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The best way to lose weight on the legs is through a healthy diet and regular aerobic exercise. Sometimes, however, weight loss efforts are taking longer than they should or you reach a plateau in your weight-loss efforts. Helping to slim down the legs through the right exercises can help your slimming efforts. The best part is that you can do the exercises at home, saving money on those expensive gym memberships.

Leg Circles

Leg circles can be an effective thigh workout. Begin by laying flat on your back, your hands resting at your side, palms downward, and toes pointed. Lift your left leg, keeping both legs straight, and slightly turn your lifted leg out. Breathe in deeply and draw a circle with your toe, using your whole leg and hips firmly on the ground. Repeat for five clockwise circles, then switch directions. Switch to the right leg and repeat.

For a more difficult workout, try to write the entire alphabet with one leg before switching to the other.

Lunges

Lunges are another classic leg-toning exercise. To begin, stand with your shoulders pulled back, chest out and eyes facing forward. Take a step forward with the right leg and slowly bend your knees, lowering toward the floor until your left knee is almost touching the ground. Your right knee should be lined up with your right toes to prevent knee damage. Take a larger or smaller step next time if this isn't the case. Slowly return to a standing position and repeat the motion 10 to 15 times, then switch legs. Do three or four sets for each leg, resting between sets.

For a more intense workout, hold dumbbells in each hand while lunging.

Squats

Squats are another effective exercise for the leg muscles. To do a standard squat at home, stand about 24 inches from a wall, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lean your back to the wall and bend your knees to a half squat, feeling the thigh muscles begin to work. Hold this for 10 seconds then lower a couple more inches and hold 10 more seconds. Move lower once more, hold another 10 seconds, then slowly raise back to standing and rest before repeating again.

For an alternate squat exercise, using a fitness ball, place the ball between the wall and your lower back, then lower down to a squatting position--similar to sitting in a chair--and hold for three to 10 seconds then return to standing. Do five to 15 reps, depending on your fitness level, then rest briefly before doing another two or three sets.

You can also do squats at the gym, with barbell, for a more intensive strengthening exercise.

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