Best Moves for Legs

Get your lower body up to speed for the big day.
by The Knot

Maybe your rehearsal dinner dress is a daring mini or you're headed for a honeymoon on the beach. Incorporate these four exercises into your workout routine twice a week to get your legs in shape and looking their best for the wedding and beyond.

Lunges

Good for: Glutes, hamstrings, and quads
How it works: Stand straight, with feet together. Lunge forward with one leg and then bend the other leg; your front knee should make a 90-degree angle over your foot. You'll feel a stretch in the hip flexor in the front of your back leg. Return to the starting position. An alternative: walk forward as you lunge alternating legs.
Number of sets: Do three sets of 10 repetitions on each side. For walking lunges, do three sets of 20 steps.

Squats

Good for: Glutes, hamstrings, and inner thighs
How it works: Hold a broom, mop handle, or other stick vertically straight out in front of you. Point your toes outward in a plie position and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground; try to keep your back straight (the stick will help with this). Then squeeze your buttocks as you come up.
Number of sets: Do three sets of 25 reps.

Wall Sits

Good for: Quads and hamstrings
How it works: With your back against a wall, squat down till your thighs are parallel to the ground. Hold for 30 seconds; return to starting position. To increase the difficulty, work your way up to two-minute holds or do the exercise holding a container of laundry detergent in each hand.
Number of sets: Do three sets of 10 reps.

Calf Raises

Good for: Calves
How it works: Place the ball of your foot on a stair step or a block of wood. Cross the other foot behind it. Drop your heel down as far as it will go; then push up to stand on the tips of your toes.
Number of sets: Do three sets of 25 reps on each side.

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