It's summer and the idea of revealing your pasty pins to the world is terrifying. Never fear! Here are your common leg-hates and exactly how to fix them, to reveal your perfect legs!
Don’t you just hate it when you see some other-worldly woman strut past you with legs like stilts, perfectly toned, smooth and tanned?
Well don’t you think it’s our time to do the strutting? There are loads of reasons why you might think you’re more than far from having perfect legs, but for most of the year we can usually get away with covering them up, and not have to face the problem.
No longer ladies! What do you hate about your legs? Your cellulite? Thunder thighs? Razor rash?! Come on, be honest. If, like us, it’s a combination of all those things, then you’re in luck. We’ve listed the 10 most common leg-hates amongst women, and are here to teach you the steps to fixing them.
You’re not alone. Except for the very privileged (and annoying) few, most women have hang ups about their legs and wish they could change them.
If you’re dreaming of revealing perfect legs this summer, we’ve begun the hard work for you, by telling you exactly what to do to target those areas that get you down. So no more scurrying past the skirts and dresses on shopping trips, get them out and embrace them.
What do you hate about your legs? Let us know by leaving your comments in the gallery. Love your legs? We’d love to hear about that too!
What you hate: My cellulite
Girls, unfortunately cellulite is just one of those things that affects us women. It’s caused by fat being pushed through a thin layer under the skin that resembles a net, hence the bumpy effect.
How to get rid of it
There are plenty of scrubs and lotions that can help improve the look of cellulite, but ultimately, experts believe the majority of cellulite is down to lifestyle, rather than genetics. Think about your diet and exercise regime. Brisk walking is great for cellulite, try and walk a couple of miles a day.
Avoid foods that are high in fat and opt for super foods and fresh fruit and veg. And to drink? Water, water, and more water!
What you hate: I don’t have a thigh gap
Unfortunately not all of us are blessed with a gap between the thighs. Most of us find that each thigh can’t get enough of the other one.
How to get rid of it
A common misconception for slimming thighs is to do endless amounts of squats, lunges and leg lifts, but this could actually build muscle and make thighs bigger. Cardio exercise is your friend when it comes to your thighs. Jogging and cycling at relatively low resistence will help to burn fat without building too much muscle.
Yoga and stretching exercises are also great for toning the thighs.
What you hate: My saddlebags
Women’s bodies are designed to have a lower centre of gravity for child carrying and childbirth, which means that we tend to carry fat on the hips and on the outer thighs. These extra pouches of fat are commonly referred to as ‘saddlebags’. Having these areas of stored fat is natural, but if it’s particulary bothering you there are ways to tone and improve it.
How to get rid of itTry the hip dip!
- Lie on your side on the floor with your legs together and prop yourself up on your forearm.
- Lift your hips into the air into a side plank and hold.
Not too bad? Try lifting your free foot up, hold, then bring the foot and your hips back down to the floor. Try doing 10 reps and then switch sides.
What you hate: My short legs!Unfortunately, we don’t have a miracle pill for you that will give you legs like Heidi Klum. However there are certainly ways you can dress and a few beauty tricks you can try to help out your vertically challenged limbs…
How to make them look longerFirstly, don’t be afraid to show them off! Wearing a highwaisted skirt or trousers will give the illusion that your legs are longer, stick to a plain or dark colour on your legs and draw attention to your upper half with stripes or a bright colour.
Next, fake tan! If you’re taking the plunge and getting them out, use a good fake tan (but not too much) to make them look slim, defined and glowing.
What you hate: My varicose veinsYes, celebrities suffer from these too! These slim pins pictured above, belong to Renee Zellweger, who seems to have quite the prominent vein running down her right leg. Varicose veins can make you feel really self conscious, they’re caused by swollen veins under your skin, which can become lumpy, and dark blue or purple.
How to get rid of themThere are things you can do to help, avoiding standing for long periods can ease the discomfort of varicose veins, and wearing pressure stockings can help the blood flow back to heart.
As for the appearance, there are creams you can try, but the most permanent results are usually achieved through surgery. There are lots of options, such as having a liquid injected into them or having them tied off and removed. Sounds gruesome… but if they’re really impacting on your life it’s worth considering, no one should have to hide their legs away!
What you hate: My fat kneesLots of women seem to think they have ‘fat knees’. Unfortunately this may just be down to the natural shape of your legs, after all, some people have knobbly knees and are just as unhappy with those!
How to get rid of itIf you think the cause of your chubby knees is a result of carrying a few extra pounds, rather than the natural shape of your leg, then losing some weight with a sensible diet and exercise will help slim them down. Leg extension exercises, squats and lunges will help to tone and define the knee area, and the rest of your legs for that matter, win-win!
What you hate: My huge thighsProbably the most common leg-hate amoungst women, we’re all self conscious of our larger-than-we’d-like, wobbly thighs. Another area in which women’s bodies store more fat than in men (cheers Mother Nature!).
How to get rid of itSquats are great for working the thigh muscles (and buttocks, joy!), as are lunges, but mainly, slimming down your thighs will be down to cardio exercises like walking, cycling and running, as these will burn calories and in turn banish your thunder thighs!
What you hate: My cankles!This lucky woman is blessed with ankles that are practically slimmer than a strand of hair, but if you’re struggling to see where the calf ends and the ankle begins, then read on…
How to get rid of itFirstly, you need to decide whether your cankles are an unfortunate feature that runs in your family, or whether your weight is causing the issue. If it’s the latter, we think you know what we’re going to say by now, lose weight!
Water retention can also be a cause of swollen ankels, you can help prevent this by avoiding salty foods, avoid long periods of sitting down, and drinking plenty of water.
Still no luck? Try building up those calf muscles! Adding tone and definition to your calfs will draw attention away from your rounded ankles. Try some calf raises – you can do this at home:
- Stand on a step with the balls of your feet on the edge of the step
- Keep your heels pointing down towards the floor
- Lift both feet into a tip-toe position (as high as you can!) and hold for 3
- Repeat 30 times
What you hate: My razor rashIt’s so frustrating when your smooth, freshly shaved pins turn into angry, blotchy flamingo legs.
How to get rid of itIf you’ve already got the dreaded rash, try soothing it with some Aloe Vera gel, this really can work wonders as it’s soothes the skin and promotes healing.
If you’re looking to prevent it in the first place we’ve got some great tips for you to try!
- Use a good quality razor, gender specific ones do make a difference – no more borrowing the hubby’s!
- Open pores using warm water – whilst you might just want to get it over and done with if you’re in a rush, taking a bit of extra time really could save you some embarrassment
- Always use a sensitive skin shaving foam (and lots of it)
- Don’t push the razor against your skin, a good razor will glide along removing the hair without any added pressure
- Shave with the hair, not against – your shave won’t be as close, but it will really help to avoid the dreaded dapply red rash!
What you hate: My overly muscular legs!Firstly, we’re jealous. Here we are working away to get a slither of a calf muscle, and you’re blessed with super toned pins! But if you find your muscley legs are somewhat masculine, read on…
How to get rid of itHave a think about the type of exercise you usually do, cycling in particular, builds big calfs, especially if you take a taxing route. If you can’t bear to give it up, is there a flatter route you could cycle? Or could you turn down the resistance a notch on the gym bike?
Pilates works magic on legs, slimming them and making them leaner. Try taking up a pilates class, or you could even buy a pilates DVD you can do from the comfort of your living room. Certainly worth a try!