With Summer in full effect, we’ve all become more aware of our bodies – how we look in swimwear, in addition to how we feel (when the weather starts to heat up). While heading to the gym (for a high-intensity cardio and weight-training session) or working with a personal trainer are both great ways to get in shape, if you’re short on time (or have a limited budget), a fabulous alternative is to workout in the privacy of your home.
If you want to sculpt your abs (so you can wear those trendy crop tops this season), tighten your thighs (to look sexy in shorts), and lift your butt (for sporting a revealing bikini), these 3 exercises are the ultimate way to tone your lower body quickly and easily.
3 Easy Exercises To Tone Your Lower Body
The proven way to get a flat stomach and those coveted washboard abs is to do sit-up exercises.
If you want to sculpt your abs in a shorter amount of time, instead of doing a traditional sit-up (which requires you to keep both feet on the ground), cross one leg over the opposite knee (as seen above). This will not only engage your core muscles more effectively, it will work both your stomach and oblique (side) muscles.
Put your hands behind your head (to give your neck added support), tighten your stomach muscles throughout the entire exercise (when lifting your head off the ground and lowering it back to the ground). Using your oblique muscles, slightly turn inward (after you have done an upward crunch), so that your elbow is now facing the opposing knee. Slowly lower your head and upper body back to the ground. Continue to do this upward exercise for 9 more reps.
Then switch legs, and do this exercise again. Do 10 reps on each side. Give your body a 10-second rest in between reps. Do each set of repetitions 3 times.
When doing ab exercises, focus on exhaling as you raise your body and inhaling as you lower your body.
To get long, lean thighs and legs, leg lifts are an easy exercise to do.
Start by lying on your side. Prop your head up with one hand, while the other hand stays on the ground in front of your chest (for support). This exercise mimics the look of scissors. The leg that is on the ground should be slightly bent. The opposing leg should stay completely straight throughout the movement. Slowly lift one leg to reach a 45 degree angle. While lifting the left, focus on keeping the inner and outer thigh muscles engaged (this helps strengthen and tone the leg). Then slowly lower your leg, so that it nearly touches the opposing leg. Continue to do 19 more repetitions. Then switch sides. Do 20 repetitions on each side and 3 sets of reps.
Now onto the ultimate exercise for toning your lower body. No workout would be complete without focusing on lifting and tightening your butt. Aside from squats, the bent-knee donkey kicks are one of the best exercises for whipping your rear end into shape. This exercise not only works your hamstrings and butt, it also strengthens your lower back and helps you gain stability and balance as well.
Start on with your knees and hands on the ground. Your hands should be placed directly below your shoulders and your knees should be aligned with your hips.
Keep one knee at a 90-degree angle as you slowly raise the opposing leg behind you. Your thigh should be almost parallel to the floor. As you lift and lower your leg, focus on squeezing your leg and butt muscles. Slowly lower your leg back down to the starting position. Do 20 repetitions on each side, with 3 sets of reps for each leg.
There you have it – 3 easy exercises that will sculpt and tone your lower body.
[Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only. Consult with a fitness expert before starting any exercise program. Image Credit: Shutterstock]