Strong And Sexy Summer Leg Workout

Tone the large muscle groups in your lower body with these basic exercises and get a body you’ll be proud to take to the beach.

When training my legs, I like to incorporate two types of exercises for a well-balanced routine: 1) smaller, sculpting exercises like bridges and glute kickbacks; and 2) larger movements like squats and lunges to keep my legs strong.

After moving through my dynamic warm ups (Think: jumping jacks, high knees, butt kickers, high kicks), I typically start my circuit with these smaller movements before moving into larger exercise such as squats and lunges. Reason being, these smaller movements train your glutes and hamstrings to fire properly while doing squats and lunges.

These exercises are essential for people whose glutes and hamstrings are weak due to daily habits such as desk sitting, driving and air travel.

In my experience, more often than not, these exercises are essential for people whose glutes and hamstrings are weak and inhibited due to repetitive, daily habits such as hours upon hours of desk sitting, driving and/or air travel.

No excuses, as no gym is required for these do-anywhere moves – just grab yourself a mat and find a chair or a bench to be on your way to sexy, summer gams! Start including these easy-to-do exercises into your fitness routine twice a week to see results in as little as two weeks!

GLUTE ACTIVATION EXERCISES

Single Leg Glute/Ham Raise: 

single_leg_glute

  • Exhaling, lift hips off the mat, engaging abdominals at the top.
  • Inhale to lower, without fully resting on the mat.
  • Focus on sending your energy to the side you are working.
  • Perform three sets of 15 to 20 reps

 

Beginner’s Modification:

glute_beginner

  • Keeping both feet on mat
  • Exhale lift hips, squeeze glutes and engage through core
  •  Inhale to lower back down, without fully resting on mat.
  • Perform three sets of 15 to 20 reps

 

Glute KickBack:

glute_kicks

  • Hands and knees, shoulders over wrists, knees under hips
  • Exhale, kick foot toward sky. Inhale to lower.
  • Keeping toes pointed and pulled in tightly towards glutes to keep the hamstring engaged

 

Plie Squats:

plie_squats

  • Inhale to lower
  • Exhaling, power up through the heels and push back to stand
  • Toes pointing out
  • Full range of motion (ROM), bringing hips through and contracting glutes.
  • Perform three sets of 20 to 25 reps.  (Do the high reps for a combination of cardio + strength training.)

 

Split Squats:

split_squats

  • Inhale to lower, exhale to rise
  • Keeping shoulders over hips, knee tracking forward, never moving past the ankle
  • Pushing through the heel
  • Perform three sets of 15 to 20 reps

 

Photos by Joshua Vasko

 




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