This Outdoor Workout Is the Key to Sexy Legs and Abs

Whether you're a runner or a fixture at the gym, this creative outdoor workout will make you better at what you do, all while looking stunning while doing it. "I call this workout the AHA workout — abs, hips, and ass," says Jennifer Pattee, owner of Basic Training (and our fitness model!). Her workout focuses on your core, shoulders, legs, and butt to create body balance, joint flexibility, and strong, sexy muscles.

This workout's big secret, however, is its focus on your hips. "We all have kind of weak hips, and it's hard to incorporate hip-strengthening into our daily lives," Jennifer says. "We can all be stronger there, and it doesn't take long. When your hips are strong, especially your gluteus medius, it doesn't take long to become a more efficient runner. . . . It sets you up to be a strong athlete for your whole life."

Ready to work on those gams and glutes? Take a look at the workout Jennifer's created just for us (with a little help from fellow Basic Training instructor Sandra Possing and Fergus Jacobs of Gotham Gym New York). You'll need a find an outdoor location with stairs and a soft area for the exercises done on the ground.

Stair Running

After a few minutes of warming up, start out with a bang by running up a staircase. Do this for five to 10 minutes, and then continue by running sideways on the stairs (as shown, facing right) for two to five minutes. Repeat facing your left side.

Star Sequence

"The star sequence is great for strengthening your shoulder joints, and it's going to help you in so many sports and activities," Jenn says. "Whether it's yoga or lifting or resistance training, having strong joints is something that a lot of people overlook in their strength training." If you feel any discomfort in your hips or lower back while doing this move, stop — it could mean your body isn't ready to perform this move quite yet.

  • Start in a plank position, hands slightly wider than shoulder-distance apart (top photo, above).
  • Slowly lower down while you count to seven. Bring your chin to the ground if you can (lower photo, above).
  • Press up as quickly as possible back to plank, and then move your right arm to the center line of your body, so it's directly below your sternum.
  • Pivot onto your right side, stacking your feet, into side plank. Raise your opposite arm straight into the air. Look forward, and make sure your neck is long and your shoulders don't feel scrunched. Hold for three to five seconds. You can lift your let leg up as shown (top photo, below), or if you need an assist, fold the foot of your left leg behind you like a kickstand.
  • From the side plank, continue to rotate to your right, lowering your left leg down until your torso is facing the sky in an advanced bridge pose. Keep your left leg bent and your right leg straight out in front of you (see bottom photo above). Bring your hips and pelvis up toward the sky. You should feel a gentle twisting in your spine that feels like a good stretch. Engage your glutes, and stretch your back and hold for three to five seconds.
  • Return to side plank, and then return to starting plank position.
  • Lower down while counting to seven as you did above. This time, move your left hand to the center of your body, and pivot on your left side into side plank. Then continue into advanced bridge for one minute before returning to starting position. Repeat these motions for one minute; then rest for 30 seconds and repeat again.

Jump Squats

When it comes to this difficult move, "do what feels comfortable, and know that if you've never done these before, you are going to feel them the next day or the day afterward, so take it easy," Jennifer advises. "Focus on quality over quantity. . . . For some people that might be five, while other people can go up two flights of stairs or more. "

  • On the ground in front of the bottom stair, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms resting on your hips.
  • Start by doing a regular squat; then engage your core and jump up explosively, propelling yourself to the next step.
  • When you land, sink down to lower your body back into the squat position to complete one rep.
  • Start your next jump from this low squat position. Repeat until you reach fatigue.

Plank With Mountain Climbers

Keep your movements slow and controlled during this core-challenging exercise.

  • Get in an elbow plank position, with forearms on ground and back straight, abs engaged so your belly button isn't pushed out. From this position, slowly bend your left leg up by your torso so it is near your elbow. Turn your head to look at your knee, and hold for a breath.
  • Straighten your leg back down to plank position. Repeat on right side.
  • Continue until you've done 10 reps on each side.


This is a series of moves designed to strengthen and stretch the muscles and joints around your hips. "The myrtle is great for strengthening the joints around your hip girdle," Jenn says. "If you have a pretty sedentary job, your hips end up being stuck in one position. This helps give circulation to your hips; the stronger your hips are, the healthier your lower back is going to be. It's a fundamental part of your core that a lot of people don't address," Jennifer says. When it comes to these moves, a little goes a long way, so listen to your body and stop when you need to. Jennifer recommends 10 reps for beginners and 20 for advanced, but "just take it easy and go through the motions," she says.

Move 1

  • Find a soft surface. Start on all fours, with hands under your shoulders and knees on the ground below your hips.
  • Lift up your left leg and extend it straight back so it's parallel with your hip. Pulse your left leg up then back down, focusing on your glutes (see top photo above).
  • Do 10 to 20 times.

Move 2

  • Go back to all fours with hands under shoulders and knees under hips.
  • Lift your left leg, keeping it bent, so that your knee is level with your hip and your thigh is parallel to the ground (see bottom photo above).
  • Lower back down to the ground. Repeat 10 to 20 times, and then switch legs.

Move 3

  • Go back to all fours with hands under shoulders and knees under hips.
  • Lift your left leg so that your knees, lower leg, and foot are at the same height as your back. Make a circular motion with your knee, visualizing your knee going over a beach ball as you swing it around (see top photo above).
  • Do 10 to 20 times. Switch to your right leg and repeat.

Move 4

  • Now lower your right leg down and raise your left leg again. Do the same beach-ball motion, but this time circling backward instead of forward.
  • Repeat 10 to 20 times, then switch legs.

Move 5

  • Go back to all fours, with your hands under shoulders and knees under hips.
  • Lift your left leg and extend it straight behind you, making sure not to lock your leg. Swing it out to your left side at hip level (see bottom photo above).
  • Swing it back behind you to return to starting position. Repeat 10 to 20 times, then switch legs.