I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I hate going to the gym. It’s just not in my DNA. For those of you who get a natural high from 60 minutes spent on the treadmill, I applaud you. I wish I were you. Alas, it’s just not me.
That said, there are ways to slim down and tone up easily without setting foot inside a workout class (gasp!). Today’s lesson? Legs. I learned how to get real, lazy girl–friendly results in just one month.
I spoke with Astrid Swan, a celebrity personal trainer who is “committed to helping people of various levels of fitness be their best, while looking good and feeling great.” Her advice for leaner legs is to create your own squat challenge. Take a month (any month will do, but why not start today?) and promise to follow the below directions. In 30 days—or less—you’ll notice a definite difference.
1. Take five minutes and do squats before breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
2. Start with 10 squats before each meal, and then add five more the next day.
3. Now add five more.
4. Make sure your form is correct. Swan advises: “Your weight should be in your heels. Engage your core and squeeze at the top of each squat.” It helps if you wiggle your toes as you do it—that way you’re making sure with each rep your weight is on your heels rather than your toes.
5. Remember—the good thing about this exercise is that you can do it anywhere. Take advantage of that! Do it on the floor next to your bed in the morning, at your desk during the workday, and in the living room before dinner. You can even do it at your friend’s place on the way out to drinks or in the kitchen as you cook. This challenge will never force you to change your usual routine.
6. While you challenge yourself to make squats a part of your day, it’s best to accompany the exercise with a clean diet. I know it’s hard, but think of the results! Swan suggests going for lean protein (like grilled chicken), a complex carb (peas, beans, or your favorite vegetable), and a healthy fat (avocados). You can even do sweet potatoes, my personal favorite.
7. That’s it! You’re done! Make it through the month and your legs will look longer and leaner than ever before. Now go treat yourself to a pair of Victoria’s Secret's Knockout Hot Shorts ($40) to build more momentum for next month.
For more weight-loss advice, peep how I totally changed my body in just three months.