Want Strong, Lean Legs? This Simple Workout Will Get You Where You Want—And Fast

Too often we think of working out as a commitment that we just don’t have time for, but really when you think about it, you don’t have time not tooyou’ll never regret spending even just a few minutes strengthening and stretching out your body. Working out doesn’t have to be an hour-long publicized event. Though it might be hard to believe, even if a workout doesn’t end up on Instagram, it still happens, your body still feels the results.

Try these six simple pilates-themed moves to get your booty and abs feeling strong, and back and hips feeling nice and mobile.

Complete each move for 4 sets:

Squat Marching: 20 reps alternating

Begin with your back up against a wall and knees slightly bent. Make sure the length of your spine is pressed against the wall, pulling your navel back towards your spine.  Keeping your hips as stable as possible, slowly pull one knee in to your chest alternating legs as you march.

Leg Lift Lateral Extension: 10 reps each side

Standing upright, use a wall or ledge for support with one arm, extend your opposite arm overhead to help maintain length in your spine.  Keep your standing leg straight and hips tucked underneath you (so your ribs aren’t poking out). With a slight external rotation, lift your leg in front of you, slowly and controlled, as high as you can without compromising the length in your standing leg. Next, lift your leg out toward the side with your knee facing up and return slowly.

Single Leg Dead Lift: 15 reps each side

With your hands on the back of a chair (a table or counter work, too), bend your working leg, and as you push your hips away from your hands lifting your back leg like a lever, try to find a stretch in your hamstring. Think of your hip bones like headlights and make sure they stay facing forward and not twisting off course. As you stand up make sure to squeeze your bum!

Side Leg Lift:  15 reps each side

Position yourself on your side on a chair or bench, with hips should be stacked on top of each other and waist long. With your belly pulling in to help stabilize your hips, lift your top leg slowly. As you lower your leg, meet the movement with some resistance, as if you’re pushing a ball underwater with your heel. If you want to feel more of a burn, turn your toe down towards the floor as you lift your leg to target more of your glute medius (the side butt muscle that gives you that nice indent).

Side Lift Obliques:  15 reps each side

Beginning in the same position as your Side Leg Lift, extend your top arm long overhead. Pull your top leg in towards the elbow of the extended arm like a crunch, while keeping the rest of your body long and extended. Pull your leg slightly in front of your body to incorporate more ab and hip flexor work. Move with your breath, exhale as you pull in and inhale as you extend.

Marching Tricep Dip:  12 reps

Drop to a lower surface, like with your hands on the seat of a chair, hips close to your hands. Make sure as you move, your shoulders are drawing back and chest is lifted.  Lower down into a tricep dip, marching one knee up to your chest, alternating with each dip. In your top position, make sure to lock out your arms and squeeze your triceps like crazy!

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Head of Video: Tina Rosh  DP: Paul Terrie

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