Are you assuming that your cardio workout is enough to shape up your legs, butt and thighs? Whether you want to look stylish in a pencil skirt or want to flaunt your shapely legs in skinny jeans, you need the right lower body workout that fight the flab and tone your body from your abs right down to your calves.
“The secret is the right mix of targeted exercises,” says trainer Rich Barretta, who has perfected a great workout to tone the lower body and works regularly with swimsuit-models at his private training studio in New York City.
So here are 3 fabulous ways to shape up your lower body and wear those minis with absolutely confidence!
While working out at the gym, you often miss out on appreciating lunges for their ability to shape up the butt, thighs and calves, using nothing more than your own body weight. Lunges are the perfect exercise to begin with because they make your butt-muscles do most of the work, according to Rich Barretta
His method stresses on the fact that when you do the lunge, focus more on the up and down movement. Most people often stress more on the forward motion, which really doesn’t engage the glutes to the maximum. Stand with legs shoulder width apart, then move the right leg forward and bend both legs at the knee. Make sure you lower straight down and if the left knee isn’t behind the toes, you need to step back farther to get the pose right. Make sure you land on the heel. Repeat with the other leg and do 15 reps for each leg.
As you get stronger, use light dumbbells to make the exercise more challenging.
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This simple exercise does more than just tone your lower half, as it also works on shoulders, abs and back. However, the maximum impact is felt on the butt and thighs, which is why we think it is a fabulous exercise for a quick whole body workout. Stand with feet close together. As you hinge forward from the waist, lift the left leg back straight and squeeze your glutes.
Simultaneously, extend both your arms in front, so that your whole body is parallel to the ground. If you are a beginner, keep your hands on your hips to maintain your balance. Hold to 2 to 5 counts and lower the arms and leg, without letting the leg touch the ground. Now square your hips and lift the left leg sideways, while you simultaneously raise arms to the side to form a T with the torso. Hold for 2 counts, and then lower arms and leg. This completes 1 rep. Do 5 reps; then switch legs and repeat for the other.
As you get fitter, hold light dumbbells in each hand and aim for 15 reps for each side. However, do only as many as you possibly can while ensuring good form, or you could risk injury.
Front, Back and Side Kicks
Simple as they may sound, kicks are the best way to target butt, thighs and love handles, working a wide range of muscles for the perfect workout that tones the entire lower body. Stand with your legs a little more than shoulder width apart; keep your arms in front of you, bent at the elbows in a punching position and slightly bend at the knee for proper form.
Start with 20 forward kicks and ensure that your toes always stay pointed. Follow with 20 backward kicks, making sure your heel faces the ceiling with each kick. For the side kicks, lean a little to the side and begin with 20 kicks to the right side, while pointing out your toes. Repeat the same for the left side. The aim is to go from front kicks –to – back kicks – to – side kicks with little to no rest in between for a challenging lower body workout.
To make your workout more challenging, don’t let your toe touch the ground in between reps to make your thigh and calf muscles work harder.
These fabulous 3 exercises make for an effective lower body workout, toning your muscles and also strengthening them. And the best part is that they can be done right at home with nothing more than just light dumbbells!
Incase you are in the mood for a lower body toning workout, here’s a fantastic workout video for you from Fitness Blender.