven’t noticed much of a difference in my legs, especially my calves..

  • Sam

    Reply Reply April 15, 2016

    hy can we tone our legs without weights…are these workouts effective if we do them without weights

    • Vix

      Reply Reply April 18, 2016

      Hi Sam thanks for getting in touch. For the best results use 3-5kg hand weights. You can grab them super cheap from any store with a sports section, gumtree or ebay.

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