At this point, I should be back where I left off before the comfort food and temptations of the Holiday's. Resolutions started months ago and we're all right on track, right? Well in case you're like me, I still have some work to do! Not to mention, I'm always looking for more ways to tone and tighten for a healthier me. It's all about finding your happiest healthiest self, and I feel my best when I'm busting a sweat and feeling the burn! When I need to whip myself into shape, these are 5 of my favorite exercises that tone up the whole body; thighs, butt, back, abs and arms. I had the pleasure of strengthening and stretching with Jules Hunt in New York last weekend. Working out with a partner is always much more fun and motivating, so check out her blog Om and the City for some partner workouts and yoga poses!
Active wear by JUJA Active
I recommend doing the exercises in sequence, 1 set of each then back through!
WIDE LEG SQUATS
Inner Thighs | Hamstrings | Butt
Start with your legs in a wide stance and toes pointed slightly out. I prefer to hold a 10 lb weight, so if you need to add a layer of resistance try that! Slowly lower until your thighs are parallel with the ground then push back up, keeping your hips tucked in (this engages your glutes!)
3 sets of 20 reps
Outer Thighs | Inner Thighs | Butt | Quads
This is one of my absolute favorite squats and you'll definitely feel the burn in all the right places! Start with your legs just beyond shoulder width apart and toes pointed forward. Take one leg behind the other at a diagonal, planting your foot and lowering until your stationary thigh is parallel to the ground. Use that stationary leg to bare the weight and push back up. Then return to the original stance and switch legs. This one is great with a 10lb weight as well!
3 sets of 20 reps (10 per leg)
BRIDGES WITH SINGLE LEG RAISE
Lower Back | Butt | Quads
Bridges are a great way to strengthen your lower back and butt, but if you want to take it a step further, add that leg raise! Lay down with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips up as high as you can, creating a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. From there, straighten and lock one knee raising it just above the height of the bent leg. Keeping the raised leg up, slowly lower and raise your hips using the thigh, butt and back of your planted leg. After the reps switch sides!
3 sets of 15 reps (per leg)
Abs | Arms | Upper Back
This one can be a doozy, the hurt so good kind of toning haha. My arms are definitely the weakest of the three muscle groups used for this exercise, so I have to find a little extra will power from within to knock this one out. Start in a plank position on your elbows. Make sure your form is good; shoulders stacked over your elbows, feet lightly separated and back nice and straight. Then alternate arms pushing yourself up to a raised plank and lower back down. Try to keep your body from rocking back and forth while you go up and down.
3 sets of 20 reps (10 each arm)
Lay on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Keeping your knees bent, raise your feet off the floor keeping a wide angle between your stomach and thighs. Not bringing your knees all the way in (or even over your hips) will keep your abs engaged the entire time. Then, lower one bent leg at a time until your heel hits the floor and slowly bring it back up to meet your stationary leg. Alternate legs and if you're up to it, end with lowering and raising both legs at the same time.
3 sets of 40 reps (20 each leg)
+ 10 double
STRECH IT OUT
Now that your muscles are nice and tight, take a few minutes before rolling up your mat to stretch it all out. See some partner yoga poses here on “Om and the City”!
Happy toning everyone and a big thank you to JUJA Active for sponsoring this post! They have a great new Spring line out if you looking for some functional and stylish motivation.