How to Tone Your Hips and Thighs One Minute at a Time
Last Updated: Mar 13, 2017
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No access to bands, bars, bells, balls, benches or boxes? No biggie (and no need to skip leg day). All you need is your body weight, 10 minutes (or 10 one-minute exercise breaks throughout your day) and a willingness to work hard. This lower-body blitz will sculpt all your major lower-body muscles a minute at a time, and it’s a perfect temporary solution if you find yourself in a crunch, are traveling or simply don’t have access to a gym.
HOW TO DO THESE EXERCISES
Grab a timer, stopwatch or clock to streamline the circuit and keep the intensity high. Perform each of the following 10 exercises for 60 seconds in a circuit, taking as little rest as possible between exercises. While you should keep the intensity and tempo high, never sacrifice your form or alignment. Up for a challenge? Take a two- to three-minute break and repeat the circuit. This circuit is not meant to replace your normal lower-body gym workouts on a long-term basis: It’s meant as a quick, time-efficient maintenance workout when life gets in the way and your circumstances are not ideal.
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HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes slightly flared out. Push your hips back slightly, bend your knees and descend into a deep squat position, keeping your torso fairly upright and your heels down. Rise halfway back up, then immediately descend back down into a deep squat again before standing back up to the starting position. That’s one rep. Perform as many quality reps as possible in 60 seconds.
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ALTERNATING ISO GLUTE BRIDGE
HOW TO DO IT: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips off the floor while squeezing your glutes. Once at the top, extend your right leg without allowing your hips to sag. Pause in this position for one second before bringing your right leg back to the starting position. Keeping your hips up, repeat with your left leg. Continue alternating back and forth, right leg to left leg, for 60 seconds.
ALTERNATING WALKING DOUBLE LUNGE
HOW TO DO IT: Stand tall with your feet together. Step out with your right leg and drop down into a deep lunge, keeping your torso upright. Stand back up into a split stance before lunging back down again with same leg. Stand up and bring your feet together. Repeat the same double lunge with your left leg. Continue alternating your right-leg and left-leg lunges for 60 seconds.
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SPLIT-STANCE HIP HINGE
HOW TO DO IT: Assume a split stance with your right leg forward and your left leg behind. There should be about 18 inches between your right heel and your left toe. Your right foot should be flat, but you should only be on the ball of your left foot. Soften your right knee and hinge at your right hip (pushing your right butt cheek back) as your torso travels forward and ends up about parallel to the floor. You should feel a stretch in your right hamstring. Stand back up. Perform as many quality reps as possible in 30 seconds before switching your stance and repeating with the left foot forward for an additional 30 seconds.
ALTERNATING LATERAL LUNGE
HOW TO DO IT: Assume a wide stance with your legs straight and toes pointing forward. Bend your right knee, push back through your right hip and drop into a deep lateral lunge, keeping your torso fairly upright. Push through your right heel and stand back up. Pause briefly and then repeat on the left side. Continue alternating back and forth for 60 seconds.
HOW TO DO IT: Lie on your back, bend your knees and put your feet together with the soles touching, allowing your knees to flare out to the sides. Tuck your chin toward your chest and drive your elbows into the floor before bridging your hips up. Pause in the contracted position, squeeze your glutes, and then return to the floor. Perform as many reps as possible in 60 seconds.
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HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes slightly flared out. Push your hips back, bend your knees and descend a few inches into a quarter squat, keeping your torso upright. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Immediately descend into a half or parallel squat and hold for another 15 seconds. Finally, descend further into a deep squat position below parallel and hold for 30 more seconds.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your feet just wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes slightly flared out. Push your hips back, bend your knees and descend into a full squat, keeping your torso upright. Jump up. As you land, absorb the impact with soft knees and immediately descend into your next rep. Continue in this fashion for 60 seconds. If you fatigue early, take a few seconds to recover and immediately resume the move as best you can for the remainder of the time.
ISO SPLIT-SQUAT HOLD
HOW TO DO IT: Assume a split-stance position with your right leg forward and your left leg behind. There should be about 18 inches between your right heel and your left toe. Your right foot should be flat, but you should only be on the ball of your left foot. Descend into a deep lunge until your left knee is a few inches from the floor. Hold this position for 30 seconds before repeating on the left side for an additional 30 seconds.
HOW TO DO IT: Get in a split stance with your right leg forward and your left leg behind. Descend into a deep lunge before driving through your right heel and standing back up to the starting position. Perform as many reps as possible in 30 seconds before switching to your left side and repeating for an additional 30 seconds.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
What do your lower-body workouts look like? Do you do any of these exercises? What are some of your favorite exercises? Are there others you would recommend? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below!
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