The plié squat is going to strengthen and tone the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteal muscles and the inner-thighs (abductor muscles). A few key points on proper form:
- Stand much wider than the basic squat with your toes pointed slightly outward. As pictured, you can vary the degree of your wide-stance based on your individual flexibility and comfort level.
- Lower yourself down and distribute the weight into your hamstrings, gluts (behind), and heels. This will help you to keep your back straight. Once your thighs are parallel to the floor, rise up steadily and repeat.
- Do as many as you can for 30 seconds, then alternate to the standing calve raises.
Standing calve raises are going to tone your calf muscles (believe it or not). A few key points on proper form:
- Stand on the edge of a step if you have access to one, but if you do not, you can still perform these without. The only disadvantage to not using an edge/platform is less range of motion. It is still valuable either way.
- Stand tall with your abdominal muscles pulled in; the balls of your feet firmly planted on the step; and your heels hanging over the edge. Rest your hands against a wall or a sturdy object for balance.
- Raise your heels an inch or two above the edge of the step so that you’re on your tiptoes.
- Hold the position for a moment, and then lower your heels below the platform, feeling a stretch in your calf muscles.
- Do as many as you can for 30 seconds then alternate back to the plié squats.
There you have it! A quick leg workout you can do in the morning and/or evening during your regular hygiene routine.
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*Disclaimer: As always, consult your doctor to get a medical clearance before you start this or any other type of workout.