Need some extra confidence to go bare-legged this summer? A firmer backside and leaner legs can be all yours with these 6 butt and leg blasters, brought to you by Kim Hughes, a trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp in Nashville. Designed to target those stubborn problem areas—including hips, saddlebags, butt and thighs—these 6 exercises will help you sculpt some fabulous summertime gams. Once you get the gist of the routine, ramp up the burn by incorporating weighted dumbbells. Ready to sweat? Good…now get to work!
Stand with legs shoulder-width distance apart, toes turned slightly out. Keeping your weight in your heels, bend your knees and sink down, as if sitting in a chair. Extend your arms out in front of you for balance, if needed. To avoid stressing the knee joints, make sure that the knees do not extend past the toes. Continue the motion for 45 seconds. Make the exercise more challenging by holding a weighted dumbbell in front of your chest as you squat.
This pose really hones in on the hard-to-tone inner thighs, as well as the butt, hips and thighs. Adopt a wide stance, toes pointed out at a 45-degree angle. Push your hips back and sink down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Squat for 45 seconds. To make this move more intense, hold a barbell or dumbbell between your hands as you squat.
Side Leg Lift
This simple move is great for targeting the pesky outer thighs and hips, a problem area for many women. Stand with your feet hips-width distance apart, feet firmly planted into the ground. Keeping your leg straight, lift it up and extend it to the side. Slowly lower it back down, letting your feet just barely touch the ground. That’s one rep. Complete 30 reps on each leg. You can place your hands on the back of a chair for balance. To make this move more difficult, place a resistance band between your feet.
Side Back Lift
With your feet still hips-width distance apart, turn your foot out 45 degrees and lift your leg directly behind. Resist it back down, squeezing the glutes. Do 30 reps on one leg, then switch sides and do 30 more reps.
Lunge with Step
Using an elevated step, plant your left foot firmly on the surface and your right foot on the ground behind the step. Simultaneously sink down into your front leg while lunging with your right leg, until your right knee almost touches the ground. With your left foot planted into the step, press yourself back up again. That’s one rep. Continue to pulse on your left leg for 15 reps, then switch legs and do it on the other side. To avoid straining the knee joint, be careful that your knee does not track over your toes.
Calf Raises on Step
This move is great for strengthening and toning the calves. Stand on the edge of a step so that both heels are hanging off. Using your calf muscles, push yourself up so that you’re standing high on your tip-toes. Slowly release back to start. Perform 30 reps. To amp up the intensity, hold a weighted dumbbell in your hands while performing the movement.