Summer Shape Up: The Leg Lift Series

Leg Lifts Series

It is time to tone up those inner and outer thighs for summer!  Put in the work now, and be ready to show those legs off in a couple months. We all know how to do the normal (old school) side leg lifts – they’ve been around for decades.  They do still work great, but here’s 7 new ways to incorporate them into your workouts:

Leg Lift Push Off Squat

Side Leaning Leg Lift, Push Off & Squat

Targets, outer thigh, quadriceps (front of thigh), glutes, & core.

  • Lean sideways against the wall and press your shoulder down away from your ear.
  • Open your chest and lengthen through the sides of your waist.
  • Lift your outside leg as high as possible. Don’t rotate your foot toward the ceiling/sky.
  • Push off the wall going right into a squat.
  • Stand up, lean into wall and perform your leg lift again.
  • Do 30 seconds on each leg.

Leg Lifts Supine Abduction

Supine Abduction  

Targets outer thigh, glutes, and core.

  • Lie on your back with legs extended straight up in the air. A bend in the knees is fine.
  • Place a resistance tubing around feet and cross handles (shown above).
  • Slowly abduct (open) the legs as far as possible.
  • Next, close legs slightly to release band tension.
  • Repeat for 1 minute.

Leg Lifts Supine Adduction

Supine Adduction    

Targets inner thighs and core.

  • Lie on your back with tube wrapped around one foot.
  • Anchor handles to the ground by pressing your whole arm down (shown above).
  • Adduct (close or bring towards midline of the body) the leg slowly.
  • Open back up slightly and repeat for 30 seconds on each leg.

Side Kneeling Leg Lifts

Side Kneeling Leg Lifts                                                                                                                     

Targets outer thigh, glutes, and core.

  • Get into a side kneeling position (shown above).
  • Raise the leg another two inches higher.
  • Lower the leg down towards the ground.
  • Repeat leg lifts for 30 seconds on each leg.

Side Plank  Leg Lifts

Side Plank Leg Lifts (“Rainbow” Lifts)

Targets outer thigh, glutes, and core.

  • Get into a side plank (shown above). Make sure elbow is directly under the shoulder and that the shoulder is depressed away from your ear.
  • To modify the plank, keep bottom knee on the ground.
  • Now arch your leg lift like a rainbow from front-to-back and back-to-front for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on other side.

Leg Lifts Crossover

Crossover Leg Lifts   

Targets inner thighs.

  • Lie on your side either on your elbow (shown above) or down resting your head on your arm with your right (top) leg crossed over in front.
  • Lift your left (bottom) leg up as high as possible.
  • Lower your left leg down and transfer your right leg behind.
  • Lift the left leg back up again.
  • Keep crossing the right leg over-and-back as you perform leg lifts with the left leg.
  • Perform leg lifts for 1 minute on each side.

Leg Lifts Seated Pretzel

Seated Pretzel Leg Lifts 

Targets glutes and outer thighs.

  • Go into a side saddle position (shown above) with knees bent.
  • Pull abs in tight and keep your chest lifted.
  • Raise your back leg up as high as possible.
  • Slowly lower back down.
  • Repeat leg lift for 1 minute on each leg.

Hope you try some of these exercises and let me know what you think!  

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