The secret’s out for getting a tight, toned tush: Do a Pilates core circuit before a lower-body sesh. New data shows it’ll help you lift more weight than equal-effort cardio. Why? These moves demand stability from critical trunk muscles that pitch in for leg and glute work. The warm-up “wakes them up” so they can be fully activated for heftier reps. Before squats and deadlifts, try this trio: Do two sets of 10 reps of each move, resting only as needed.
Lie on your back with legs extended, arms by your sides. Engage your abs as you raise your right leg straight up into the air. Keeping your back flat, circle your right leg to the left until you return to start; that’s one rep. Switch legs.
Lie on your back with legs bent 90 degrees, shoulder blades off the floor, hands by your knees. Brace your abs as you reach your arms and legs away from each other. Keep your shoulders lifted as you return to start; that’s one rep. (The Slim, Sexy, Strong Workout DVD is the fast, flexible workout you’ve been waiting for!)
Tight on time? This 5-minute butt workout will help you squeeze in some exercise:
Lie on your back and lift your shoulder blades off the floor. Raise your left leg a few inches, then lift your right leg toward your head, gently holding your right shin. Keep your upper body lifted as you switch legs; that’s one rep.
Source: Blain Harrison, Ph.D., lecturer, University of Florida
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