How to get a beach body: 3 exercises for leaner legs

Is your lower body routine on its last leg? Week two of our Beach Body Series Challenge focuses on freshening up your fitness routine with a leg leaning circuit.

Here’s how it works:
Legs love a good cardio and resistance training combo. We are ramping up our repetitions this week to really sear our rears and light up our legs for the ultimate calorie cooker. Practice 5 rounds of the following fast feet exercises. Complete this circuit 3 times each week, incorporating last week’s ab-chiseling exercises on your two days off.

Sumo Squat.  Spice up your standard squat by adjusting your legs to a wider stance, with the feet angled slightly outward. This minor modification increases the depth of your squats, produces greater force on the inner thigh muscles and causes the core to work harder to stabilize and balance the body.

  1. Take a large step to the side. The feet should be positioned wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Keeping the core engaged and the shoulders strong, slowly hinge back at the hips until the thighs are parallel (or slightly lower) to the ground. Hold for 2 counts.
  3. Push through the heels and squeeze the tush as you bring the body back up to the starting position. Repeat 12-15 times.

Advanced Version: Sumo Squat Calf Raises.

  1. Repeat steps 1 and 2 of your sumo squat.
  2. Test your trunk by staying low in your squat. Slowly elevate the right heel off the ground, transferring your body weight to the ball of your foot. Hold for 2 counts.
  3. Lower the right heel and lift the left heel. Hold for 2 counts.
  4. Continue alternating between the two feet for 12 total repetitions.

{20 Jumping Jacks}

Curtsy Kicks.  Kickstart your heart rate with a lunge that buffs up your buns and whittles your waistline.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Using the right leg, take a diagonal step back, resting your body weight in the left heel.
  3. In an explosive movement, kick the right leg out to the side.
  4. Continue this back and forth lunge/kick sequence for 10-12 repetitions. Repeat on the opposite side.

{30 Jumping Jacks}

Bridges. Stretch, strengthen and stimulate your hamstrings, glutes and core muscles with bridges. Once you master this move, challenge yourself with the single leg bridge below.

  1. Lie on your back with both knees bent and the feet planted hip-width apart.
  2. Squeeze the glute muscles as you push through your heels, elevating the hips. The body should form a straight line from the shoulders through the knees.
  3. Hold this elevated hip position, and bring the arms up and out to the sides for 25 body weight chest flies. If you have a set of free weights nearby, feel free to incorporate them into this exercise. Do not let your hips sink during your upper body repetitions.
  4. Lower the hips back to the starting position, and repeat 3 times.

Advanced Version: Single Leg Bridges.

  1. Lie on your back, with the left knee bent and the right leg extended straight above the hips.
  2. Push through the left heel to elevate the hips, forming a straight line from the shoulders through the left knee. Hold for 2 counts.
  3. Slowly lower the hips down to the starting stance. Repeat 20 times on each side.

{40 Jumping Jacks}

Summer’s almost here. Shake a leg.

Earn it.

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