Thrive at Home: 5 moves for a toned lower body

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Summer is almost here again, which means the return of leg-baring clothes like shorts, dresses and bathing suits.

It’s an opportunity to show off toned legs, so why not take advantage? Trainer Heather Hughes of Power Sculpt Fitness suggests these five moves to tone up legs and lower body at home, no equipment necessary.

1. Single Leg Bridge



Lay flat on your back with knees bent and feet flat, hands straight down by your side, head relaxed and left leg extended vertically. Press through right heel and lift glutes off of floor, always keeping shoulder blades down. Lower back to momentarily touch the floor, then immediately lift up again. Complete 30-50 at a good pace, then repeat with right leg vertical.

2. Donkey Kick



Start on all fours. Point your right knee down towards the floor, then press your heel directly up towards the ceiling. Be sure not to arch your back and keep your eyes on the ground. Perform 20 presses, then pulse your leg 20 times, with your heel up towards the ceiling. Repeat with left leg.

3. Straight Leg Lifts



Start on all fours, with your arms bent and forearms against the ground. Extend your right leg so it is perfectly straight behind you then lower it so your toes are almost to the ground. Then lift your leg up just past hip height. Be mindful not to arch your back at all and to keep your eyes on the ground. Complete 20 lifts then 20 pulses with your leg straight at the top height. Repeat on left side.

4. Fire Hydrant



Come to all fours, bend arms and put forearms on the ground. While keeping your right knee bent, lift it out to the side and then lower it back down. Avoid creating tension in your back and shoulders, and avoid twisting your body. Perform 20 lifts then pulse 20 times at the top. Repeat on left side.

5. Side Leg Lift



Start on all fours, with your left forearm and your right hand on the ground. Keeping your right leg straight, bring it to your side directly out from your hip. Keeping it straight, lower it almost to the ground then back up to hip height. Be sure not to twist or turn, and keep your form throughout. Try for 10-20 lifts with good form, and repeat on the left side.

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