Wednesday, April 10, 2013

workout tips: get hot legs

sure, longer-looking legs are just a pair of high heels away, but a truly slimmer lower half requires some work. when a majority of our day is spent sitting behind a desk or steering wheel, that inactivity takes a toll on your lower body.

by stretching your hip muscles and strengthening your glutes, these moves hit underworked lower-body muscles to trim your thighs and tighten your hiney.  do two or three sets of each exercise, two times a week, and soon you'll be strutting your stuff, whether you're in flats or stilettos.

crossover reverse lunge (works lower back, abdominals, abductors, glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps)
stand with your feet shoulder width apart.  this will be your starting position.
perform a rear lunge by stepping back with one foot and flexing the hips and front knee.  as you do so, rotate your torso across the front leg.
after a brief pause, return to the starting position and repeat on the other side, continuing in an alternating fashion


bridge (works glutes and hamstrings)
lie flat on the floor on your back with the hands by your side and your knees bent.  your feet should be places around shoulder width.  this will be your starting position.
pushing mainly with your heels, lift your hips off the floor while keeping your back straight.  breathe out as you perform this part of the motion and hold at the top for a second.
slowly go back to the starting position as you breathe in.
variations:  you can perform this exercise one leg at a time.




dumbbell step ups (works quadriceps, calves, glutes, hamstrings)
stand up straight while holding a dumbbell in each hand (palms facing the side of your legs).
place the right foot on the elevated platform.  step on the platform by extending the hip and the knee of your right leg.  use the heel mainly to life the rest of your body up and place the foot of the left leg on the platform as well.  breathe out as you execute the force required to come up.
step down with the left leg by flexing the hip and knee of the right leg as you inhale.  return to the original standing position by placing the right foot next to the left foot on the initial position.
repeat with the right leg for the recommended amount of repetitions and then perform with the left leg.

                          

front barbell squat (works quadriceps, calves, glutes, hamstrings)
this exercise is best performed inside a squat rack for safety purposes.  to begin, first set the bar on a rack that best matches your height.  once the correct height is chosen and the bar is loaded, bring your arms up under the bar while keeping the elbows high and the upper arm slightly above parallel to the floor.  rest the bar on top of the deltoids and cross your arms while grasping the bar for total control.
lift the bar off the rack by first pushing with your legs and at the same time straightening your torso.
step away from the rack and position your legs using a shoulder width medium stance with the toes slightly pointed out.  keep your head up at all times as looking down will get you off balance and also maintain a straight back.  this will be your starting position.
begin to slowly lower the bar by bending the knees as you maintain a straight posture with the head up.  continue down until the angle between the upper leg and the calves becomes slightly less than 90-degrees.  inhale as you perform this portion of the movement.
begin to raise the bar as you exhale by pushing the floor mainly with the middle of your foot as you straighten the legs again and go back to the starting position.


to reduce cellulite, add high-intensity cardio intervals to this routine and, as always....

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.






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