Standing Leg Lifts. Holding onto the wall or a chair, tighten your abs and keep your back perpendicular to the floor as you straighten and lift one leg out to the side, making sure it stays directly in line with your body, or slightly behind you (bringing the leg in front of your body can engage the wrong muscles). Keep a soft bend in the supporting leg. Along with engaging your core and challenging balance, this move works your thighs and glutes. Keep your leg straight as you lift it, with your toes either pointed or flexed. Don’t go beyond a comfortable range of motion—when you feel tightness in your hip area, you’ve reached your limit. Do three sets of eight lifts for each leg.
Easier Form: Try a smaller range of motion. You only need to lift the leg a few inches and your glutes will engage.
Remember that with these moves, the focus is not on speed—it’s on range of motion, flexibility and a slower, controlled pace that will create defined, lean (and pretty darn gorgeous) muscles if you practice these three to five times each week.
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