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Get your abs, butt and legs slim and sleek with a combination of moves.
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Depending on your genetic make-up, your body may store fat in your tummy, buns or thighs. For most people, all three areas can benefit from a little shaping up, as most clothes tend to highlight at least one, if not all three, features. To tone your abs, glutes and legs, aim for a mix of cardio to burn calories with strength-training moves to target specific muscle groups. Work on your core strength will not only help shape up your abs, but it will also condition your body to gain more endurance and resilience during your workouts.
Burn Body Fat with Cardio
To melt away extra inches, 60 minutes of daily aerobic exercise will get your heart rate up, and kickstart your body into working off your fat reserves. Certain cardio moves will target your three problem areas while also burning calories. Running will help target your legs and glutes, while running on stairs will tone your rear end quickly. Indoor or outdoor cycling will also tone legs and butt as you pedal your way to a leaner physique. Swimming is an effective total-body workout that will engage your core as you also kick your legs. Unfortunately, most cardio doesn't specifically target the abs, but you can keep your abs engaged as you exercise to make sure these muscles receive part of the benefit.
Crunch Your Way to Tight Abs
Once your cardio routine is done, start targeting specific areas. Abs benefit from repetitive moves, though traditional crunches can be boring and, if done incorrectly, tough on your back. Try crunches on a foam wedge or stability ball to keep the lower back from overextending. Reverse crunches ask you to raise your legs instead of your shoulders, helping to keep the back stable. Try a modified crunch where you rest on your sit bones, with legs and arms raised. Slowly lower legs and arms without touching the floor, then slowly raise them again. The common Pilates move, the Plank, will tone your abs without moving a muscle. Start by lying flat on a mat. Slowly raise yourself with your arms, as if beginning a pushup. Without moving, engage your core to keep your body straight, still and suspended as you hover on outstretched palms and toes.
Work Your Butt Off
Just 20 minutes can be enough time to squeeze in a few moves to tone your glutes. Any form of lunges will target your rear end. Do the moves while holding small dumbbells to add to the intensity and the results. For basic lunges, start with your feet together. Step your left leg forward so your feet are 2 to 3 feet apart. Keeping your back upright, lower until your knees are bent at 90-degree angles. Use your right leg to stand back up while you lift your left leg in front of you. Balance for a breath, then lower your leg and repeat.
Tone Your Legs in No Time
Moves to target your legs will focus on engaging those muscles to help with balance and stability. Many yoga moves require strong legs to maintain poses, and will be effective for toning calves and thighs. In addition to your cardio, try squats or lunges to exercise legs and glutes. At the gym, spend part of your routine on a stair climber, and make sure the resistance gets your calves burning.