This 10-Minute, Ballet-Inspired Workout Will *Seriously* Tone Your Lower Body
Don't have an hour (or even a half) to exercise? No, er, sweat. It's totally possible to get in a good workout in as little as 10 minutes. The key is to maximize your time with moves that target multiple areas at once, according to Megan Roup, a buzzy fitness instructor at Project by Equinox and Studio B in New York City and the creator of The Sculpt Society. (Her class is an efficient—and super-fun—total-body workout that combines dancing and sculpting exercises to tone your entire body in 50 minutes.)
Here, Roup's condensed her sequence down to six signature moves you can do anywhere. All you need is a towel (or sliders) and a bit of floor space—some upbeat music to carry you through isn't a bad idea, either.
"A lot of these moves also target the abs and the inner thighs."
"A lot of these moves also target the abs and the inner thighs," says Roup, who recommends doing 20 reps of each standing move and 30–40 reps of each of the kneeling ones per side. To take things up a notch, add 2-pound ankle weights or hold on to 2- or 3-lb. hand weights during the standing leg series.
Ready to feel the burn? Keep reading to find out how to do Megan Roup's 10-minute butt-toning workout.
1. Reverse lunge
Start with your feet together and your right foot on the slider. Push it back straight behind you as you drop most of your weight into your supporting left heel. You should be able to wiggle your left toes the entire time. Your upper body goes over your left leg. As you come back up, drive your weight into your left heel.
2. Lateral lunge
This lateral side move looks deceivingly easy, but you’ll feel your outer glute and gluteus maximus really engage when you're doing it correctly. Stand with your feet together and the slider under your right foot. Extend your right leg to the side keeping your weight over your left leg. Drive down into your left heel to bring your right leg back to center—be sure that you're able to wiggle your toes the entire time!
3. Windshield wiper lunge
This move tests your balance, so you'll have to engage not only your core, but also your supporting leg and your glutes. Start with your right leg crossed behind you at the back left diagonal. Sweep it to the side stopping when your hips are square and even. Your left supporting leg is bent the entire time. Drive your weight into the left heel, and stick your butt back with most of the weight over your left leg.
This is a great lifting exercise for your seat. Start on all fours, knees under your hips and wrists under your shoulders. Extend your right leg out behind you at a 45-degree angle. In a semi-circle motion, lift your leg up and arc it over to a 45-degree angle on your left side. Reverse the motion to return to your starting position.
5. Coupé to attitude lift
This one really is a great lifting exercise for your glutes—but make sure to engage the core the entire time. Start kneeling with your knees under your hips and wrists under your shoulders. Bend your right leg to a 90-degree angle, knee externally rotated to the right, ankles stacked right on top of left (i.e. coupé position). Lift your leg into the air as if you were sliding your shin up a poll or wall, maintaining the 90-degree shape of your leg the entire time (AKA an attitude position). Really focus on scooping the abs as you lower back into a coupé position.
6. Attitude kick
Start on all fours, knees under your hips and wrists under your ankles. Lift your right leg into an attitude position (i.e. leg bent at the knee so that it forms a 90 degree angle) at hip height. Straighten your leg behind you (AKA an arabesque), engaging your core, sucking your navel to your spine, keeping your butt slightly pushed out to prevent your pelvis from tucking.
To balance out that lower-body work, try Megan's arm-toning moves. And find out her go-to activewear styling tips, too.
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