(Note from Erin: I’ve been doing these exercises the last couple of days and really enjoy them! Give them a try and let me know what you think!)
By Emilyn Gil
One of the most common excuses in our modern age for not exercising is lack of time. “I’m too busy,” “It’s too late/early,” and “I have too much to do today” are all different ways of saying, “I don’t have time to exercise”. We all want the slim, fit body, but we don’t want to put in that much time to get it. Lucky for you, there is a simple solution.
This simple 3-minute exercise can help you slim down your legs to the level of fitness you’re looking for, without taking too much time out of your day. No need to pack up for a two-hour gym trip. Right before you hop into bed, just bust out 3 minutes of exercise, and then head off to sleep. Studies show that with persistence over a 12 week period, short and quick exercises performed daily can bring the same slimming results as long exercise sessions.
The 3-Minute Exercise For Slimmer Legs
This 3-minute exercise has three parts. Each part will focus on a different group of muscles and together will help get rid of that extra wobble around your legs.
Part 1: Work The Front Of Your Thighs
Begin by lying flat on your back. You can use a yoga mat if you have one available, a towel, or just the floor. Relax your arms to your sides with the palms down. Slowly raise both legs into the air, bending at the hip until they reach a 90-degree angle Pull your belly button towards your spine to keep your lower back flat on the floor and keep your legs straight, knees together, and point your toes. If you can’t reach a 90-degree angle without bending your knees or having your back hollow, lower your legs closer to the floor until you can keep them straight. With time you’ll find you can raise them higher and higher without bending your knees.
Make sure that your thighs and core are engaged, not relaxed. Keeping your knees together, bend one leg from the knee and touch your toe to the floor. Then straighten the leg again, and bend the other leg to the floor. Do this 10 times for each leg. When you’re finished, move right into the next exercise without resting.
Part 2: Work The Back Of The Thighs
This exercise works the front and back part of the thighs, the knees, and the abs.
Keep your legs straight in the air, but now flex your feet, pulling your toes toward the body instead of pointing them. Keep your legs straight and your knees together. Now do the same exercise as in part one, bending each leg one at a time; but this time keep your feet flexed instead of pointed. Your heels should touch your buttocks each time you bend your leg. Again do this 10 times for each leg.
Without resting, bend your knees slightly and point your toes again. Pressing your palms into the floor, raise your tailbone off the floor, lifting your legs upward as well to push your toes towards the ceiling. Then ease your tailbone back down to the floor. Try not to swing your legs too much to use momentum. Instead, keep your legs and core tense and really make your muscles work with each lift. Do this exercise 20 times.
Part 3: Work The Inner Thighs
This exercise works the upper part of your legs, buttocks, and abs.
Straighten your legs again to a 90-degree angle. Cross your right ankle over the left ankle, keeping your legs as straight as you can, your thighs pressed together. Bend your legs, this time letting the knees separate as wide as you can making an opening between your legs like a “plié“. As you do this, keep your ankles crossed as if they were tied together. Then straighten your legs back to a 90-degree angle and press your thighs together. Repeat this movement 10 times with right ankle over left, then 10 more times with the left ankle over the right.
(You can also try the exercises outlined in the video below!)
It Gets Better!
The best part of this exercise is that it’s so incredibly short, giving you no excuses. But it’s also a winner because it’s low impact, it hits a range of muscles throughout your legs and core, and you can do it right before bed because you’re lying down the entire time anyway.
So take 3 minutes out of your day for 12 weeks and watch how your legs tone and butt lifts!
*Article originally appeared at Healthy Holistic Living.