The summer may be over, but the fitness is year-round! Just because you don’t have to wear a swimsuit anytime soon doesn’t mean you should stop taking good care of your body. It is not just for cosmetic reasons either. The countless health benefits of regular physical activity range from boosting your mood and increasing your energy level, to decreasing your stress and reducing your risk of developing chronic diseases. Even with our hectic lives and busy schedules, we should still make an effort to find 30-minutes/day to be physically active.
Here is an easy-to-do, at-home workout routine to get strong hips, toned thighs and powerful legs which are key for any aerobic/cardiovascular exercise. All you need is yourself and some motivation!
How to do it: Start standing with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees, hinge your hips backwards and lower your body into a squat until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor, keeping your back straight and knees behind your toes. Hold this squat position and ‘walk’ to the left, stepping out with your left foot, and then your right (never let your feet come closer than hip width apart as you ‘walk’). Repeat 10-15 times on each side.
How to do it: Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, hands on the back of your head. Step forward with your right leg, and lower your body to 90 degrees at both knees. Don’t step out too far. Keep your weight on your heels, and keep your knees behind your toes. As you push your right foot off the floor and back to the starting position, bring your feet quickly together, switch to your left foot and step forward into a lunge. Repeat 15-20 times on each side.
Reverse Lunge with Rear-Leg Raise
How to do it: Start standing with your feet together. Step back with your right foot and bend at both knees making a 90 degree angle. As soon as you stand back up, lift your right leg up in the air until it is parallel to the floor. Lower your right foot back to the ground and return to starting position. Repeat 15-20 times on that side and switch to the other leg.
Lateral Lunge to Curtsy Lunge
How to do it: Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, hands on hips. Step out to the right and shift your body weight over your right leg, squatting to a 90 degree angle at the right knee. Try to sit down with your butt, keeping your back as upright as possible. As you push off and bring your right leg back to center,step it behind you and to the left so your thighs cross, bending both knees as if you were curtsying. Repeat 15-20 times on each side.
Single-Leg Glute Bridge
How to do it: Lie face up with knees bent and feet flat, next to each other. Extend arms by sides, palms facing down. Lift your right foot up, extend your right leg and keep it in-line with your left knee. Press your left foot on the floor, raise your hips up into a bridge position and lower hips to the floor. Repeat 15-20 times on that side and switch to the other leg.
How to do it: Start on all fours, knees directly under your hips, and hands directly below your shoulders. Keep your back straight. Keeping your knee bent, raise your right leg out to the side, until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Keep your pelvis stable. Slowly lower your leg back to starting position. Repeat 20-25 times on that side and switch to the other leg.
How to do it: Lie on your side. Rest your head on your arm or hand. Bend hips to approximately 45 degrees and bend your knees at 90 degrees. Make sure one hip is lying above the other. You should now be well aligned, your feet should be in line with your back. Raise the upper leg upwards while keeping your feet in contact with one another and bring it down to the starting position. Repeat 20 times and switch to the other side. If done correctly, you should feel the muscles around the back of the hip bone working hard.
Lying Side Leg Raises
How to do it: Lie on your right side, rest your head on your right arm, and place your left hand on the floor in front of your chest. Your legs should be straight with your right leg on top of your left leg. Without moving any other part of your body, slowly raise your left leg as high as you can. Pause, then return to the starting position. Repeat 25-30 times on that side and switch to the other leg.