It’s never too late to tighten up your lower half. Start with this routine, designed and demonstrated by CosmoBody trainer Astrid McGuire to fire up your hamstrings and quads, and give your butt a noticeable lift.
All you need is one light and one heavy set of dumbbells — try 3- and 8-pounders to start. (A breathtaking backdrop is a plus, but it’s certainly not a requirement.)
Perform each exercise below consecutively for 30 to 45 seconds (on each side) at your own pace before advancing to the next move. Repeat the workout a few times a week, and mix in a few sessions of cardio plus some upper body exercises. You’ll be DTF — down to flaunt — your awesome body wherever you go.
1. Alternating Foot Reach
Take a wide stance with your toes turned slightly outward. Use your palm to cover the top of your opposite hand. Keeping your knees and elbows locked, bend from the waist as you reach down to your left foot. Squeeze your butt to stand back up, then repeat on the opposite side to complete one rep. Continue alternating for up to 30 seconds.
2. Alternating Lunges With Twist
Stand with your elbows bent out to the sides at shoulder-height. Keeping your shoulders stacked over your hips, take a large step forward with your right foot and bend both knees to a 90-degree angle, keeping the front knee stacked over the front ankle. Twisting from the waist, turn toward your right side. Twist back to face forward and press into your front heel to stand up into starting position. Repeat on the opposite side and continue to alternate legs, always twisting toward the front leg.
3. Single Leg Touchdown
Stand up straight with both feet together. Keeping both legs straight, shift your weight onto your left foot and bend forward from the waist as you extend your right leg straight out behind you, reaching toward the ground in front of you with both arms. Gently tap your fingertips to the ground, then squeeze your butt as you lift your chest and lower your right leg back to standing position. Continue this motion for 30 to 45 seconds, then repeat standing on your right leg.
4. Plank to Praying Frog Jumps
Take a wide stance with your toes facing slightly outward, and place both palms on the ground shoulders-width apart. Jump both feet back to plank position. Engage your core to hop both feet forward to frame your palms with your toes facing slightly outward. Lift both palms off the ground and lift your chest as you bring your hands to prayer position. Place both palms back on the ground in front of you, and hop your feet back to plank position to continue.
5. Dumbbell Deadlifts
Grab one heavy dumbbell in each hand and hold them in front of your thighs with your palms facing your body. Stand with your feet hips-width apart and your feet facing forward. With a slight bend in the knees and a flat back, bend forward from the waist, letting the weight of the dumbbells guide your chest toward the floor. When the dumbbells pass your knees, engage your butt and squeeze your inner thighs together as you raise your chest and come back up to starting position. Continue.
6. Dumbbell Squats
Grab one heavy weight in each hand and hold one over each shoulder with your palms facing in. Stand with your feet about hips-width apart, toes pointing forward. From this position, sit back into a squat, keeping your chest high and your knees behind your toes. Squeeze your butt to come back up to standing position and complete one rep. Continue.
7. Curtsy Lunges
Grab a set of heavy dumbbells and hold them along your sides with your palms facing your body. Start with both feet together and your toes facing forward. From this position, lift your right foot and take a large step diagonally behind you. Keeping your front knee behind your front toes and your shoulders stacked over your hips, bend each knee to a 90-degree angle. Press into your front heel to come back up to stand with both feet together and facing forward. Repeat the movement on the opposite side, this time stepping backward with your left leg. Continue to alternate.
8. Alternating Forward Lunges With Uneven Load
Hold one heavy weight on top of your left shoulder. (The uneven load challenges your balance.) With both feet together and your feet facing forward, step forward with your left foot and sink into a forward lunge with your knees at 90-degree angles and your front knee behind your front toes. Press into your front heel to bring your front foot back to starting position. Repeat on the opposite side, this time stepping forward with the right foot. Your shoulders should remain stacked over your hips the entire time. Continue for 30 to 45 seconds, then place the weight on the opposite shoulder and continue for the same amount of time.
9. Side-to-Side Skaters
Start standing with your feet shoulders-width apart. Step your left foot out to the left and cross your right foot behind you, lightly tapping the toes to the floor and raising your right arm in front of you to help with balance. Next, jump out to the right, landing on your right foot. Cross your left foot behind you and tap the toes on the ground as you raise your left arm for balance. Continue alternating sides for 30 to 45 seconds.
10.Weighted Kickbacks Crossovers
Come onto your hands and knees with a light dumbbell tucked behind your left knee. Keeping your feet flexed and each knee at a 90-degree angle, raise your left heel straight up behind you until your knee reaches hip-level. From this position, cross your left knee over your right shin as you lower the weight toward the ground, then bring the left leg back up to starting position. Next, lower your left knee and touch it to the ground beneath your left hip to complete one rep. Continue for 30 to 45 seconds, then switch the weight behind the right knee and perform the same move for 30 to 45 more seconds, this time raising the right heel.
11. Squat Jumps
Stand with your feet about shoulders-width apart, toes facing forward. Bend your knees to bring your hips toward the floor until your thighs are parallel to the ground and bring your palms together in front of you. From this position, press into your heels and squeeze your butt as you jump straight up into the air, extending your arms behind you for momentum. Land with soft knees and immediately lower into a second squat.