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What Exercises You Need to Choose According to Your Leg Shape

What Exercises You Need to Choose According to Your Leg Shape

We are all perfect in own imperfections. But if you think that your leg shape may need a bit of a correction, it’s possible to accomplish if you just select the right exercises. The workouts can’t be random and the selections differ depending on what you need to work on. For some corrections, you may need to strengthen the outer muscles and stretch the inner ones, while for others it’s exactly the opposite.

We at Bright Side think that these exercises can make a big difference to some people and are excited to share them with our readers.

Stand straight, place your feet together, and have a look in the mirror at where your legs touch. Pay attention to your thighs, knees, calves, and ankles.

1. Bow-legged shape

If your knees bend slightly outward when you are standing straight, you might have a bow-legged shape. To fix this, you need to work on strengthening the muscles that will pull your knees closer to each other and also on stretching the muscles that are pulling them out. This will indirectly improve their shape.

Pistol squats

One-leg squats, or pistol squats, work on gluts and the insides of the thighs.

  • Stand straight, engage your core.
  • Lift your left leg keeping the knees soft.
  • Lower down squatting on the right leg.
  • Repeat 10 times for each leg.

Note. At first, you may need to use a wall or a chair for some balance while building enough strength.

Figure 4 stretch

The figure 4 stretch works on the hip’s internal rotators and improves the flexibility of the hip muscles.

  • Lay on your back, place your right ankle on the top of your left knee.
  • Bring the legs up.
  • Grab the left leg below the knee, hold for 30 seconds.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the other leg.

Toe touch

Toe touch focuses on stretching the hamstrings and the outer thighs.

  • Stand straight, place your feet just a bit apart.
  • Bend down and reach for your toes.
  • Pay attention to keeping your knees together, you can use a towel if you need help. Just roll up the towel and hold it with your knees.
  • If it feels too easy, elevate your heels slightly.
  • Repeat 10 times.

2. Knock-kneed shape

If the thighs are close to each other, but the shins don’t touch you might have knock-kneed legs, also called X-shaped. This might be caused by weak muscles on the outside of the hips and thighs, and very tight muscles on the inside of your thighs.

Side lunges

Side lunges target the inner and outer thighs and hips.

  • Stand straight, place your hands on your hips.
  • Take a big step to the right, bending the right leg, and keep the left leg straight.
  • Repeat 10 times.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Lying hip abduction

Lying hip abduction works on the outer thighs and hips.

  • Lay down on your side
  • Raise your top leg up. You can keep your legs straight or slightly bent.
  • Repeat 10 times on each leg.

Side step-ups

Side step-ups also improve the strength of the outer thighs.

  • Stand near a bench, place your left foot on the bench, and lift up your body, placing your second foot on the bench.
  • Repeat 10 times on each side.

3. False curvature

If your knees touch but your lower legs go outward and look too skinny, you might have false curvature. The key for correcting this is increasing the muscle bulk in your lower legs to make up for the visual imperfection.

Heel raises

Heel raises increase calf strength.

  • While standing, place your feet flat on the ground in their natural position, and hold a chair or a wall for balance.
  • Raise up on your tip-toes.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Walking or running on stairs

Deep knee bends

Deep knee bends cause your muscles to contract, which increases blood flow, and makes all exercises more effective, while also preventing strains.

  • Place your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Squat as low as you can manage, keeping your feet flat on the floor.
  • If it feels too easy, elevate your heels slightly.
  • Repeat 10 times.

4. Normal shape

If your legs touch each other at the upper thighs, knees, calves, and ankles, having only one tiny gap from the ankles up to the middle of the calves, consider yourself lucky. This shape is considered normal. But as we all know, perfection has no limits, so it might be a good idea to practice some of the most common exercises to keep your legs toned and strong.


Squats cover multiple muscle groups including hamstrings, calves, abs, and glutes and are considered to be one of the most effective exercises for your lower body.

  • Place your feet shoulder-width apart and squat.
  • Make sure that you keep your back straight. Remember, you can use weights or just your body weight, it all depends on your personal strength.
  • Repeat the exercise 10 times.

Glute bridge

The glute bridge tones abs, hamstrings, and glutes (hence the name).

  • Lay flat on the floor, bend your knees, and keep your feet directly under your knees.
  • Lift your hips up and squeeze your glutes.
  • Hold for a few seconds and return to the starting point.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Walking lunges

Walking lunges work your entire leg, including your thigh muscles, and also help with symmetrical toning.

  • Grab weights, if you use any, take a big step forward, and lower your body into a lunge.
  • Push your back foot up and step next to your front foot.
  • Do 10 walking lunges, then turn around and do another 10 walking lunges back to the starting point, making sure that the front leg knee is always at a 90° angle.

Keep in mind, exercises cannot change the way bones and joints are structured, but it can improve the severity of some conditions and totally help with some mild issues.

What do you think about our selection? Which one would you try first? Or maybe you know of other workouts that are very effective at making the legs look perfect. Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.

Illustrated by Ekaterina Gapanovich for Bright Side
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