Moves of the Month by Stuart MacEwan

This basic but highly effective series is focused on shaping, strengthening and toning the entire thigh (front, inner and outer) and lifting and rounding your booty.  It can be made more or less difficult depending on your experience, need and knee health.  First, let’s look at the three moves: Dumbbell Squat, Ice Skaters and Twisting Lunge.

Let’s start with the Dumbbell Squat; first choose a weight that is challenging but allows you to have good form. Hold the dumbbells at arms length at your side and begin sitting back with your hips, squatting low until your weight is centered on your heels and your hips are lower than your knee. Smoothly engage your legs, pushing through your heels to rise back to standing position. The key is to sit back with your hips and keep your weight balanced on the center of your heels on the way down and back up. Stay off your toes.  The lower you go, the more your glutes will be engaged. Your reps can be fairly high, about 20, to achieve a great burn and shape the front thigh above your knee.

Next up Ice Skaters; a sideways one-legged leap using your outside leg to push and your inside leg to catch you. Use your free leg to reach as you jump and really cover as much distance as possible and then use the same leg to catch your balance when you land the sideways jump. Your outer thighs and glutes will be fired up and screaming with 20 reps per side. As you get stronger, go lower into your single leg crouch before you leap; this will help engage your glutes and thighs more. The lower you go, the greater the effect on your thighs. 

Finally, the Twisting Lunge; start in a standing position with your arms raised straight above your head, hands clasped together. Take a medium step forward with one leg, sink into a lunge position with your torso upright and your weight evenly distributed between your feet. Go as low as you can without your rear knee touching the ground. Now with your arms straight and hands still clasped together, bring them down in front of you as if you were shooting a gun. Slowly turn your torso 90 degrees over your front leg and hold a twisted position for 3 seconds while controlling your balance. You should be in a low lunge position. Take 2 seconds to return to your front facing position, arms still pointing in front of you. With a big push, use your front leg to propel you back into your standing position, arms returning to their position above your head. Now lunge with your other leg and repeat, alternating each leg as you go. Do 10 reps per side, which will bring out your hamstrings and shape your glutes further.

This series should be performed with no rest between sets.  Go from one exercise to the other until you cannot continue without good form; target getting through the series 3-4 times.