We don’t know about you, but at the moment, we’re still favoring home workouts as opposed to going back to the gym. With the weather cooling down, we’re spending more time indoors, too. So staying fit is, well, just a little bit harder.
We’ve been on the lookout for some simple workouts that can help us tone up without damaging our joints with lots of intensity or impact. And so, we consulted fitness expert Denise Austin for her top five favorite moves for super strong legs and a toned booty. The best part is, you can get these moves done in just 20 minutes at home, no fancy equipment needed!
Check them out below, along with this tutorial from Denise!
1. Mini Squat
The mini squat is a great workout move for toning the legs, glutes, and even your core. You don’t have to squat down super deep for this move — this will help protect and actually strengthen your knees! To perform the mini squat, follow the instructions below.
- Stand up tall with your feet hip width apart.
- Stick your arms out straight in front of you.
- Sit back as though you were sitting into a chair, coming down about half way and keeping the weight in your heels. “Tap your butt on the chair” and come back up.
- At the top of your squat, squeeze your tush.
- Perform 20 reps, or 1 full minute of mini squats.
2. Lateral Lunge
The lateral lunge will tighten up your inner and outer thighs and hamstrings (those muscles on the backs of your legs). They also help to strengthen the muscles around the hips! To perform the lateral lunge, follow the instructions below.
- Stand up nice and tall with your feet hip width apart.
- Take a large step out to the side with your right foot, and sit your butt down and back.
- Press into your foot to stand back up, squeezing your butt at the top.
- While performing this move, try to keep your back straight and your abs pulled in.
- Perform 20 reps and then do them on the other leg.
3. Booty Lifter
The “booty lifter” mostly targets — you guessed it — the glutes, but it will also activate your hamstrings. Secondary muscle groups that get some toning with this exercise include the core, arms, and back! To perform the booty lifter, follow the instructions below.
- Begin on your hands and knees (all fours) with your wrists and shoulders in one straight line. Keep your tummy pulled in so your core is activated. Imagine your heart lifting up toward the cieling!
- Lift your right knee up and back so it’s in line with your hip, keeping the knee bent at a 90 degree angle.
- Point your toe, and pulse your foot up and down toward the cieling, squeezing the buttocks.
- Perform 20 pulses on the right leg, then switch to the other side.
4. Thigh Firmer
The thigh firmer tones up the front of your thighs, also known as the quadraceps. This move will help you kiss over-the-knee jigglys goodbye, because it strengthens the muscles that surround the knee joint. It will also help tone the front hip flexors and the psoas muscle, which can help relieve pain and tightness in the hip, especially if you spend a lot of time sitting! This is a very small movement, but it’s a killer leg strengthener. To perform the thigh firmer, follow the instructions below.
- Begin sitting with your legs straight out in front of you.
- Bend your left knee in and place your foot on the ground.
- With your right leg out straight, flex your foot by pointing your toes toward your face.
- Lift your right leg off the ground, pulsing your foot up and down toward the ceiling as high as it can go.
- Perform 20 pulses on each leg and switch to the other side.
5. Glute Bridge
The infamous glute bridge is another movement that targets a bunch of your lower half muscles. First, it’ll strengthen your glutes and hamstrings. It will also help tone your lower belly, hip flexors, the fronts of your thighs, and the muscles surrounding your knees! To perform the glute bridge, follow the instructions below.
- Lay all the way down with your feet flat on the floor near your buttocks.
- Firmly place your hands down along your sides.
- Lift your hips up toward the ceiling, drawing the shins forward slightly as you lift.
- Hold at the top for five seconds, squeezing your buttocks, thigh muscles, and lower belly in.
- Lower down, and do 20 more.
We absolutely love this workout routine from Denise. With moves as simple as these and just a few minutes a day, you’ll notice a stronger, more toned lower body in no time!
For more insight and fitness tips from Denise, be sure to check her out in our special print magazine, Denise Austin’s Fit Over 50, available on Amazon (buy for $12.99)!