If you've been aching for lean legs and toned inner thighs, this is for you. A collection of nearly 60 muscle-sculpting moves to work all areas of the thighs (and more!) will be more than enough to get you well on your way to those gorgeous gams you've been envisioning. These exercises can be completed at home with minimal equipment so you can transform your lower body in your living room with just your spare time. Beginners should create a sequence of the moves below and complete three sets of 10-15 reps. Those at advanced levels should create a sequence of the moves below and complete each move as many times as possible for 60 seconds.
1. Plank Jacks
This exercise adds a whole new level of heat to your traditional plank!
- Step 1: Place your hands on the floor directly beneath shoulders in push up plank position. Your body should form a straight, diagonal line from your head to your heels.
- Step 2: Jump your feet out to the sides, and then back to center. Do not let your stomach sag or arch throughout the movement.
- Modification (Beginner): Instead of jumping, step alternating legs out to the side and then back in.
2. Plié Squat Into Side Kick:
This twist on the squat will make your whole body burn! Keep your core engaged to stay balanced. Watch the above video and follow along or read the step-by-step directions below.
- Step 1: Assume a wide stance with your legs two to three feet apart, toes turned out. Place your hands on your hips, or clasp them in front of your chest.
- Step 2: Press your hips back and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor; keep your back straight, core tight and keep weight in your heels.
- Step 3: Pause, then press yourself back up to standing. As you stand, shift the weight into your left leg, and lift your right leg off the floor. Kick your right leg out to the side, trying to get it parallel to the floor.
- Step 4: Bring your leg back to Step 1. Complete all reps on this side, then repeat on the opposite side.
- Modification (Beginner): Decrease your range of motion by limiting the depth of your squat and keeping your kick low. You can also break the moves apart: do a plié squat, stand up, then kick.
3. Side Climber:
You will really feel the burn with this variation! Focus on keeping your back straight and your gaze down — and don't forget to breathe!
- Step 1: Place your hands on the floor directly beneath shoulders in push up plank position. Your body should form a straight, diagonal line from your head to your heels. Feet should be touching.
- Step 2: Tightening your core, jump your feet to the right, bringing your knees toward your right elbow. Your torso will twist to the right.
- Step 3: Jump your feet back to plank. Repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep.
- Modification (Beginner): Instead of jumping, step legs one at a time towards your elbow and then one at a time back into plank.
You will feel this move all through your legs! Just make sure to keep your shoulders back as you step to maintain good posture.
- Step 1: Place a step or bench in front of you. Hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides and stand facing the bench. Tighten your core and keep your gaze straight ahead.
- Step 2: Bring your right knee up and place your foot on the bench. Press into your right foot to straighten into standing position on the bench.
- Step 3: Slowly lower yourself to the starting position and switch legs.
5. Single Leg Calf Raise:
You can do these on a weighted calf machine or on some sort of platform, even a stair without weights in your own home. Do at least 20-50 reps on each side for 3 sets. Calves respond to higher reps, and not a lot of weight is needed as we are looking to tone, not necessarily make them larger.
- Step 1: Start in standing position, holding a chair or body bar beside you for balance.
- Step 2: Wrap your right foot around the back of your left leg.
- Step 3: Rise up onto your left toes and hold this position for a brief moment before lowering back down. Complete all reps on this side, then repeat on the opposite side.
6. Gliding Leg Crossovers:
This move is intense with gliders and really targets those thighs! Remember to keep everything in nice and tight—that means not only your core, but your glutes, too!
- Step 1: Position your hands as needed to allow full extension of your body without any bend at the hips or knees. Brace your torso by engaging your core muscles. Contract your glutes and quadriceps (butt and thigh muscles), and align your head with your spine. Place your feet together with your toes tucked towards your shins. Have each foot on top of a glider.
- Step 2: Exhale and gently draw one foot in front of the other as your hips rotate to the same side your foot is moving. Do NOT allow your hips and low back to pitch upwards or sag down towards the floor.
- Step 3: Continue to move until your hips cannot rotate any further. Your head and shoulder should remain level throughout the exercise. Pause very briefly.
- Step 4: Reverse the rotation until you return to the starting position. Immediately perform the rotation on the other side.
7. Frog Lift:
You can try this one with or without the squishy ball (or small pillow). Try not to push your belly into the floor to get the job done.
- Step 1: Begin in a kneeling position and place the ball behind you between the heels. Walk yourself down to the floor and prop up your chest with your elbows. Bend the knees at 90 degrees and squeeze the ball with your heels, which will make your knees move outward to the edge of your mat.
- Step 2: Squeeze the glutes and the ball to lift the knees off the ground. Pause at the top for 1 or 2 seconds. Continue squeezing at you lower. Do not collapse at the bottom of the movement. You can rest your forehead on your heads if that's more comfortable.
8. Single Leg Glute Bridge with Squishy Ball:
Just a couple reps of this exercise will make your butt and hammies burn, so remember to pace yourself!
- Step 1: Start by sitting down and placing the ball underneath one foot. Lie back with your hands at your sides, then pull the belly button into the spine. Lift the opposite leg straight up over the hip. Once you're braced, squeeze the glutes and lift into your bridge.
- Step 2: Remain in your bridge as your lower the leg. Keep the leg straight and long. You'll want to drop your hips, so squeeze your lats, core and glutes to keep the hips lifted. Imagine the hip of your moving leg as a pivot point or hinge. Everything else remains stable. Complete all reps on this side, then repeat on the opposite side.
9. Inch Worm:
The slower and more controlled you go, the more you'll feel this move in your abs! You can even hold the plank position for a couple seconds before returning to the starting position for an extra burn.
- Step 1: Stand straight. Keeping legs straight, bend over and touch floor.
- Step 2: Keep legs straight and slowly walk hands forward. Keep abs tight.
- Step 3: Stop when your body is in full plank, gaze down, neck in alignment with your spine.
- Step 4: Reverse the movement, walking feet in towards hands, taking tiny steps.
- Step 5: Continue to walk feet back until your hands meet your feet. Stand. That is one rep.
10. Crossover Lunge:
This exercise targets your thighs, glutes and abs for a compound move that is sure to bring on the sweat!
- Step 1: Kneel and lean left hip against a stability ball, right arm bent on top of it, forearm resting on the ball.
- Step 2: Place your right hand on your hip and extend your right leg out to side as high as you can. Hold for 1 count, then lower. Complete all reps on this side, then repeat on the opposite side.
11. Dumbbell Deadlift:
Deadlifts are notorious for their ability to work those hamstrings and quads! Be sure to keep your back straight as you bend to avoid injury!
- Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Grab a pair of dumbbells with an overhand grip, and hold them at arm's length in front of your thighs.
- Step 2: Without changing the bend in your knees, bend at your hips and lower your torso until it's almost parallel to the floor. Pause.
- Step 3: Raise your torso back to the starting position. That is one rep.
12. Lunge and Lift With Bicep Curl:
The knee lifts in this exercise really engage your core, so make sure you keep those abs tight as you lift!
- Step 1: Stand tall with your feet hip-width distance apart, holding a set of dumbbells resting on your thighs.
- Step 2: As you lift your right leg to be at hip level, bend your arms at the elbow and draw the weights to you shoulders.
- Step 3: Drop your lifted leg a few feet in front of you and lower your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Keep the front knee directly above the ankle, and lower the left knee to just tap the floor.
- Step 4: As you press into your right leg to stand, draw your left leg up to hip level.
- Step 5: Place your left leg on the ground as you extend your arms so that the dumbbells are resting on the tops of your thighs. Complete all reps on this side, then repeat on the opposite side.
13. Plié Squat Jumps:
Hey, ballerina! Time for class. Make sure you keep the pelvis pushed forward and feet wide. Always land with a soft knee. Plyometrics are great for initiating fat burn.
- Step 1: Assume a wide stance with your legs two to three feet apart, toes turned out. Place your hands on your hips.
- Step 2: Lower your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor; keep your back straight, core tight and keep weight in your heels.
- Step 3: Pause, then jump up explosively,landing with control, lowering your body back into the squat position. That’s one rep.
14. Split Lunge with Bicep Curl:
By keeping your foot propped up, you will really hit those hamstrings and glutes! Stay as upright as possible as you lunge to engage those core muscles.
- Step 1: Hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides, palms facing in. Stand about 3 feet in front of bench, back facing the bench.
- Step 2: Bend your right knee and lower it toward the ground; at the same time, curl dumbbells toward your shoulders. Aim to get your front thigh parallel to the ground.
- Step 3: Push yourself up, keeping the weight in your right heel while returning the dumbbells to your sides. That’s one rep. Complete all reps on this side, then repeat on the opposite side.
15. Squat Step with Resistance Band:
The resistance band will help you target the outside of those thighs! Keep your head and shoulders back as you squat to maintain a strong posture.
- Step 1: Stand with feet a little closer than shoulder-width apart and loop your resistance band around the ankles. Drop to form a squat and keep your weight shifted to your heels.
- Step 2: Step to the side with your right leg until you feel substantial resistance (do not push to a point of pain).
- Step 3: Slide your left foot to meet your right. Then repeat with the other side.
16. Kneeling Side Plank Clamshells:
Brace yourself: You are really going to feel the burn in your thighs and glutes with this exercise! Make sure you keep your knees from bending as you swing your leg.
- Step 1: Lie on your side and prop yourself up on your elbow with the elbow directly beneath your shoulder. Bend both of your knees at a 45-degree angle, stacking your knees on top of one another. Rest the other hand on your hip. Squeeze the lower oblique so your torso and hips stay lifted.
- Step 2: Keeping your feet together, and hips lifted, raise your right knee as high as you can without your heels coming apart. Pause, then return to the starting position. Complete all reps on this side, then repeat on the opposite side.
17. Goblet Squat:
Not only will these squats hit those thighs, but you also get a great shoulder exercise with the kettlebells! Just make sure to keep your back straight as you squat to avoid any injuries.
- Step 1: Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart so you can drop into your squat with good posture. Hold the kettlebell at chest height — the bottom of the kettlebell should be no lower than the bra line.
- Step 2: Send the hips back and down, letting the knees bend as you go. The knees stay behind the toes and your weight goes into your heels. You should be able to wiggle your toes at the bottom of the squat.
- Step 3: Exhale and press into the heels as you raise yourself back up to standing position. Push the hips to the front. Think of your hips as the leader of this movement, guiding the body up and back down while you squeeze your glutes and quadriceps.
18. Squat Press with Resistance Band:
This is also a great way to target your shoulders while working those thighs and glutes. Keep your arms completely straight as you lift the resistance band for the best results!
- Step 1: Stand on your resistance band with your feet a little wider than hip-width distance apart, holding the handles behind your arms at your shoulders.
- Step 2: Keeping a straight back, press your butt back and lower into a standard squat position.
- Step 3: Slowly stand bringing your hands up overhead. Return to the starting position. That is one rep.
19. Gliding Hamstring Curls:
This move takes hamstring curls to a whole new level! This exercise torches your hamstrings and gives your lower back and knees a break. This move takes some getting used to, start with 5-10 reps and work your way up to 25. Remember, if you don't own a set of gliders, you can still do this move! If you have hardwoods use washcloths, if you have carpet, grab a set of paper plates.
- Step 1: Lie on your back with your arms at your sides. Have each heel in the center of a glider. Squeeze the glutes together to lift the pelvis off of the floor. Do not put tension or pressure in the lower back – if you do feel discomfort in the low back, stop and switch to a bridge lift to help you strengthen the posterior muscles first.
- Step 2: Exhale and use your hamstrings and glutes to pull the heels closer to the body. Your range of motion is limited to the strength of your hamstrings. Inhale and slowly slide the heels back to the starting position without lowering the hips to the floor. Again, you should not feel this in your lower back.
20. Kneeling Side Crunch:
This is the perfect exercise if you are looking to target your obliques. Try not to slouch as you lift that leg, though!
- Step 1: Kneel on the floor and lean all the way over to your right side, placing your right palm on the floor. Keeping your weight balanced, extend your left leg and point your toes.
- Step 2: Place your left hand behind your head, pointing your elbow toward the ceiling.
- Step 3: Slowly lift your left leg to a little above hip height.
- Step 4: Lower your leg back to starting position. Complete all reps on this side, then repeat on the opposite side.
21. Kettlebell Deadlift:
Using the heaviest kettlebell you can manage, this exercise will really work your lower body!
- Step 1: Begin with your feet hip-width apart, holding a kettlebell at arms length resting on the top of your thighs.
- Step 2: Drop your hips back, and shift the weight into your heels as you tap the kettlebell on the floor at your feet. Make sure your chest is lifted and back is flat or slightly arched. Do not round your back.
- Step 3: Exhale and push through your heels, hamstrings and glutes to lift yourself to standing. Push your hips forward to completely unhinge and finish the movement.
22. Leg Abduction with Resistance Band:
This is a super effective move to target the thighs! You can alter the resistance by making the band tighter or looser as needed. As you bring the legs in, stop at hip-width.
- Step 1: Grab a resistance band and wrap it around the middle of both of your feet.
- Step 2: Lie on your back and extend the legs from the hips; flex the feet. With arms at your side and your lower back pressed into the mat, open and close the legs.
23. Sumo Squat Calf Raise:
This is an all-out glutes, hamstrings and quads workout that is sure to get your legs shaking. Pair it with some light hand weights and you'll really feel the burn! This move is best performed in time increments. Start with 30 seconds and build your time up!
- Step 1: Assume a wide stance with your legs two to three feet apart, toes turned out holding a dumbbell in each hand resting on the top of your thighs.
- Step 2: Press your hips back and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor; keep your back straight, core tight, weight in your heels and dumbbells resting just above the knees.
- Step 3: Pause, then raise both heels off the floor, and begin to pulse the hips up and down, isolating the calves.
24. Kickback Pulse:
This exercise will really target the glutes. Just make sure you keep those hips square as you kick back your leg!
- Step 1: Stand with legs hip-width distance apart. Lift back leg so it is parallel with the floor. Make sure your hips remain square facing the wall.
- Step 2: With your leg extended, lift it upward towards the ceiling and pulse. Keep the motion small and controlled, with your chest up and your extended leg straight. Complete all reps on this side, then repeat on the opposite side.
25. Glute Bridge with Dumbbell:
Glute Bridges are a great way to hit those glutes and core muscles! Keep pushing your hips toward the ceiling throughout the exercise to keep those abs engaged.
- Step 1: Lie on your back with the knees bent and feet on the floor. Place a dumbbell between the hip bones and hold it there with your hands during the entire movement. Make sure your shoulder blades are tucked underneath and your neck is comfortable.
- Step 2: Exhale and drive through your heels as you squeeze the glutes to lift. Do not try to lift using your lower back. You should feel tension in the glutes, hamstrings and quads. To help relieve any tension in the lower back, pull the belly button in toward the spine. Stop the lift when your hips are in line with the thighs and torso. Inhale and slowly release the move, rolling the vertebrae down until the pelvis hits the floor, then immediately go for the next rep.
26. Squat and Lift:
Work your inner thighs with this squat variation. Each time you lift your leg, crunch your oblique muscle to stay balanced!
- Step 1: Begin with your feet under the shoulders and hinge the hips backward so you come into a crouched squat. Keep the arms in front of you however you want so you can keep the chest lifted.
- Step 2: Push out of the squat on one leg as the other leg lifts out to the side, completely extended. Crunch that same-side oblique to stay balanced. Complete all reps on this side, then repeat on the opposite side.
27. Kneeling Hip Abduction with Gliders:
Get out the fire extinguisher—because this move is going to set your inner thighs on fire!
- Step 1: Kneel on the floor and place a glider under each knee. Brace your abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine. Try to keep the torso from moving throughout the exercise.
- Step 2: Slowly slide the knees out to the side while maintaining balance and vertical posture. Hold on to a stable surface for balance as needed. Continue sliding until you cannot move any farther without allowing your hips to shift or torso to lean. Pause briefly.
- Step 3: Slowly return to your starting position in a slow, controlled manner without losing your balance or changing the position of your torso.
28. Jumping Lunges:
If you're wanting to tone your legs and thighs, these lunges will do the trick! Make sure your feet stay hip-width apart, not too wide and not crossing behind or in front of each other. Use your arms for momentum and find that perfect 90-degree bend.
- Step 1: Begin in the lunge position. Place your feet far enough away form each other to create 90-degree bends in both knees. The front knee should not pass over the front toes. The back knee, ideally, should touch or be a few inches from the ground. Chest is lifted.
- Step 2: Power yourself out of the lunge by squeezing your glutes and core. Use your arms to help with propulsion, and make sure both feet leave the ground at the same time.
- Step 3: Land in your lunge with the opposite leg forward with both feet hitting the ground at the same time. The chest stays lifted. That is one rep. Continue alternating legs for allotted time.
29. Walking Lunge with Dumbbells:
The deeper you sink into the lunge, the more you will feel the burn! For a modification, try ditching the dumbbells and put your hands on your hips instead.
- Step 1: Stand with your feet together and your arms at your sides holding dumbbells. Stand tall with your shoulders back and down.
- Step 2: Take a large step forward with your right leg, landing on your right heel. Allow your back leg to relax so that your knee drops toward the floor. Pause briefly here with your weight on your right heel.
- Step 3: Press into your right heel to stand up and step forward, returning to the starting position.
- Step 4: Immediately step forward onto your left leg and repeat the movement, alternating sides as you move forward in space.
30. Lunge to Single Leg Deadlift:
This move is all about balance, so it may take a couple tries to really get the hang of it! Just be sure to move nice and slow so you don't tip over.
- Step 1: Begin by grasping a dumbbell in each hand.
- Step 2: Take a wide step out to the front with the left leg and lower yourself into a lunge position. Keep your back straight, your chest up, and your front leg bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Step 3: Push off with the back leg (weight in your heel), while straightening the front leg. Then, slowly balance yourself on one leg, lowering the dumbbells and chest toward the ground, be sure to keep the abs in tight, the back straight, and all the slack taken out of your body. The leg behind you should be pushing straight back, not flexed at the toes or hanging with slack. Think of it as pushing against a wall with your heel.
- Step 4: From this position, return back to standing position and repeat the whole movement stepping out into a lunge with your right leg.
31. Kneeling Roundhouse Kicks:
This move is a triple-threat! It strengthens the hips, tones the thighs and even engages the core!
- Step 1: Come to all fours with your toes curled under, hands under the shoulders and knees beneath the hips. Look at your mat to keep a straight spine.
- Step 2: Lift one leg like you would for a fire hydrant. Try to keep equal pressure in the hands by locking down the core.
- Step 3: Kick out to the side. You might not be able to lift and kick the leg as high as you see Jean do above, but that's OK! You can continue closing and opening the kick here or bring it back to the floor after each rep. The intensity is up to you. Complete all reps on this side, then repeat on the opposite side.
32. Figure 8 Squat with Kettlebell:
This move will kick your whole body into gear! Make sure you take your time so you can really feel the burn as you squat down. If the kettlebell is too much, go ahead and ditch it or grab a lighter weight!
- Step 1: Bend the knees and hold the kettlebell off the floor, centered between the legs. Your feet should be about shoulder-width. Pull the belly button into the spine and lift the chest to protect your back.
- Step 2: Bend the knees and hold the kettlebell off the floor, centered between the legs. Your feet should be about shoulder-width. Pull the belly button into the spine and lift the chest to protect your back.
- Step 3: Bring the kettlebell around to the front of the body, passing it through the center and behind the opposite leg.
- Step 4: As you pass it behind the opposite leg, grab it with the other hand. Perform this move as fast or slow as you want. Don't round the back!
33. Alternating Side Lunges:
A side lunge is an effective way to work your muscles in a new way. This move works your glues and abductors, helping you to tone and tighten your lower body!
- Step 1: Begin in your neutral standing position; feet should be shoulder-width apart. Roll the shoulders back and down and lift your chest.
- Step 2: Step one foot out to the side and bend the leg into a lunge. The knee must stay behind the toes. The other leg is straight. Your chest is lifted still. It's tempting to drop your chest, so look straight ahead and keep the shoulders back.
- Step 3: Bring the lunge to the other side first by pressing through your heel to your standing position. Send the other leg out to the side. The farther you step out, the deeper you will need to lunge. Complete all reps on this side, then repeat on the opposite side.
34. Scorpion Twist:
This move will not only increase your flexibility, but it will also hit those ever-elusive core muscles, thighs, and glutes. Don't be surprised if you feel your back crack a little!
- Step 1: Lie on your stomach with feet together, arms extended to form a “goal post” with palms facing down and forehead hovering above the floor. Lift your right leg off the mat.
- Step 2: Bend your right knee while squeezing your right glute and twist your hips to reach your right foot over to touch the ground on the outside of your left leg. Keep your arms and chest on the floor. Return right leg to start position. Complete all reps on this side, then repeat on the opposite side.
35. Seated Abductor Taps with Resistance Band:
This might not seem like much, but these taps will ignite those inner and outer thigh muscles. Keep your back straight and your upper body still while you let the movement come from just your legs. Keep tension on the band throughout this exercise to burn out those legs!
- Step 1: Take a seat on the floor and wrap a resistance band around the bottom of both of your feet; the resistance band handles in each hand. Flex your feet.
- Step 2: Keep arms locked to sides with a straight spine and lift your feet 3-6-inches off the mat, open and close the legs keeping tension on the band the entire time.
36. Resistance Band Lunge with Twist:
These twists are tricky enough on their own, but throw in a resistance band and you will feel those abs flexing! Not to mention, your thighs will be on fire after just a couple reps.
- Step 1: Start with feet together, a resistance band handle in each hand (to increase the resistance, you can bring your hands in on the band for more tension). Raise your arms out in front of you at shoulder level.
- Step 2: Step your right leg forward into a split-stance, continuing to hold the band out in front of you. Lower into a lunge.
- Step 3: Twist in the direction of your front leg, pulling your arms out to the sides.
- Step 4: Return to the starting position and repeat. Complete all reps on this side, then repeat on the opposite side.
37. Knee Strikes:
This move will give you an exhilarating burst of energy! As you keep your core muscles engaged, just pretend like you're grabbing and kneeing someone in the gut. The more power you put into this move, the more you will feel it!
- Step 1: Start by standing on your left leg, with the right leg extended out to the side. Your toe should be lightly tapped on the floor, both arms reaching overhead.
- Step 2: Bracing your core, bend the right knee up and bring it across your torso toward the left shoulder as both hands tap the top of the right thigh. Quickly return to starting position and repeat as fast as possible for allotted time. Complete your time on one side and switch to opposite side.
- Modification (Advanced): Add a hop as the knee and arms pull in towards each other to spike the heart rate even more for a greater calorie burn.
38. Squat with a Twist:
Add an oblique exercise to your squat routine with this twisting exercise! Maintain your form by keeping your back flat and chest lifted.
- Step 1: Stand with feet shoulder width apart and toes turned out slightly.
- Step 2: Place your hands behind your head as you lower into a squat.
- Step 3: Push into your heels and straighten your legs to return to standing.
- Step 4: Tighten your core as you bring your right knee toward your left elbow.
- Step 5: Lower right foot to the floor. Repeat on opposite side. That is one rep.
39. Calf Raise with Donkey Kick:
All you need is a chair and a lot of motivation! Keep your back straight as you kick your leg up behind you as far as it will go. (Aim for the ceiling!)
- Step 1: Face the seat of a chair. Bend over until your hands can wrap around the side edges of the chair. Pull your left foot up and go to your tip toes on your right foot, keeping a flat back.
- Step 2: Exhale and press the bent leg up like your stamping your foot on the ceiling. Try to get the thigh parallel with the floor. Do this lift without shifting your weight into one side. Keep the hips square to the floor and let the back arch a little. Bring the knee back down, but don't rest! Send back up for another rep! Complete all reps on this side, then repeat on the opposite side.
40. Side Plank with Leg Lift:
Get double duty on this move! The challenging side plan works your balance and core, while the leg lift gets that outer thigh! Add a resistance band to your ankles to amp this move up!
- Step 1: Come into a side plank position with your wrist under your shoulder and your feet either stacked or staggered. Make sure your hips are not rolling backward, forward or hinging.
- Step 2: Push yourself up by squeezing your lower obliques. Rest your free hand on your hip. Flex the feet as you lift the top foot and leg as high as you can, aiming to get it to hip level.
- Modification (Beginner): Drop the bottom knee and tuck the leg straight behind you in a 90-degree bend. As you lift and lower, be aware of you lower hip position — don't let it drop!
41. Good Morning:
Who knew that all you needed to really make those hamstrings work was a heavy bar? You will be shocked by how much your legs burn after just a couple bends!
- Step 1: Stand with feet shoulder width apart, a heavy bar or barbell resting on your back.
- Step 2: Bend at your waist while pushing back your hips, knees slightly bent. Bend until you can keep good form: back straight, chest up, core tight, and neck aligned with the spine.
- Step 3: Return to standing, using your hamstrings and the glutes to pull you up.
42. Resistance Band Flutter Kicks:
Make sure you keep your lower back pressed into the floor as you scissor your legs. It will help engage your core muscles, and you will feel the burn from the waist down!
- Step 1: Sit down, bend your knees, then raise your legs until the knees are over the hips. Raise your upper body until you create a “V” from the chest to the thighs. Extend the arms forward for balance. Pull the belly button in so you are not arching your back. Try to get your calves parallel with the floor.
- Step 2: Inhale and extend the legs out as you drop the upper body, opening the "V" to become almost parallel with the floor. Think about being long. Flex or point the feet.
In order to keep your balance as you step up, clench those core muscles. You will feel the burn in your core and legs in no time!
- Step 1: Holding the handles of a resistance band in each hand and loop it around the bottom of your feet.
- Step 2: Start stepping to the side. Move one leg at a time. Don’t let the moving leg drag on the ground. Pick it up and actively resist the tension of the band. Complete all reps on this side, then repeat on the opposite side.
- Modification (Advanced): Use a stronger band or move your hands down on the band to remove more slack and increase tension.
44. Step-Up with Bicep Curl:
This move gives you the opportunity to work those thighs and your shoulders! Be sure to keep those arms as straight as possible as you lift them over your head.
- Step 1: Stand with your left foot on a step or bench with a dumbbell in both hands.
- Step 2: With the weight on the left foot, lift yourself on to the bench or step with the right thigh raised so that it is parallel to the floor. At the same time, curl dumbbells up towards the shoulders.
- Step 3: Return to the position form where you started. Complete all reps on this side, then repeat on the opposite side.
45. Prisoner Jacks:
Ready to bust a sweat? You'll work your glutes, quads and inner thighs here as you power through the jumps. Remember to stay low!
- Step 1: Stand with your feet close together, hands behind your head, and lower down into a narrow squat so that your weight shifts back to your heels.
- Step 2: Staying low, but with your chest up, push off your heels and jump your feet wide, landing in a wide squat position.
- Step 3: Jump back to the start position. That is one rep. Continue jumping your feet out and in with a squat as fast as you can.
46. Inner Thigh Squeeze:
Looks like a cake walk, doesn't it? Once you get all comfy, lift both your leg AND squeeze the squishy ball. Make sure to keep your core tight and legs straight.
- Step 1: Lie on your right side with legs in line with your shoulders and a squishy ball at your ankles.
- Step 2: Keep your abs engaged as you lift your legs thee to five inches off the ground.
Maintain this position, and squeeze the ball for the allotted reps. Complete all reps on this side, then repeat on the opposite side.
47. Reverse Flutter Kicks:
Think about making your legs super long, pointing the toes to activate those longer muscle fibers in the abductors.
- Step 1: Lie on your belly and rest your head on your arms. Squeeze the glutes and lift the legs off of the floor just enough so the thighs are still touching.
- Step 2: Lift one leg higher until the thigh peels away from the mat, then lower it as the other leg.
48. Band Jack:
Bored of all those traditional jumping jacks? Why not give this resistance band variation a shot? You will feel the burn in your thighs and shoulders in no time!
While the burpee is one of the most dreaded exercises out there, it is also one of the most effective! So set aside your hesitation, and embrace the sweat!
- Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your sides.
- Step 2: Bend your knees and squat down, placing your hands firmly on the floor.
- Step 3: Jump your feet back to come into a high plank with straight arms and legs.
- Step 4: Jump both feet forward to your hands.
- Step 5: From your crouching position, jump up with hands above your head. That's one rep.
- Modification (Beginner): Remove the jumps and step your feet, one by one on steps 3 and 4.
- Modification (Advanced): Add a pushup at the end of step 3.
50. Wood Chopper with Medicine Ball:
Talk about targeting those obliques! This exercise will have your heart rate up in no time. As you lift the medicine ball, make sure you are thrusting from legs rather than your back.
- Step 1: Hold a medicine ball (or dumbbell) in both hands. Squat and twist left to hold the medicine ball on the outside of your left leg.
- Step 2: Exhale, and lift the medicine ball diagonally across your body, ending twisted to the right with the dumbbell above your head. Pivot on your left foot as needed. Focus on the rotation initiating in your core. Control the weight back up to the starting position to complete one rep. Tip: Move with force but also control.
- Step 3: Bring the ball back to the starting point without bending the elbows. This means the weight stays an arm's-distance away from you at all times.
51. Wall Sit:
Just because you get to sit, doesn't mean this exercise is going to be relaxing! As you lean against the wall, with your legs bent at a 90-degree angle, make sure your entire back is in contact. For an added challenge, go ahead and stretch one leg straight out!
- Step 1: Lean your back against a wall, making sure that your whole back is touching the wall. Your feet should be about two feet from the wall and about shoulder-width apart from each other.
- Step 2: Slowly slide your back down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Aim for a 90-degree angle. Keep your weight in the heels of your feet and make sure your knees are behind your toes. Keep your back flat against the wall.
52. Sumo Squat with Bicep Curl:
This is a great compound move that will target your inner thighs and your biceps! Remember to keep your weight as far back in your heels as you can so that you are able to really sit back into that squat.
- Step 1: Stand with a set of dumbbells hanging in front of you, palms forward, resting on your thighs.
- Step 2: Stand much wider than hip-width apart, with toes turned out to 45 degrees, brace your core, and lower your body as far into a seated position as you can with a straight back. Pause.
- Step 3: Slowly push through your glutes and inner thighs to return to start. That’s one rep.
53. Side Lunge and Press:
Add some resistance to your side lunges by holding a dumbbell at chest level. Sit the booty back and down to keep the knee behind the toes, then squeeze the glutes, quads and inner thighs to push yourself out of it. Keep alternating sides. You'll get a little stretch, too!
- Step 1: Grab a dumbbell or kettlebell to add resistance (or go weightless!). Begin with the feet under the hips, then step out to one side. Make sure the hips go backward and down so the chest stays lifted and the knee remains behind your toes. The other leg is completely straight.
- Step 2: Push out of the lunge and bring the foot under the hip again. At the same time you bring the legs to neutral, you'll press the weight (or lift the arms) overhead.
- Step 3: Bring the weight back to the chest level and lunge to the other side. Make sure you're working on the same line – not stepping in front or behind the other foot.
54. Ball Slams:
This move requires strength, cardiovascular endurance and coordination! Keep your eyes on the ball as you raise out of the squat and toss it into the air. Modify this move by simply holding the ball over your head as you rise to a standing position. It may target the upper back, but you thighs will burn soon after trying these!
- Step 1: Start with feet hip width distance apart, toes slightly turned out, a slam ball at your feet.
- Step 2: Squat down and and grab the ball while keeping your chest lifted.
- Step 3: Push out of the squat while lifting the ball overhead and dropping it behind your head like a triceps extension.
- Step 4: Slam the ball into the ground while simultaneously dropping into your squat; catch the ball as it bounces up and repeat.
Be prepared to really feel the burn in your quads with this exercise! Keeping your hands tucked behind your head should help you stay balanced as you squat down. For a modification, try a more shallow squat, and simply come to a standing position, rather than jumping.
- Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, with your back straight and shoulders back.
- Step 2: Perform a squat, bending your knees at a 90 degree angle, keeping your back straight and your chest up. Hold and return to starting position. Double check your knee position — make sure they're staying behind your toes.
56. Reverse Lunge:
In order to maintain the best possible posture for this exercise, make sure that your torso remains upright as you step back, and make sure that your weight settles into your back toes.
- Step 1: Stand with your feet under your hips and a lifted chest.
- Step 2: Step one leg directly behind you at the same width and bend both knees until they form 90-degree angles. Keep your chest lifted and your torso centered over the hips. Try to get your back knee down as low as possible. Exhale and push out of the lunge, bringing the leg back to the other one.
- Step 3: Alternate lunges stepping back with one foot at a time.
Stand with a dumbbell in each hand as you kick one leg out at a time, locking the knee. This will help to engage those core muscles, and create a stronger foundation to stand on!
58. Weighted Donkey Kick:
Keep your back as straight as possible as you kick your leg up. It also helps to keep your eyes focused on the ground by your hands. If you need an extra challenge, go ahead and throw a dumbbell in the crook of your knee!
- Step 1: Come to all fours and slide a dumbbell into the crease behind your knee. Bend the leg to squeeze it into place. Flex the foot.
- Step 2: Exhale and press the bent leg up like your stamping your foot on the ceiling. Try to get the thigh parallel with the floor. Do this lift without shifting your weight into one side. Keep the hips square to the floor and let the back arch a little. Bring the knee back down, but don't rest! Send back up for another rep!