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There are very few things I have in common with the Princess of Wales. We’re both tall (5ft 9in), have long brown hair and are married with young children.

But there is one attribute, above all, in which Kate defies comparison — and it’s her utterly flawless, much envied legs. So how does she keep them in such good shape?

By toning, firming and strengthening them, says personal trainer Jemma Thomas who explains the leg can be broken down into seven muscle groups — from the buttocks to the ankles — with each requiring a different exercise to whip it into shape. But you don’t have to be a runner and gym-goer like Kate — you’ll get the same result working out at home with this expert guide.

You’ll need to work each muscle two to three times a week, as part of a 30-minute workout, over at least six weeks. 

And be sure to warm up first with a brisk walk or five minutes alternating jogging on the spot with star jumps.

There are very few things I have in common with the Princess of Wales. We're both tall (5ft 9in), have long brown hair and are married with young children.

There are very few things I have in common with the Princess of Wales. We’re both tall (5ft 9in), have long brown hair and are married with young children.

But there is one attribute, above all, in which Kate defies comparison ¿ and it's her utterly flawless, much envied legs. So how does she keep them in such good shape?

But there is one attribute, above all, in which Kate defies comparison — and it’s her utterly flawless, much envied legs. So how does she keep them in such good shape?

PEP UP YOUR POSTERIOR

The glutes — crucial for that pert Kate posterior — comprise three muscles in the buttocks. The best move to work these muscles are hip raises, also known as hip thrusts or ‘bridges’, says Jemma Thomas of justmovingwithjem.com.

‘Lying on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground, squeeze your bottom and raise your hips towards the ceiling, keeping your shoulders on the mat,’ she explains.  

‘Lifting each leg off the mat when you are in this position increases the challenge. You can also add a dumbbell, held at hip height, to add resistance.’

Repeat the hip raises, slowly and with control, 15 times before resting, then go again twice more.

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The yoga ‘chair pose’ is also great for toning the bottom. ‘Stand with your feet hip-width apart and raise your arms overhead,’ says Cheryl MacDonald, founder of yogabellies.com. ‘Lower your hips as if you are sitting on a chair. Squeeze your glutes to help keep your balance and hold for five to ten breaths.’

The glutes ¿ crucial for that pert Kate posterior ¿ comprise three muscles in the buttocks

The glutes — crucial for that pert Kate posterior — comprise three muscles in the buttocks

WORTH THE WEIGHT

Kate’s quads are perfectly toned, thanks to years of running and cycling which keep the four large muscles at the top of the thigh in great shape.

To further hone those quads, weighted squats are key, says Matthew Hirst, owner of Blast Fit Studios (blastfit.co.uk) in Ealing, west London, and a former personal trainer at the £325-a-month Harbour Club in Chelsea where Kate and William are members.

Plant your feet on the ground — slightly wider than your shoulders — straighten your back and bend your knees, moving downwards as if you’re going to sit on a chair.

Lower your upper body in a controlled manner as deeply as you can go, pushing your hips back as you do, before moving slowly back up to a standing position.

‘If you’re starting out, hold a very light weight — 2kg in each hand — and repeat the exercise 25 times,’ says Matthew.

‘As you get stronger, do two sets rather than one. Then, if you’re looking to build muscle, increase the weight — to 8kg or 10kg total — and lower the repetitions to ten.’

What’s important is the time your legs spend under tension so move slowly and steadily, he adds. ‘Each movement should last four to six seconds, contracting the muscle and really focusing on it.’

Kate's quads are perfectly toned, thanks to years of running and cycling which keep the four large muscles at the top of the thigh in great shape

Kate’s quads are perfectly toned, thanks to years of running and cycling which keep the four large muscles at the top of the thigh in great shape

STREAMLINED AND SLENDER 

For thighs like Kate’s that are slender and strong, you need to work the adductors (inner thigh muscles) and abductors (outer thigh muscles).

Matthew Hirst recommends a move called ‘the clam’ to strengthen the inner thigh. ‘Lie on your side against the wall so your back is against it, pull your legs up to a 45-degree angle, knees together, and open and close the knees like a clam,’ he explains.

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To strengthen the outer thigh muscles, the abductors, Jemma Thomas recommends a ‘lateral banded walk’. ‘Take a resistance band just above the knee, sit into a squat position and walk sideways in a pulse motion, four steps to the left, then four to the right. Keep going for 45 seconds, with a 15-second break, and repeat three times.’

RUN FAR FROM INJURY

Hamstrings — the name for any one of three muscles at the back of the thigh between the hip and the knee — are prone to injury, especially for runners like Kate. But you can strengthen them, says personal fitness trainer Kat Sterbova of katfitness.co.uk who recommends a single leg deadlift.

Stand straight with both feet on the ground and your hands hanging down in front of you. Slide one leg back and raise it upwards, keeping your back flat until your body makes a ‘T’ shape. If you’re using weights, hold them in your hands, and lift upwards and inwards towards your chest at this point. Lower your leg until it meets the other on the floor and repeat, 25 times on each leg with a small (or no) weight, and eight to ten times if using something heavier.

To target the lower hamstring, Jemma Thomas recommends calf raises. ‘You can do them anywhere. Simply lift up your heels so you’re standing on your toes, hold, then release. Do 15 times, then rest, and repeat three times. To add a challenge, hold some weights.’

STEP INTO SHAPE   

Even Kate’s knees look perfect with none of the unsightly sagging many of us suffer around the knee joint. 

This is due to a strong popliteus, the often-overlooked triangular-shaped muscle found at the back of the knee, just below the joint, which is responsible for unlocking the knee when we walk. 

To target the knee, Kat Sterbova suggests ‘step-downs’. ‘Start on a step and step down with one leg only, not both, so one stays on the top of the platform and it’s the other one moving up and down,’ she explains. 

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‘This really isolates the knee and the popliteus muscle. It’s highly effective for someone who runs a lot.’ Try 25 of these on one leg, then repeat on the other.

PERFECT POISE

For that perfect Kate poise, even in high heels, you need to build muscle and tone in the sartorius which crosses the hip and knee joints, explains Jemma Thomas. 

Stand up tall, take a big step forward with one leg and plant it firmly with the knee at a 90-degree angle, lowering the other knee to the floor into a forward lunge. 

Then, drive back through the front heel to standing, and repeat on alternating legs for 45 seconds, before resting for 15. Repeat three times. 

‘To get the muscle going, take a dumbbell weight in each hand — around 5kg is a good place to start,’ advises Jemma. 

‘When you come back up to standing, keep the dumbbells by your side.’ Dynamic stretches, such as high kicks, can also help, says Matthew Hirst.  

For that perfect Kate poise, even in high heels, you need to build muscle and tone in the sartorius which crosses the hip and knee joints, explains Jemma Thomas

For that perfect Kate poise, even in high heels, you need to build muscle and tone in the sartorius which crosses the hip and knee joints, explains Jemma Thomas

STRETCH OUT AND STRENGTHEN UP

Kate is known to be a yoga fan — which is a particularly good way to stretch and tone leg muscles, says Cheryl MacDonald who recommends downward dog for shapely calves.

‘Start on your hands and knees with your hands shoulderwidth apart and your knees hip-width apart,’ she explains. 

‘Lift your hips up and back, straightening your legs as much as you can. Press your heels towards the floor to stretch your calves, and hold for five to ten breaths.’ 

For added calf toning, try ‘pedalling’ your legs by moving one heel towards the floor and then the other.

Kate is known to be a yoga fan ¿ which is a particularly good way to stretch and tone leg muscles, says Cheryl MacDonald who recommends downward dog for shapely calves

Kate is known to be a yoga fan — which is a particularly good way to stretch and tone leg muscles, says Cheryl MacDonald who recommends downward dog for shapely calves

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