Back to basics
Get your rear in gear for shorts season with this super shape-up plan from Wendy Larkin, who leads the Belly, Butt, and Thighs Bootcamp at Crunch in San Francisco. Do this 10-minute routine 3 times a week for 8 weeks to sculpt a tighter, better-toned derriere—and trim up to 2 inches off your hips and thighs to boot!
Dumbbell ice skaters
Begin with feet hip-width apart, knees bent, and a 3- to 5-pound dumbbell in each hand. Leaning forward slightly for balance, hop, crossing your left leg in front of your right while lifting your right leg back. At the same time, extend your right arm in front of your left knee while reaching your left arm slightly back, as if skating. Jump back to starting position, and repeat on the opposite side; that’s 1 rep. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
Trainer tip: Instead of simply bending your lifted leg, actively squeeze your heel in toward your butt.
Lunge with dumbbell reach
A. (far left) Start in a shallow lunge with your right foot forward and left foot back, resting on a low step or stack of books (left knee should be slightly bent) and holding a 3- to 5-pound dumbbell overhead between both hands.
B. (bottom right) Slowly lean forward over your leg, bending your right knee to deepen the lunge. Squeeze your butt as you return to starting position. Do 10–15 reps, then switch sides and repeat. Do 3 sets.
Trainer tip: Use your core to move your upper body down and up. you should feel it in your abs, not your lower back.
Squat side kick
With feet hip-width apart, slowly lower into a half-squat, keeping knees over toes. Raise right knee to hip level, then extend right leg to the side, straightening left leg as you push out through your right heel. Pull right knee in, and return to starting position. Do 10 reps; switch sides, and repeat. Do 3 sets.
Trainer tip: To help with balance and make the move even more effective, squeeze your butt as you lift your leg.
Photo: Chris Shipman (all)
Single-leg dead lift
A. (far left) Stand with your feet together, holding a 5- to 8-pound dumbbell in your right hand. Bend your left knee slightly to raise your foot ankle-high.
B. (bottom right) Keeping your back flat, hinge forward from your hips and lower the dumbbell toward floor, going as low as you can go without rounding your back. Your right leg will sweep slightly behind you. Return to the starting position, and keep your right foot raised. Do 10–15 reps, then switch sides, and repeat. Do 3 sets.
Trainer tip: Remember to squeeze your butt as you lower and lift your chest.