8 Dance-Inspired Moves To Strengthen Your Glutes & Thighs
If your spring and summer workout goal is to tighten your tush and your outer and inner thighs, this is the workout for you. Trainer Donovan Green says he's never had a client who didn't look better in their jeans and feel more confident after adding this sequence to their fitness routine. So, get lunging!
Note: Start all exercises in standing position, feet shoulder width apart.
Start with your hands by your sides. Raise your arms out to the sides like you’re waving for help. At the same time, step your left leg out to the side while shifting all your weight to your right leg. Bring your arms back down and your legs together. Repeat on the right. Do as many reps as you can in 60 seconds.
Bring your hands up in fighting position with your fists clenched on either side of your jaw. Keep your abdominals tight and your back straight. Raise your left leg with a bent knee and quickly extend your leg out in front, leaving a very small bend in the knee while punching straight out with your right hand. Return to the starting position and repeat on the right. Go as fast as you can for 60 seconds.
LATERAL SIDE STEP
Place both hands in front of your face as if you were going to catch a ball. Shift all your weight to your left leg. As your weight shifts, move your right leg and then your left leg over to the left in a rapid skipping motion, so that your right foot ends up where your left foot started. Repeat the exercise in the opposite direction, and continue skipping from side to side for 60 seconds.
DANCE HALL HOT STEPPER
Pretend you are in a club in Jamaica, rocking to the beat of the drums. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent. Step backward with your left leg, touching the floor behind you with the ball of your foot. As your left leg moves backward, swing your left shoulder forward and rotate your torso slightly to the right. Then swing your right shoulder forward, and immediately step forward with your left leg past neutral position, placing your leg in front you and touching the ball of your foot to the floor. Return to neutral position (feet parallel) and then repeat the same steps on the right side. Continue for 60 seconds, alternating sides as fast as you can.
KARATE KID STORK STANCE (LEFT/RIGHT)
Extend both arms horizontally to the sides, parallel to the floor. Flex both wrists downward and squeeze your fingers together the way you would if you were mimicking someone who talks too much. Shift all your weight to your right leg. Raise your left leg with a bent knee as high as you can, and hold it there for 60 seconds. Be sure to keep your abdominals drawn in as tight as possible. Repeat on the right side for another 60 seconds.
Keep your back straight and your abdominals tight. Shift all your weight to your right side. Extend your left leg behind you until your right leg is bent at 90 degrees, keeping the right knee behind the toes. Keep your left leg fully extended with a slight bend at the knee. Simultaneously, touch the floor with your left hand. Repeat for 60 seconds, alternating sides.
STANDING HYDRANTS (LEFT/RIGHT)
Just like it sounds, this exercise mimics a dog peeing on a hydrant. Stand with your feet together and your knees bent, pushing your butt back and keeping your knees behind your toes. Keeping your chest at a 45‑degree angle to the floor, shift all your weight to your right leg. Raise your left heel toward your butt, bending your knee as close to 90 degrees as possible. Next, lift your left leg to the outside of your body so that your inner thigh is parallel to the floor. Return to the original position without touching the floor with your foot. Continue to mark your territory for 60 seconds, then switch sides and repeat for another 60 seconds.
Move your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart, toes pointed outward. Keep a straight back with your arms hanging naturally at your sides. Lower your body by bending your knees while keeping your back straight. Simultaneously, raise both arms like you’re about to give me a hug. Squeeze your chest muscles as you bring your hands together. Return to the starting position and repeat for 60 seconds.
Photo credit: Eddie Berman, Courtesy of Hachette BooksExcerpted from No Excuses Fitness: The 30-Day Plan to Tone Your Body and Supercharge Your Health (Hachette, April 2015)