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Tighter from Tush to Toe: Lower-Body Pilates Workout

  • James Farrell

    Thigh-High Lift

    Targets triceps, abs, hips, butt, and inner thighs

    • Sit on floor with knees bent, feet flat, ball between inner thighs; place palms on floor slightly behind hips.
    • Squeeze ball using inner thighs, then lift hips so that body is in tabletop position with torso parallel to floor.
    • Lower hips to floor, returning to start position, then squeeze ball once more quickly and repeat.
    • Do 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps.

    Watch the full workout

    Thigh-High Lift

     
  • James Farrell

    Butt Burnout

    Targets butt and outer thighs

    • Start on floor on all fours, then lower right hip to floor so that hips, knees and ankles are stacked. Place ball behind left knee, squeezing ball between calf and thigh, and lift left leg slightly.
    • Raise bent left leg behind you as high as you can, then lower to start position.
    • Do 10 to 15 reps, switch sides and repeat. Do 3 sets.
  • James Farrell

    Froggy

    Targets back, hips, butt, hamstrings, and inner thighs

    • Lie facedown with legs extended behind you, squeezing ball between heels, feet flexed, shins lifted off floor; cross arms in front of you, propping up torso slightly on elbows.
    • Squeezing heels into ball, lift knees off floor as high as you can; lower.
    • Do 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps.
     
  • James Farrell

    Window Washer

    Targets abs, hips, butt, and thighs

    • Start on floor in full plank position, feet together, hands directly under shoulders.
    • Keeping hips parallel to floor, lift left foot slightly and tap out to left as far up as you can. Return to start.
    • Do 10 reps, switch sides and repeat. Do 3 sets.
  • James Farrell

    Vertical Cross Crunch

    Targets abs, obliques, hips, and butt

    • Standing, lift left leg out to side, toes pointing forward, and place left hand on hip; extend right arm diagonally up.
    • Balancing on right leg, slowly bring left knee and right elbow together in front of chest.
    • Reverse motion without touching left foot on floor and repeat.
    • Do 10 reps, switch sides and repeat. Do 3 sets.
    • MAKE IT EASIER: Tap foot on floor between reps.
     
  • James Farrell

    Quad Squad

    Targets abs, butt, and legs

    • Standing, extend both arms overhead and raise bent left knee to hip height in front of you.
    • Kick left leg forward, then bend knee again, bringing elbows by ribs.
    • Balancing on right leg (knee slightly bent), kick left leg behind you as you hinge forward from hips (arms reach down).
    • Slowly return to upright position, raising arms overhead and bending left knee to hip height. Repeat.
    • Do 10 reps, switch sides and repeat. Do 3 sets.
    • MAKE IT EASIER: After each rep, place lifted foot on floor to rest.

    Originally published in FITNESS magazine, April 2014.

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