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Sensational Legs in Only 3 Moves

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Beginner Exercises

Want firm, sexy thighs and a lifted butt? Try this quickie workout plan from Kacy Duke, creative consultant for Equinox Fitness Clubs in New York City.

What You'll Need
A chair, a pair of 5-pound dumbbells, and a mat

1. Lift Series

  • Target: abs, glutes, hamstrings
  • Hold chair and hinge forward to a flat back.
  • Bend left knee, engage abs, squeeze glutes, and lift right leg behind you. Lower and lift 12 times.
  • Repeat with toes pointed, then with foot flexed.
  • Switch legs; repeat series.

2. Ballet Pose

  • Target: abs, quads, hamstrings
  • Hold chair in front of you and hinge forward until back is flat and parallel to floor. Keep abs engaged and shoulders down.
  • Lift right leg behind you, foot flexed, left knee slightly bent (not shown).
  • Keeping head down, bring right knee toward chest, then quickly kick it back out.
  • Do 12 times; switch legs.

3. Rocking Kick

  • Target: abs, glutes, hamstrings
  • Place left hand on chair and point right toes.
  • Engage abs and lift right leg back while hinging forward.
  • Touch floor with right hand, then pull upper body up and lower right leg (like a seesaw).
  • Do 12 times; switch legs and repeat.

Intermediate Exercises

1. Weighted Leg Lift

  • Target: glutes, hamstrings
  • Begin on the floor, leaning on forearms and knees, your back flat, abs engaged and head even with spine.
  • Place a 5-pound dumbbell in the crease of your right knee.
  • Lift right leg, knee bent 90 degrees and foot flexed. Pulse up for 12 counts.
  • Switch sides; repeat.

2. Side Kick

  • Target: obliques, inner thighs, glutes, hamstrings
  • Stand beside chair with feet hip-width apart, abs engaged.
  • Lift right leg to hip level and do 12 side kicks, foot flexed: Lean upper body away from leg movement, kicking out to side, then return to center and lower.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

3. Rocking Lunge

  • Target: glutes, quads, hamstrings
  • Lunge behind you with your right leg, keeping abs engaged, elbows bent, with arms close to sides and left knee aligned directly over heel.
  • Stand up, balancing on left leg (keep knee slightly bent) and rock upper body forward while lifting right leg behind you, foot flexed (like a seesaw).
  • Lower your right leg back into a lunge position.
  • Do 12 times; switch sides and repeat.

Advanced Exercises

1. Lunge and Curtsy

  • Target: back, glutes, inner thighs, hamstrings
  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent and abs engaged.
  • Lunge to the left side with left leg, bending knee 90 degrees and shifting weight behind you; keep left knee over heel, right leg straight and left foot facing forward (not shown).
  • Immediately lift left knee back toward chest, then cross the leg behind you, bending both knees into a curtsy.
  • Do 12 times; switch sides and repeat.

2. One-Leg Dead Lift

  • Target: abs, glutes, hamstrings
  • Hold a 5-pound dumbbell in each hand. Lunge behind you with right leg, keeping left knee over ankle and right leg straight.
  • Lean forward, keeping your back straight, abs engaged and head facing forward; try to bring weights below your left knee.
  • Lift through hamstrings, butt, and core to pull yourself back up to a standing position. Do 12 reps.
  • Switch sides; repeat.

3. Toe Touch

  • Target: glutes, hamstrings
  • Stand tall, with feet hip-distance apart, abs engaged. Lean upper body forward, touching the floor in front of your toes.
  • Keeping your fingers (or palms if you're able to) on the floor, point left toes and lift left leg behind you as high as you can without moving hips.
  • Pulse up 12 times, then hold for 12 counts.
  • Return to start.
  • Switch legs; repeat.

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