The Lazy Girl's Guide to Getting Strong
Here's something you're going to love: a total-body workout you can do without even having to stand up. That's right — for those days when you're feeling a little lazy (it happens to the best of us), we've created an efficient series of exercises you can do in the comfort of your PJs. But before you write this off as easy, try it for yourself. There's a whole lot of burn and bum work, but hey, at least you can skip the gym . . . just this once!
Considered one of the most effective ab exercises, this move really works the obliques. Here's how:
- Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground (pull your abs down to also target your deep abs). Interlace your fingers and put your hands behind your head.
- Bring your knees in toward your chest and lift your shoulder blades off the ground.
- Straighten your right leg out to about a 45-degree angle to the ground while turning your upper body to the left, bringing your right elbow toward the left knee. Make sure your rib cage is moving and not just your elbows.
- Now switch sides and do the same motion on the other side to complete one rep (and to create the "pedaling" motion). Do this exercise with slow and controlled motion.
- Do 10 to 20 reps.
Plank With Donkey Kick
Kick your planks into high gear by adding a small leg lift. This move requires extra strength, as it will challenge your core while toning your booty and hamstrings. Here's how:
- Begin in an elbow plank with elbows directly under shoulders, abs engaged toward the spine. Don't let the pelvis sag down or pop up.
- Lift right leg off the ground, bending your knee so the sole of your foot is toward the ceiling. Keep your pelvis square to the floor. Don't let your pelvis twist.
- Press your right heel toward the ceiling as high as you can without moving your pelvis or lower back. The motion will not be huge but rather concentrated on the booty and hamstring.
- Lower the bent leg slightly and repeat for a total of eight to 10 repetitions. Then switch sides.
Single-Leg Bridge Lift
Use the single-leg bridge lifts to strengthen and tone your legs. This is a challenging move, so you'll feel the burn in your glutes and hamstrings. Here's how:
- Lie on your back and place your hands on the floor for stability as you bend one leg and lift the other leg off the ground.
- Then pressing your heel into the floor, lift your pelvis up, keeping your body in a stiff bridge position.
- Slowly lower your body to the floor and repeat. Switching legs, lift and lower 10 to 15 times.
Pilates Side-Lying Leg Lifts
Although this move looks simple, these leg lifts are highly specific, directly targeting the hips and thighs as well as strengthening your back. Here's how:
- Lying on your side, lengthen your bottom leg and cross your top leg over it. Rest either your knee or foot on the floor. Prop your head up with your hand or rest your head on your arm.
- As you exhale, lift your bottom leg up and inhale as you lower it back down. Your torso should stay still while you do this.
- Do as many reps on one side for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side for an additional 30 seconds.
This basic arm and leg exercise targets your back and backside, similar to swimming in the pool! Control here is key — here's how:
- Lie on your belly, extending your arms and legs straight out in front of you.
- As you inhale, lift your arms and legs off the floor. Slowly alternate your arms and legs in a flutter movement, continuing the movement for 30 seconds.
- Rest and repeat for a total of four times.
Working against gravity, this ab exercise will target your core quickly and effectively. Just be sure to keep a flat back and control the movement with your abs rather than your legs or arms. Here's how:
- Lie flat on your back with your arms at your sides, palms pressing into the floor. You can place your hands under your pelvis if you feel the need to protect your lower back.
- Bring both legs straight up toward the ceiling, engaging your abs and pressing your lower back into the ground.
- Keeping abs pulled in and lower back on the ground, slowly lower your left leg until it's a few inches above the floor, then scissor your legs, lifting your right leg up. This completes one rep.
- Do 15 to 20 reps.