I don’t know about you, but whenever I have one too many PB&J sandwiches (or bowls of ice cream in the caf) it goes straight to my thighs. I can almost feel the glucose molecules shimmy their way down to my legs…and then I’m left shimmying into my favorite pair of Sevens. It’s uncomfortable, it’s frustrating and it leaves me feeling guilty.
Which is why this week, in honor of post V-day chocolate consumption and cold weather, here are a few easy at-home workouts that not only target everyone’s least favorite trouble spots (i.e. the butt and thighs), but you can bust out during HIMYM commercials! Who said getting fit had to be hard??
1. Inner Thigh Pulses
Muscles Targeted: Adductors, Gracilis
Reps: 3 sets of 10 counts ( 3 pulses = 1 count, 30 pulses/10 counts = 1 set)
How to: Begin lying on your side, with your elbow directly under your shoulder for support. Place your top leg in front of your hip, using your free hand to hold it in place. The bottom leg will be doing all the work. All you’re going to do is pulse that lower leg upwards three times. Keep your leg straight and aim to go one inch higher every time you pulse.
2. Hip Thrusts with Leg Extension
Muscles Targeted: Gluteus (butt) muscles, Quadriceps, Abs
Reps: 3 sets of 20
How to: Begin lying on your back, with your legs bent and hands placed to the side of your body. Keep your feet directly under your knees for ultimate support. Raise your hips into the air creating a diagonal line from your knees to your shoulder. In one hip thrust, you will lower your hips about 2 inches from the ground and then raise it again. By not letting your hips touch the ground, you are engaging all of your lower body muscles. Squeeze those butt and core muscles throughout the duration of the exercise for maximum results.
Challenge: If you’re ready for it (which you are), raise one leg into the air while performing your hip thrust. This will really strengthen the supporting leg because it takes more effort to hold up the raised leg. Look at you go!
3. Hip Extensions
Muscles Targeted: Gluteus, Hip Extensors
Reps: 3 sets of 20
How to: Begin in a prone position and get on all fours. Be sure that your knees are directly under your hips and your wrists are directly under your shoulders. Extend one leg back so that it is straight and parallel to the ground. Work those gluteal muscles by extending it a little farther back. You can hold it here if that’s enough of a challenge, but if you want to go even further, go ahead and add some pulses to this move.
By the end of these workouts, you should really be feeling the burn. Literally, these exercises will burn your butt muscles! If you work these into your weekly routine (especially during Jersey Shore…there’s enough commercial breaks to tone your entire body!), you’ll have buns of steel in no time.
What do you want to see next time? Tweet me @jackelynho and like a genie in a bottle (babay) I will grant all of your fitness wishes.