Many women probably wish that a miracle would come along to instantly transform them into great shape. While attaining a strong, healthy body does take patience, there are certain exercises that maximize your time and effort. Moves that work numerous muscle groups at one time, such as the step-up with knee raise, can get you in and out of the gym in a flash. When your core, glutes, thighs, hips and calves are all strengthened and toned, it may certainly feel like a miracle.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing in. Allow your arms to hang by your side. Stand approximately 6 inches in front of an exercise step or elevated platform with your feet hip-width apart.
Engage your glutes and abdominal muscles. Lengthen your spine so you're standing tall with your shoulders, hips and knees in alignment. Push your shoulder blades down.
Place your right foot on the step with your knee bent to 90 degrees. Push off of your left toes as you press through your right foot. Straighten your right leg and shift your body weight onto your right foot.
Balance on your right leg as bring your left leg forward and up, keeping it in the air. Bend the left hip and knee so the thigh is parallel to the floor, while you raise it to hip-height.
Hold the lift for one count, then return your left foot to the floor. Place the right foot on the floor next to the left. Complete 10 repetitions and repeat on the other side.
- Start with dumbbells that are lighter in weight, such as 5 pounds, if you have trouble balancing during the knee raise. Gradually increase the resistance level as you become stronger.
- Discontinue the exercise and consult with a physician if you experience any pain while performing the step-up.
Beth Rifkin has been writing health- and fitness-related articles since 2005. Her bylines include "Tennis Life," "Ms. Fitness," "Triathlon Magazine," "Inside Tennis" and others. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Temple University.