With summer’s minis being major and short shorts seen at more than just backyard BBQs, toned legs are on the scene whether you like it or not. But just a few minutes a day can mean you’ll be sitting (and standing) pretty.
I spotted (and fell in love with) Glamour magazine’s very quick and very effective mini-skirt workout by celebrity trainer Patrick Murphy. Bring on the minis.
Works thighs and the area just above knees
Standing upright, kick up left leg as high as you can. Then bring left leg back to standing, and step right leg straight behind you in a lunge, bending left knee 90 degrees and reaching fingers to the floor, as shown. Push off left foot and quickly return to standing, placing right foot next to left. Do 15 times, switch sides and repeat.
Bridge With Leg Lift
Works butt and fronts and backs of thighs
Lie on back, knees bent and feet flat on ground hip-width apart, close to your butt; rest hands on floor by sides. Press hips up, hold, and extend left leg up about 45 degrees so thighs are parallel, as shown; bend left knee and lower foot to floor, without lowering hips, then straighten leg again. Do 15 reps slowly, switch legs and repeat.
Squat with Calf Raise
Works (and lifts) your butt; sculpts calves
Stand with feet hip-width apart and hands clasped behind head. Lower into a squat as if you were going to sit back in a chair, keeping your chest up and not letting knees go past toes, as shown. Stand back up, and then rise up onto your toes. Lower heels and return to start. Do 15 reps.
Works hard-to-target outer thighs—no more saddlebaggage!
Standing with feet hip-width apart, knees soft and hands on hips, lift right knee to chest, then take a big step out to the right side, lowering into a lunge, as shown. Quickly push off right foot and return to standing position with knee up. Do 15 times, then switch legs and repeat.
Single Leg Squat
Works it all: your butt, thighs and calves
Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms by sides; lift left knee toward chest. Lean forward, then bend right knee to slowly lower into a squat while keeping your balance (left foot stays hovering off floor). Pause and reach hands toward ground, as shown. Return to standing without dropping left foot; do 15 times. Switch legs and repeat.
Illustrations by Kerrie Hess