Typical trouble zones: hips, thighs
Solution: Lower-body focused, power moves, total-body strength training, and endurance cardio
To help even out a heavier lower half, you'll want to create a stronger, more defined upper body to balance out your shape. This plan combines cardio and strength into one circuit workout designed to help you burn more calories (so long, saddlebags!) and develop metabolically active lean muscle mass at the same time.
How it works: Three or four days a week, do 1 set of each exercise back-to-back, with little to no rest in between moves. Do the full circuit 3 times total, resting 45 to 60 seconds between rounds. Combine this routine with up to three 30- to 45-minute cardio sessions per week.
Total Time: up to 30 minutes
1. V-Pull Plié
Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand with feet wide, toes turned out about 45 degrees. Raise arms overhead in a wide 'V,' palms facing in.
Lower into a plié position (bending knees over toes) as elbows bend in by sides until palms line up with shoulders. Reverse motion to return to starting position; repeat.
2. Capoeira Skater
Begin in a curtsy lunge position with left leg crossed behind right and upper body rotated to the right, elbows bent at chest level and open to sides, palms facing down.
Kick back foot out to leap to the left, extending both legs out to the sides in mid-air, swinging arms in front of body. Land on left leg and immediately lower into curtsey lunge and rotate torso and arms to the left to complete one rep. Do the prescribed number of reps, moving as quickly as you can with good form.
3. Lunge Lift-Off Cross Curl
Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand with feet together. Step right foot out into a side lunge, bending right knee over (but not past) toes, reaching dumbbells on either side of right foot. Quickly push off right leg, lifting foot off the floor as leg extends straight, landing back in lunge position.
Push off right leg again, extending leg straight, and sweep leg across midline as arms curl in, palms facing up, to complete one rep. Immediately return to side lunge position and repeat. Do the prescribed number of reps on the right leg, then switch sides to complete set.
4. Criss-Cross Squat Jacks
Stand with feet wide, arms by sides. Lower into a squat, reaching arms outside of knees, palms facing forward.
Quickly jump up, crossing right leg in front of left as arms extend overhead, landing on the balls of feet. Jump back out to squat position to complete one rep. Do the prescribed number of reps as fast as possible, alternating legs each time.
5. Plank Leg Sweep
Begin in full plank position with feet together and core braced (don’t let lower back sag).
Without bending knee, sweep left leg open to side of hip. Hold for 1 count and return to starting position; repeat. Do the prescribed number of reps, and then switch sides to complete set. Too challenging? Try this from an all-fours position instead.
6. Skipping Lunge
Start in a lunge position with right leg forward (both knees should bend about 90-degrees), arms bent by sides.
Explosively jump up, bending left knee up in front of body and extending right leg straight to power body into the air (swing arms as much as needed to get off the ground). Land in starting lunge position; repeat. Do the prescribed number of reps, and then switch sides to complete set.