The weather is finally starting to get nice and we’re ready to ditch our black tights and wool pants for cute skirts and platform wedges. In preparation for baring our skin, we’re getting our legs smooth and self-tanner-ready.
Follow these easy exercises and leg prettifying tips for gorgeous gams come May.
Strengthen and tone legs
Targeting major muscle groups with a few quick moves is easy with these three exercises from New York City personal trainer, Brooke Marrone.
Plié Squat: Stand with feet slightly wider than hips, toes turned out at a 45 degree angle. Keep knees and toes aligned and squat until thighs are parallel to the ground. Push back up and repeat 25 times.
Side Lying Leg Lift: To strengthen and tone your hips and obliques, lie on your side with your head resting on your arm and feet straight out at a 45 degree angle. Lift your top leg just higher than your hip, flex your foot and rotate your leg towards the floor. Bring leg down so your toe almost touches the floor. Repeat 25 times on each leg.
Curtsy Lunge: A new take on the standard lunge, this version targets glutes, quad and inner and outer thigh muscles. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and hands on hips. Take a big step back with your left leg, crossing it behind your right leg. Bend both knees until your left thigh is nearly parallel with the ground and make sure to keep your right knee directly over your right foot. Do 25 reps on each side.
Get smooth skin
Bumpy, irritated legs never look good. On the first day of summer, you want to be sure that yours are smooth and sleek. To get the closest, gentlest shave, you’ll want to begin the process within five minutes of getting into a warm shower, says Dale Neely, shaving expert at Energizer Personal Care Products. This ensures that skin doesn’t absorb too much water and swell up, making legs more prone to cuts and razor burn. Also try Schick Hydro Silk, a razor that’s surrounded by two skin guards that release a water-activated moisturizing serum with marine extracts to lubricate legs as you shave.
There’s nothing better than a faux tan that’s believable. Translation: golden and streak-free. We love Jergen’s revamped gradual self-tanner, Natural Glow & Protect SPF 20. It’s the same subtle color with an added bonus of sunscreen. If you need an even quicker kiss of color, try Per-fekt’s Body Perfection Gel in Tan. The buildable, matte formula gently tints skin while silicone creates a smooth, flawless finish.
Nothing makes legs look healthier—ahem, better—than a rich moisturizer and a hit of shimmer. Get both with Victoria’s Secret Perfect Body Luminous Lotion, a combo of soothing aloe and vitamin E and optical diffusers that give legs a gorgeous—yet still understated—shine. Or make a quick DIY shimmer cream by mixing a shimmery loose powder in a flesh-colored shade with few squirts of body lotion and apply to legs. Bonus: the shimmer helps to detract from bruises and unsightly veins.
How are you getting your legs summer-ready?