My plyometrics-inspired lower-body routine will tone trouble spots ASAP
With your hands on your hips, lunge forward with your right foot, sinking down until your right knee is bent 90 degrees [A]. Return to standing. Take a big step to the right and lunge again [B]. Step back to center. Lunge back with your right leg [C]. That’s 1 rep. Do 10, then repeat with your left leg.
Keep your neck in line with your spine throughout the move.
Step-Ups with Knee Raise
Place a 12- to 24-inch-high step in front of you. Step up with your left foot [A], bringing your right leg forward and up and bending your knee until your thigh is parallel to the floor [B]. Lower your right leg back to start, then the left. Repeat with the other leg. That’s 1 rep; do 10.
For a tougher challenge, hold 5- to 10-pound dumbbells.
Stand with your feet together, elbows bent 90 degrees. Lunge forward with your right foot [A]. Jump straight up as you thrust your arms forward, elbows still bent. Switch legs in midair, like a scissor [B], and land in a lunge with your left leg forward [C]. Repeat, switching legs again. That’s 1 rep; do 10.
To prevent injury, try to land as softly as possible.
Standing with your feet hip-distance apart, slowly bend at the waist, keeping your legs as straight as possible, until your hands touch the floor about 8 to 12 inches from your feet [A]. Walk your hands out to pushup position [B], then walk your feet in toward your hands. Work up to 2 sets of 8 reps.
Your body should form a straight line from your heels to your head.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms hanging at your sides. Squat down until your knees are bent about 90 degrees[A]. Immediately swing your arms overhead and jump upward as high as you can [B]. As you land, gently bend your knees and sink back down into the squat position. That’s 1 rep. Do 10.
Swinging your arms will give you momentum so you can catch more air.
Grab an 8- to 10-pound dumbbell with both hands and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Let the dumbbell hang naturally in front of your thighs. Squat down until your knees are bent about 90 degrees [A]. Keeping your elbows slightly bent, brace your abs and press up to standing, swinging the dumbbell up until it’s directly overhead [B]. Lower the dumbbell back toward the floor. That’s 1 rep; do 10.
Keep your movement controlled to work the most muscle.
Leading with your right leg, skip as high as you possibly can by raising your right knee to hip height and simultaneously extending your left arm straight overhead [A]. Your left leg should remain straight and your right elbow should be slightly bent at your side. Land on the ball of your left foot. Repeat the skipping motion with your opposite arm and leg [B]. That’s 1 rep; do 10.
Try to jump a little higher with each skip.
Figure 4 Stretch
For hip flexors and glutes
Starting out on all fours, cross your left leg under your body, so that you are almost resting on your left hip. Extend your right leg directly behind you [A]. Lower your upper body over your left leg, placing your forearms on the ground in front of you [B]. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Take deep breaths to help yourself sink deeper into the stretch.