The lower body can be a trouble spot for many women. Spending countless hours walking or jogging on the treadmill, however, isn't enough to get the lower body you desire. In order to shrink and shape your lower body, you need to combine cardio and strength training together. Adding toning moves to your workout routine that increase your heart rate and allow you to shape your lower body by melting off any excess fat while toning and strengthening the muscles.
Kick and Squat Combo
The kick and squat combo will keep your heart rate elevated to burn fat as well as shape your lower body with a body-weight move. To perform this exercise, stand with your feet hip-width apart, elbows tucked in at your sides and your fists up. Bend your left knee slightly as you bring your right knee up and kick it out to the side. Bring the leg back down and immediately perform a squat. Straighten your legs and then repeat the move on the other side. Do 10 repetitions on each leg for three sets.
The split jump is a plyometric move that targets the lower body. Plyometrics, or jumping exercises, increase your heart rate to burn calories and fat and ramp up your metabolism. To perform a split jump, begin with one foot in front of the other with the back knee slightly bent. Lower down into a traditional lunge, then explode upward and switch legs. Your back foot should now be your front foot. Repeat for a total of 10 repetitions on each leg for three sets.
Lying Hamstring Curl
Hamstring curls performed with a stability ball require balance to maintain proper form, forcing the core and lower-body muscles to stay engaged throughout the move. To perform, lie flat on your back with your feet on top of a stability ball. Your arms should be out by your sides and your legs should be straight with your hips off the floor. Keeping your hips and lower back straight, bring your heels toward your glutes, allowing your feet to roll up onto the ball. Straighten your legs back out to complete one repetition. Do three sets of 10 curls.
Burpees are more than just a lower-body workout. Burpees involve the entire body, from the arms to the legs, and are one of the best body-weight exercises to get your heart rate up and shred fat. Begin by standing straight with your feet together and hands at your sides. Squat down and place your hands on the floor, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Kick your legs back so you are in pushup position. Quickly jump your feet back to your hands and stand up. Do three sets of 10 repetitions.
Kaitlin Condon is a holistic health coach and certified physical fitness/wellness specialist. She is a contributing health writer for the teen magazine "Miabella," as well as several online publications.