You asked…
Help! How do I tone up my legs and abs?

Aja answered…
Toning your legs and abs for summer can be easy and fun. Here are a few of my favorite exercises.

Jump Squat:

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, hands down by your sides. Bend your knees and sit your hips back as if you were going to sit in chair that was just a little too far away from you. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then spring straight up raising your arms straight up over your head. Land softly back in the squat position. Repeat and do as many as you can for 30 seconds. Do 5 sets with a 30 second break in between sets.

This exercise works all the muscles in the legs and glutes and the explosiveness of the jump gets your heart pumping as well.

Calf Raises:

Stand on a ledge or stair at least 4 inches above the ground. Your heels should be off the ledge/stair hovering above the ground. Hold on to the railing or wall if needed. Raise yourself up as high as you can go on your tip toes. Lower yourself back down controlled and repeat for 60 seconds. Next, turn your heels in toward each other so your toes face outward at a 45 degree angle. Repeat the lifting up and down motion for 60 seconds. Finally, turn your toes in toward one another so that your heels face outward. Repeat the exercise just a before for 60 seconds.

Doing calf raises this way will hit all major muscles in the calf and have your legs fully toned in no time.


Lay on the floor on your stomach. Place your elbows underneath your shoulders hands out front of you. With your toes on the ground, lift your entire body up so it is like a bridge. Hold it for as long as you can (at least 30 seconds). Make sure to tuck your hips in so your booty is not up in the air and hold your abs tight as if you are doing a crunch in the air. Repeat 3 more times. You should feel a burning in your abs.

V-Sit up:

Lay on the floor on your back with your legs straight and your arms extended above your head. In one motion bring your feet and arms up together toward the center of your body. Lay back down without letting your feet or hands touch the floor. And repeat for 45 seconds or for as many as you can do. Note: To make it more difficult, when bringing your feet and hands together also lift your shoulders and back off the floor making your body into a full V.

Aja Davis is a personal trainer and owns New Body Boot Camp & Wellness, Brooklyn’s premier fitness boot camp and personal training studio. Located at 552 Union St., Brooklyn, NY 11215.  For more information visit or call 888.502.0331 to schedule an appointment.

About The Author

Your go-to resource for all things empowering, thought-provoking, and pertinent to Black queer and trans women and non-binary people.

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