Fitness Articles

The 6-Minute Skinny Jeans Workout

4 Exercises for a Tight & Toned Lower Body

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LONG & LEAN LIFTS
Muscles Worked: Outer thighs, hips, obliques, shoulders

Begin lying on your right side, propped up on your right (bent) elbow directly under your shoulder, shoulders stacked, legs stacked and lengthened in line with the torso. Use your left hand (lightly) for balance on the floor in front of you. Externally rotate your top (left) leg (turn it out so that your knee and toes are pointing toward the ceiling instead of forward).

With top leg turned out and toes pointed, lift the leg straight up toward the ceiling as high as you can (pictured). Flex the foot and slowly return the leg back down to the start position to complete one rep. Continue for a total of 20 reps. Switch sides.

Tip: Engage your abs and core and imagine "pulling up" the side of your waist away from the floor. Keep the body stable and still using the core while the leg moves.

TRIPLE TONER
Muscles Worked: Thighs (quads and hamstrings), butt, and core (abs and lower back)

Begin kneeling on a mat with knees hip-distance apart, tops of the feet down on the floor, and arms crossed at the chest with elbows slightly lifted. Relax shoulders away from the ears. Engage the core, pulling belly button toward the spine.

While maintaining a perfectly straight spine, hinge from the knee (not the lower back or hips), deepening the bend in the knee and leaning the body in one unit (from knees to hips to shoulders) toward the heels of the feet (pictured). Slowly hinge from the knee to return to the starting position to complete one rep. Continue for a total of 15 reps.

Tip: Your body should remain in a perfectly straight line from the knee to the hip to the shoulder. Do not bend or flex your back or spine. Only lean back as far as you can without arching the back or "breaking" the straight line of the body.

SCISSOR CRUNCH
Muscles Worked: Abs, inner thighs, outer thighs
Begin lying on your back on a mat, head and neck relaxed, legs lengthened toward the ceiling in line with the hips. Extend your arms up toward the ceiling, stacking one hand on top of the other.

Slowly crunch up, lifting the tips of the shoulder blades off the mat, scissoring legs open and reaching hands between the legs (pictured). Slowly return shoulders to the mat and bring legs back together to complete one rep. Continue for a total of 20 reps.

Tip: Keep your back neutral and imagine your legs are pushing and pulling through resistance as they scissor open and closed.
 
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About The Author

Nicole Nichols Nicole Nichols
A certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with a bachelor's degree in health education, Nicole loves living a healthy and fit lifestyle and helping others do the same. Nicole was formerly SparkPeople's fitness expert and editor-in-chief, known on the site as "Coach Nicole." Make sure to explore more of her articles and blog posts.

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