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Just in Time for Summer: The Beach Body Legs Workout

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Just in Time for Summer: The Beach Body Legs Workout

Run through the beach body legs workout as a circuit, performing 12 reps for each exercise before moving onto the next. If the exercise is unilateral, such as the step up, side lunge or single-leg deadlift, perform 12 reps per side for a total of 24 reps before moving on. After you have gone through all six exercise without a break, rest for one minute before beginning the circuit again. Repeat the circuit four times.

Bench Step Up

Step ups are great for strengthening your thighs, butt and calves, as well as developing a strong core. The taller the bench or step, the more you will target your glute and core muscles.

  1. Step onto the bench with your right foot and stand up in one smooth motion.
  2. Engage your core muscles to keep from wobbling and stand tall at the top of the movement.
  3. Balance for a second before lowering your right foot back to the floor.
  4. Lift your right foot off the bench and touch the floor before stepping onto the bench again.

Advanced Version: Carry a pair of five-pound dumbbells. Engage your shoulders to keep the dumbbells from swinging or banging into you.

Slider Side Lunge

Lunges are among the best exercises for toning up your legs, from butt to ankles. For this one you can use a commercial slide board, plastic slider, towel or paper plate.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your left foot on the slider.
  2. Lower your body into a side lunge by sliding your left foot outward and bending your right leg.
  3. Keep your chest up and push your hips back.
  4. Return to the starting position by sliding your left foot back to the center and standing up on your right leg.

Advanced Version: Carry a pair of five-pound dumbbells in the racked position, resting them on your chest with your elbows bent.

Decline Hip Bridge

The hip bridge targets the glute muscles for a more shapely rear end. This more advanced version of the classic hip bridge raises your feet and butt off the floor.

  1. Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and put your feet on top of a bench or step.
  2. Your shoulders should be resting on the floor; your low back and butt will be off the floor.
  3. Squeeze your glute muscles and push your hips toward the ceiling as far as possible.
  4. At the same time, push down with the heels of your feet.
  5. Relax your glute muscles and lower your hips back to the starting position.

Advanced Version: Try the single-leg hip bridge, holding one leg aloft while raising and lowering your hips. Keep your hips level and do not let your body sag or rotate.

Sliding Hamstring Curl

Hamstring curls help give your legs that long and lean look, as well as helping tone up your butt.

  1. Lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet on a pair of sliders or slide board, shoulder width apart.
  2. Squeeze your glutes and raise your hips into the bridge position.
  3. You will hold this position throughout the exercise.
  4. Keeping your feet on the sliders, straighten your legs and push your feet away from your body.
  5. Pull your feet back and bend your legs back to the starting position.
  6. It’s important to push down with your heels, so they remain in contact with the sliders throughout the movement.
  7. Do not let your heels come up. Keep your feet the same width apart throughout the movement.

Advanced Version: Try a single-leg curl, holding one leg in the air. This version is very challenging to your core, so keep it tight and do not let your body twist.

Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

The single-leg Romanian deadlift (RDL) targets the hamstrings and glutes, as well as your lower core and back.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Keeping your core muscles engaged, hinge forward at the pelvis and lower your chest toward the floor, while at the same time lifting your right leg up in back.
  3. The key to performing a good single-leg RDL is to keep your shoulders, back, butt and leg in a straight line throughout the hip hinge.
  4. Do not bend at the waist. Raise your chest and lower your leg back to the starting position.

Advanced Version: Carry a five-pound dumbbell in each hand. As you lower your chest and raise your leg in the hip hinge, let the weights hang naturally toward the floor.

Pop Squat Jump

Pop squat jumps develop balance, power and strength, and really get your heart rate going.

  1. Start with your feet a bit wider than shoulder width and lower your body into a squat.
  2. From this position, jump up as high as you can and bring your feet together.
  3. Land softly on the balls of your feet with your feet together and quickly pop up again, this time spreading your feet apart.
  4. As you land, drop into the squat position.

Advanced Version: Add a pair of dumbbells, holding them in the racked position. When jumping while carrying weights, it is especially important to absorb the landing by bending your ankles, knees and hips.

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