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The Short-Shorts Workout

Get Lean Legs and a Tight Butt

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Summer is just around the corner, so grab a pair of dumbbells (heavy enough to fatigue your legs within about 15 reps) and get ready to sweat! This workout combines lower-body strength moves and cardio bursts to help you burn fat and build lean muscle for even more gorgeous gams.

Complete 1 set of each exercise back to back, without resting between moves. If you have time and energy, repeat the full circuit one more time.

Warm-Up

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To prepare your body for the workout, cross your arms over your chest and do a set of 20 easy squats, gradually building your range of motion as your legs get warmed up.

Strength Exercise: Curtsey Lunge

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Reps: 15 on each leg

How to do it: Stand with feet together, holding dumbbells. Cross your right leg back behind your left on an angle and bend both knees about 90 degrees, reaching your arms down on either side of your left leg. Stand up out of your lunge and tap the ball of your right foot on the inside of your left heel.

Form tip: Keep most of your weight in your front leg as you lunge, and make sure you push your hips back so that your front knee stays (almost) behind your toes as it bends.

Cardio Burst: Squat Jacks

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Time: 30 seconds

How to do it: Lower into a squat and bring your arms in front of you. Jump your feet together, still holding your squat position, as you swing your arms back by your sides, keeping your elbows bent (as shown). ‘Jack’ your feet out and in as quickly as you can without coming up out of your squat.

Form tip: Maintain proper squat form as you do your jacks—keep your knees behind your toes and your hips behind you as if you were sitting in a chair.

Strength Exercise: Runner’s Lunge

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Reps: 15 on each leg

How to do it: Stand with your feet together, left heel lifted, holding dumbbells. Step your left leg back and lower into a deep lunge, reaching your arms down to the ground on either side of your right foot. Press through your right foot to stand back up and return to the start position.

Form tip: Keep your front knee behind or in line with your toes as you lunge, and try not to round your back too much as you reach to the ground.

Cardio Burst: Switch Jump Lunges

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Time: 30 seconds

How to do it: Step your left leg back into a lunge and bring your arms in front of you. Push off the ground, swinging your arms up to the ceiling, and switch your legs in the air, landing in a lunge with your left leg forward. Continue switching legs as quickly as you can for 30 seconds.

Form tip: Use your arms to help you jump higher, and be sure to land with good lunge form—keeping your knees behind or in line with your toes.

Strength Exercise: Side Lunge Jump Off

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Reps: 15 on each leg

How to do it: Stand with your feet together, holding dumbbells. Take a wide step out to the side with your right leg, bending your knee and reaching your arms to the ground on either side of your right foot. Push off your right foot and bring your body upright, ‘jumping’ off the ground with the right leg, landing in your side lunge position.

Form tip: Focus on powerfully pushing out of your lunge, and maintain proper alignment with your knee during your landing.

Cardio Burst: Ski Moguls

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Time: 30 seconds

How to do it: Stand with your feet together, squat down, and swing your arms behind you. Jump up and to the right, swinging your arms in front of you, landing in your start position. Continue jumping side to side as quickly as you can for 30 seconds.

Form tip: Land as lightly as you can, using your lower-body muscles to power your move and absorb the impact of your jump.

Strength Exercise: Sumo Squat Swing

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Reps: 15

How to do it: Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, knees and toes slightly turned out, holding one end of a dumbbell with both hands.

Squat down and tap the dumbbell to the floor. As you stand, swing the dumbbell overhead, pressing your hips forward. Quickly lower back down into your squat.

Form tip: Get as low into your squat as you can, dropping your hips down and back. When you stand and swing the dumbbell, focus on squeezing your glutes together.

Cardio Burst: High Knees

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Time: 30 seconds

How to do it: Run in place, bringing your knees up to your chest as high as you can, pumping your arms as quickly as you can.

Form tip: Try to land on the balls of your feet as you run and switch legs as fast as you can.

Strength Exercise: Weighted Clam Bridge

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Reps: 15 on each leg

How to do it: Lie on your right side, propping your body up on your right elbow, with knees bent and hips stacked. Place the dumbbell over your left thigh with your left hand.

Lift your right hip up off the floor and turn open your left knee to the ceiling, keeping your feet together. Lower your right hip and lightly tap the ground before pressing back up.

Form tip: Keep your abs braced in tight during the move and press up from your bottom side (not your arm) during the bridge.

Cardio Burst: Plyo Switch Lunges

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Time: 30 seconds

How to do it: From a plank position, step your left foot outside of your left hand. Jump off the ground, piking your hips up in the air, and switch legs, landing in a lunge position with your right leg outside of your right hand. Continue switching sides as quickly as you can for 30 seconds.

Form tip: Keep your arms strong and your shoulders positioned over your hands during your jumps. If it’s too tough to jump, simply step into the lunge position from your plank, switching sides quickly.

Finishing Stretch: Hurdler’s Reach

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Sit on the ground with your left leg extended, right knee bent, and your right foot pressed on the inside of your left leg. Lean forward and reach your arms to your right foot (if you can’t grab your foot, get as close as you can). Hold for 30 seconds and then switch legs.