Exercises to sculpt your lower body
Tired of the exasperating zipper dance you perform each time you don your favourite pair of jeans? Well, get ready to zip up with ease: We’ve got the perfect plan to firm your butt, flatten your belly, tone your thighs and blast fat everywhere. To instigate real body changes, you must shake up your typical routine. One of the top transformational strategies is to use a flight of stairs for both cardio and strength workouts. Stair climbing instantly boosts your heart rate, builds endurance and provides an added muscular challenge. Do the following strength and stair workouts three times a week on nonconsecutive days. Add one hilly hike or longer run on weekends to blast even more calories and you’ll be slipping into those skinny jeans in one month! …in four weeks with our fat-blasting lower-body cardio/ sculpt routine.
Targets glutes, calves, thighs, hips, core a. Stand facing the stairs with elbows bent at the sides. Take a giant step up to second step with your right foot, then hop up, bringing your left knee towards your chest. Land on the stair with your right foot. b. Immediately step down to the floor with your left foot while bending the right leg behind you. Hold for 5 counts, keeping your abs tight to help you balance. Do 16 to 20 explosive hops on the right foot, using your arms to gain momentum. Switch sides and repeat. Beginner option: Step up without hopping; hold the end phase of the exercise for 2 seconds, touching back foot to the floor to help with balance.
Targets thighs, calves, hips, chest, shoulders, core Stand sideways to the stairs, placing your right foot on the first or second step. Keep your feet wide apart and turn your toes out 45 degrees. Hold a 3- to 5-pound dumbbell in each hand, palms forward, arms extended at chest height and elbows slightly bent. Bring weights together in front of the chest while lowering your hips into a plié. Hold for 2 seconds. Return to starting position and repeat for 16 to 20 reps. Switch sides. Beginner option: Lower halfway down into a semi plié; keep hands on your hips (no weights).
To instigate real body changes, you must shake up your typical routine. One of the top transformational strategies is to use a flight of stairs for both cardio and strength workouts.
Targets glutes, legs, hips, core a. Stand facing the staircase with the right foot planted on the first or second step, holding 3- to 5-pound weights at hips. Leaning forward slightly, lunge back with your left leg, bending your right knee 90 degrees and keeping the knee aligned over the ankle. b. Remain in a low position and bring your left foot up to meet the right on the step. Squat down, lowering hips another 2 inches. Hold for 2 counts; repeat. Do 16 to 20 reps, alternating sides. Beginner option: Lose the weights and bend your knees only 45 degrees. Do 12 reps on each leg.
Stair climbing instantly boosts your heart rate, builds endurance and provides an added muscular challenge.
Targets glutes, hips, hamstrings, core, chest, arms Get down on all fours with hands stacked under the shoulders and toes pressed into step. Tuck your right knee in toward the chest. Extend your right leg behind you and squeeze the glutes; hold for 2 counts (not shown). Do 10 reps, switch sides. Beginner option: Do this exercise on the floor instead of the stairs, and perform only 6 reps per leg.
Targets legs, thighs, glutes, hips, obliques Stand facing away from the stairs with your left toes on the first step, torso straight, holding a 3- to 5-pound dumbbell in each hand. Bend your right knee 90 degrees, keeping the knee aligned with ankle. Turn your torso to the right and bring the weights over outside of the right thigh. Hold for 2 counts; return to start. Do 16 to 20 reps; switch sides. Beginner option: Do the rotations without weights; bend knee only 45 degrees.
Do strength and stair workouts three times a week on non-consecutive days. Add one hilly hike or longer run on weekends to blast even more calories and you’ll be slipping into those skinny jeans in one month!