Fit Tip: Shaping Summer Legs

Posted On Apr 4, 2019 By Amy Kiser Schemper

A woman's legs on a beach

The weather is warming up and swimsuit season is just around the corner! Depending on where you live, you might already be planning a vacation to the beach, or starting to get outside more. As you pack away the sweaters and coats, and unpack the shorts and tanks, you should also think about amping up your workout routine with some new lower body moves to get the summer shape you really want!

Strengthening and sculpting our lower body not only makes us look and feel more confident in summer clothes, but it also helps get us ready for all the fun outdoor activities. Whether it’s hiking through the mountains or running along the beach, good mobility and flexibility are key for helping you enjoy a safe and active summer.

I know what you’re thinking.... is this another post suggesting MORE squats and lunges? The answer is YES, but there’s a reason these exercises have been around forever. They work! And what I love the most about training the lower body is that there really are endless ways to do it. Squats and lunges and their countless variations are great as they work the largest muscles in the body, get your heart pumping to burn fat, and improve postural imbalances. Not to mention lower body training is extremely functional—how many times a day do we get up and down from a chair or pick something off the floor?

But don’t worry, this post and the workout below are all about finding variations on squats and lunges to mix it up for your body, activate the glutes to lift and tone that booty as well as the legs, and adding in some mat exercises to top if off.

Here are a few tips to getting the most out of your legs and butt exercises!

Get LOW. Getting low in your squats and lunges recruits more glute and hamstring muscles, which not only means more strengthening and sculpting, but also more muscle engagement for higher calorie burn.

Hit the floor. Sure, squats and lunges are popular and effective exercises for our big muscles in the lower body, but Pilates inspired moves on the mat help target the smaller muscles like our inner and outer thighs, as well as some bonus core involvement.

Add some weight and don’t be afraid to go heavy. Our lower half features some of the strongest muscles in our bodies, and they respond well to heavy weights! Bodyweight moves are effective, but if you’re looking to step it up a notch, add a pair of dumbbells or barbell. You’ll not only notice more burn in the all the right places, but your heart rate will also get up in the process.

Summer Shape Up Legs and Butt Workout

Do each move for 45 seconds, followed by 15 seconds of rest then repeat.

  1. Low Lunge
  2. Side Lunge to Curtsy Lunge
  3. Plie Squat Heel Drag
  4. Frog Bridge
  5. Hamstring Lift and Press

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