What you'll need: A yoga mat (or a bath towel and a chair)
Targets: Butt, outer and inner thighs
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding one end of rolled-up mat (or chair back) in front of you with both hands.
- Bend knees slightly and hinge forward from hips, extending arms to plant vertical mat on floor a few feet in front of left foot so that back is parallel to floor.
- Keep both hands on top of mat for support and extend right leg out to side, toes pointed.
Standing Leg Curl
Targets: Hamstrings and calves
- Stand with feet together and place rolled-up mat (or towel) evenly behind right knee so that it's parallel to floor. Lift right foot behind you with toes pointed, and pull heel toward butt to secure mat behind knee.
- Extend arms at shoulder level in front of you and clasp hands. (Beginners, use chair for balance.)
- Squeezing mat with leg throughout, lean forward slightly, keeping back flat, as you lift right knee behind you about 6 inches; lower.
- Do 20 pulses up and down. Switch legs and repeat.
Heaven and Earth
Targets: Back, abs, butt, and quads
- Stand with feet together, holding one end of rolled-up mat (or towel) in each hand, palms in, arms extended at shoulder level in front of you.
- Lower into a squat, then exhale slowly as you fold upper body over thighs, forming a ball: Tuck chin and bend elbows to pull mat to knees.
Open and Shut
Targets: Shoulders, back, abs, and quads
- Stand with feet together, toes pointed out to sides, holding rolled-up mat (or towel) near ends in front of thighs with both hands.
- Extend right leg in front of you, toes on floor. Reach arms overhead, leaning back to form a diagonal line from right hand to right toes.