Are you enjoying our January No Gym Workout Series? In case you missed it, check out Parts 1–3: Beginner Bodyweight Workout, Brutal Fat-Burning HIIT Cardio and Total Body Strength Training
Anyone who is serious about getting fit spends a lot of time focusing on their legs. And we’re not talking mindless repetitive movement on a treadmill; we’re talking power moves that burn calories, work up a sweat fast and make your butt round and firm.
Your butt and legs consist of some of the biggest muscles in your body and they are involved in a lot of your functional movements. Working them hard is a central part of getting your whole body toned as well as getting a high-power workout in a short amount of time. And bonus: the leg moves we feature here also work your core at the same time.
This workout is ideally done with a fitband waist trainer. Wearing one will help you to sweat even harder, amplifying the intensity and helping you get more “bang for your buck” during your exercise session. It will also remind you to keep good posture with a flat back and tummy tucked, which is essential in several of these moves.
Repeat the following circuit three or four times to get a full workout in (you can take 1–2 minute breaks in between circuits). You can take 10–15 seconds of recovery time in between each move. Do a light jog in place to keep the blood flowing during your rests. Be sure to do about five minutes of warm-up before starting as well as a cool down and stretch when you’re done. This prevents injury and soreness, so don’t skip these parts!
As will all workouts, you will get the best results if you’re giving your body adequate water and nutrition during its recovery time. Make sure that you’re getting enough protein to build your muscle tone—it should be 25–30% of your calorie intake (source). Also drink half an ounce to an ounce of water daily to ensure that you’re replacing the fluid you’ve lost during the workout, flushing out toxins and aiding in the muscle-building process.
Body Toning + Booty Building Workout Instructions
Single-Leg Glute Bridge
Start lying on your back with your feet flat and knees bent. Raise one leg off the ground, extending your leg. Push your hips up using the opposite leg, driving through the heel. Extend as far as possible into a bridge and then return to the start position. Repeat 12-15 times on one side and then on the other to complete a set.
Hydrants with Leg Extension
Start on your hands and knees, with your knees directly beneath your hips and your hands under your shoulders. With your knee bent, lift one leg up and out to the side as high as possible (you’ll see why this is called a hydrant). Then extend the leg straight back so that it makes a straight line with your torso. Return to the starting position. Repeat 12-15 times on each side, either alternating or one complete set per side at a time.
Starting from your hands and knees, straighten one leg and extend it out to the side as far as you can, pointing your toe. Lightly tap the ground and then extend your toe upward and back in an arc, until your toe taps the ground across the back side of your anchoring leg. Touch back and forth 12-15 times, and then repeat on the other side.
Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, step into a backward lung, but cross your moving leg back behind the stabilizing one until you are in a “curtsy” position. Lower as deeply as you can so that the stable leg is at about 90 degrees. Return to standing and then lunge on the opposite side to complete one rep. Repeat 10 times. To make this move even harder, carry a dumbbell in each hand as you lunge, either at your sides or by bending your elbows and resting at your shoulders.
Heel-Lifted Sumo Squat
Stand with your feet wider than your shoulders and your toes turned out. Lower your hips to the floor in a squat. Slowly lift your heels while in this position, and then lower them back to the ground. Return to standing position to complete the rep. Repeat 15-20 times. To intensify the move, hold dumbbells in each hand, either in front of you or at shoulder level.
Bear Plank Leg Lifts
Starting in a plank position, with shoulders directly above your wrists and your body in straight line from head to heels, lift one leg and bend your knee to a 90-degree angle. Keep your foot flexed. Next push your heel upward as high as you can. Return to a full plank position. Repeat 10-12 times on each side, either alternating or one complete set per side at a time.
Stand on one leg with your knee slightly bent. Bending at the hip, lower your torso forward while extending your free leg behind you to keep your balance. Keep your back straight and try to lower so far that it is parallel to the ground. Return to the upright position. Repeat 15-20 times on each side, either alternating or one complete set per side at a time. Hold a dumbbell in each hand or a kettlebell to increase the intensity.
Sumo Squat to Calf Raise
Starting with your feet wider than your shoulders and your toes turned out, lower into a sumo squat until your knees are at about 90 degrees. Return to standing and in a continuous motion, slowly lift your heels up and stand as high as you can on the balls of your feet. Return to standing to complete one rep. Repeat 15-20 times. To intensify the move, hold dumbbells in each hand, either in front of you or at shoulder level.
Keep it up! We’ve got one more workout left in the series. Here’s to a fit and healthy 2018!