This week’s 5 Minute Workout was inspired by a friend’s question:
Hey miss fitness…I need some advice. What do you do to tone/firm the back of your legs. Mine look like they have encountered a major hail storm since I had the baby…any advice? (besides get liposuction :))
Wow! That’s a challenge. First off, it’d be Mrs. Fitness as I’m a married woman…ha, ha! Second, after this, I will no longer be doing this blog because I will make millions by sharing the winning formula to eliminating cottage cheese thighs! Ok, not really. Sorry to say but every woman will…hold on, let me rephrase that. Every woman who cannot routinely get liposuction will get cellulite. This is simply down to women’s chemistry. Around the middle to late twenties and especially after childbirth, a hailstorm beats down on women’s thighs and even arms and stomach. Although there isn’t a magic formula for getting rid of it, (besides extreme measures) you can diminish the appearance by toning the lower body.
I am really going to stress the toning bit. Cardio will help immensely if you need to lose weight in general but resistance training and toning is really the key to reducing the look of it! Plyometrics are fantastic to incorporate as well as barbell squats, lunges…any weighted exercise that’s really taxing all those little muscle fibers.
I don’t have any of that equipment, not even heavy dumbbells. So I’ve made it that these 4 exercises can be done at home, the park or anywhere that has a sturdy bench/chair. The whole leg is being taxed but there’s greater concentration on the back of the legs. The next day, I felt this in my butt…right where your swimsuit bottom would hit!
NO EXCUSES. EVERYONE HAS 5 MINUTES.
1. Alternating jump lunges -10 per leg
2. Step-ups – 10 per leg
3. Rear leg raised lunge – 10-15 per leg
4. Bridge side kicks – 10-20 per leg
5. Repeat 1-4.
Do these exercises one after another with no rest. This gets the heart pounding and you should be able to complete 2 cycles of this in 5 to 6 minutes!
I like to start in the lunge position and then, pushing off the front heel, jump as high as I can (which is probably 2 centimeters off the ground) and land back in the lunge position but with the other leg forward. Continue “jumps” until you hit 20 (10 per leg).
Easy right!? Find bench, or chair. Start with one leg up. The leg that is up, push through the heel to hoist your other leg up. Don’t use momentum at this part! Return to start position. I like to do all reps on one side first before switching to the other. It’s an easy classic that works every time!
REAR LEG RAISED LUNGES
Rest one foot on a bench, chair, or bosu (either side works). Keep your knee in line with the toes on the other foot, lower yourself down, keeping your back straight. Push through heel to come back up. Again, I complete one side first before switching to the other!
BRIDGE SIDE KICKS
LOVE this exercise. I had no idea what to call it though. I think I learned it about 10 years ago from an old school Billy Banks Tae Bo video (VHS of course). This raises the butt and works the obliques! It’s one of my hidden gems (not so hidden anymore). If you have extra time to kill during a TV commercial break or something, do 25-50 of these per side throughout the break.
Get into a bridge position. Raise one of the bent knees out to the side. Extend out into a kick. Bring back to starting position but don’t let knee touch the ground.
Repeat all exercises again and you should be slightly over 5 minutes. I love this workout and would recommend doing an extra round, completing 3 sets of each exercise!
Little bug’s point of view! She was in the baby carrier while hubby snapped the pics! Did you notice her extra warm winter hat? It was freezing up there!!!! Brrr. I had many layers on from what you all saw. All pics were taken in Mijas which is a lovely village up the mountain just a few minutes from where we live.
IN THE MAKING: Pregnancy Workout (part 1). See what exercises I did throughout my pregnancy.