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Hip-Hop Moves for a Hot Body

The Elevator

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This one-legged squat tones your butt and quads and earns you extra style points on the dance floor (or dancing in front of a mirror in your bedroom. I don't judge). Standing with your weight on one bent leg, bring your other knee up while simultaneously bringing your chest down toward your knee. Move up and down, using your bent leg and your shoulders for extra groove-itude. Do 10 times before switching legs. Style tip: Don't touch your foot down between "floors" to challenge your balance too!

The Heel Touch

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B-boys got nothing on you (except years of practice and skill but whatever) when you do this easier-than-it-looks move for your legs. Start with feet shoulder width apart. Bending your knees, lean backwards and touch the ground just behind your left heel with your left hand. Stand back up without using your hands. Now repeat on the opposite side. Move as quickly as you can between sides, keeping an even rhythm. Style tip: Music helps. I recommend Pitbull. Pitbull makes everything better.

The Stripper Squat

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Get your sexy on with this powerful lower-body move that works as well on the dance floor as it does in the gym. (Actually it can be a little awkward in the gym, so find a secluded corner if you're shy.) Stand with your feet close together and drop your butt straight down towards your heels. Open and close your legs (just like Beyonce!) and then stand up, leading with your booty. Style tip: Flip your hair if you're really going all out.

Jumping Leg Cross

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This move is a stretch, a plyometric workout, and arm blaster all in one! Begin in a table top position with stomach facing up. Cross your left foot over your right knee. Jump to cross your right foot over your left knee. Style tip: Don't let those hips drop! The butt bounce is another move entirely.

Unbalanced Push-Up

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Hip-hop dancers need a lot of upper-body strength to master the many different holds they do. This move strengthens your chest, core, shoulders, and triceps. From a normal push-up position (plank), move one hand in directly below your shoulder. Lift the leg on this side, keeping your other hand wide. Perform 10 push-ups before switching sides. Style tip: Just because you can lift your back leg high doesn't mean you should. Only go as high as you can while still keeping your hips even.

Table-Top Toe Touches

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Holding yourself in a table position, reach your right hand across to touch your left foot (leg straight). Then, reach the left hand to the right foot. Style tip: Add a jump in the middle to not only make it look better but also increase the cardio.

Top Rock

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To do this beginner breakdancing move—which works great as a cardio burst, a warmup, or a transition between other moves—start by crossing your right foot in front of your left. Lift up your back foot so all your weight is on your front foot. Step back to starting position with your right foot and then cross forward with your left. It's easier seen than explained so check out this tutorial. Style tip: "Throw down" with your arms to get more of your body involved.

Press Handstand Jumps

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Can't actually do a press to a handstand? Me neither. But just doing the beginning motion is a powerful move for your legs, core, and shoulders. Stand in a straddle with your feet wider than your hips. Place your hands on the ground in front of you, a few inches in front of your feet. Pulling your abs in tight, jump with your legs and lift your feet off the ground. Start small, jumping just a few inches and work up to going as high as you can without falling over. Style tip: When you're ready to increase the intensity, try putting your hands on a low object like a BOSU ball or step. The barrel looks pretty sweet but it was tough.

Tutting Squat

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This squat combines the fun of tutting with a great burn for your quads, butt, and inner thighs. Standing with your feet wider than hips and toes pointing out, squat down to parallel. At the same time, raise your arms up to shoulder height. Hold at the bottom and pulse 20 times before standing back up. Style tip: Once your comfortable with the squat, try some more tutting movements with your arms.

Donkey Kicks

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Shoulders, abs, and legs all get a good burn with this one move that's a lot easier than it looks. From standing, lean forward and place hands on the ground. Jump both feet up behind you. Style tip: Once you get the movement, jump from your feet to your hands.


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Work your obliques by standing in a wide-legged, bent-knee stance. Lean back just enough to engage your core. Tilt to one side, bringing your elbow to your thigh. Tilt to the other side. Style tip: The wider your stance, the more difficult the move.

Snake Lunge

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From a lunge position, keep your weight over your front foot as you move your back leg in and out in a smooth motion. Style tip: Move your corresponding arm in a snakelike fashion over your bottom leg.

Beyonce Booty Bounce

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You may not be Beyonce but that doesn't mean you can't move like her! Standing with your feet just wider than hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent, pop your chest out and your butt back. Then, contract your abs to "crunch" back to your original position. You should feel this in your core. I know, I can't believe I just wrote directions for this either. Style tip: Don't know what I'm talking about? See Miss B herself do it at 1:20 in her Single Ladies video!

Capital X

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Lay flat on your back with your arms and legs extended in an X. In one movement, bring your arms and legs straight up until you are balanced on your booty. That's it! And while I know Jennie makes this look easy (she's a Pilates-Yoga teacher!), it's an intense abs exercise. Style tip: If you can't lift your arms and legs up together, raise your legs first and then your upper body as far as you can.

Donkey Lunge

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Starting from a lunge position, lean forward over your front leg like a sprinter. Bring your back knee up to your chest and then extend it back out, only tapping your toe on the ground. Weight should stay over your front foot the entire time. Repeat 10 times on each leg or until your butt burns so badly you can't hold it anymore. Style tip: Add extra work by pumping your arms in sync with your legs.

Tuck Roll to Jump

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Squat down with heels towards your butt and arms extended in front of you (middle girl in pic), roll onto your back (right), and then back up to your feet (middle, again) without using your hands. Jump up in the air (left). This move challenges your balance, legs, and core. Style tip: Try to make the move as smooth as possible. And keep those hands off the ground!

Cross Open Hip

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From a normal standing position, jump and cross your feet (girl in front in the pic). Jump your feet out wide (middle). Pop one hip out (back), and then swivel your hips to the other side. Style tip: Feel free to really hit that hip-out pose—it's fun and it works that side of your butt better!

Lawnmower Lunges

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From standing, step out to the right into a low lateral lunge with your weight over your right foot (girl on right in pic). Without standing, move your weight over to your left foot into a left lateral lunge (left). Use your arm as if starting a lawnmower. Style tip: You can brush your finger tips on the ground for balance, but keep your hands off your legs or the ground—make those legs do the work!

Break Dancing Push-Up

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Start with a normal push-up (girl on left in pic) but at the top of the movement, push hard with your outside hand and move into a side plank (middle). Then, flip over and do a tricep dip (right). Flip back to side plank on the opposite side, come down and perform a standard push-up. Reverse direction and repeat. Style tip: These can be done from your knees or your toes!


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