It can feel hard to squeeze exercise in among your neverending to do list, but you can do this 10-minute routine whether you’ve managed to get to the gym or can only make it to the rug in front of the TV.
This combination of floor exercises hit your quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes and your core too, so over time, if you do them regularly, you should notice a difference in your legs, bum and tum.
Of course, if it takes you a bit longer, don’t worry – it’s better not to risk pulling muscles by going to fast, especially if you’re just starting out.
Here’s the lowdown…
Minutes 1-5: the warm-up
You may not have used a jump rope since you were at school, but skipping is great cardio, burns calories and improves muscle tone in your lower and upper body. Skip for at least five minutes to start your workout, alternating between a slow and fast pace.
Minute 6: lunges
Lunges are a simple but super-effective way to tone your legs and bottom. Here’s how to do them:
1. Keep your upper body straight, shoulders back and chin up.
2. Take a step forward, and then bend your knees as if you’re about to go down on one knee.
3. Keep lowering until both knees are at a 90-degree angle, making sure your front knee doesn’t go over your toes.
4. Push back up with your front leg and bring your feet back together.
5. To amp it up, hold a weight in each hand.
6. Do two reps of 10 sets on each leg.
Minute 7: squats
This super-move is brilliant for toning your legs from top to bottom, as well as your core muscles.
1. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your back straight.
2. Slowly bend down until you reach a near-seated position (or as low as you can go).
3. Keep your stomach tensed, and if you struggle to keep your balance, put your hands out in front of you.
4. To amp it up, hold a barbell across the top of your shoulders.
5. Return to your starting position and do two reps of 15 sets.
Minute 8: circles
This classic Pilates exercise not only helps you strengthen your leg muscles but also helps build core strength around your abdomen and lower back.
1. Lie on your back with your hands face down, close to your sides.
2. Lift up both your legs to 90-degrees. Legs should be together but if you find that difficult try doing a small V.
3. Rotate your legs together in big circles, first in a clockwise motion for 10 reps and then anti-clockwise, also for 10 reps.
4. To amp it up, wear light leg weights around your ankles.
Minute 9: Stretch out
Finish off with this series of gentle stretches:
1. Stand tall with your feet together. Bend your right leg backwards, grabbing your foot with your right hand. Soften your left knee slightly and hold your right foot as close to your bottom as possible. Feel the burn in your quad muscle. If you struggle to balance, steady yourself by resting your spare hand on the back of a chair. Repeat with your left leg.
2. Stand tall with your feet together. Put your right leg out in front, keeping your foot on the floor. Bend down and forward until your torso is parallel to the floor, leaning on your bent leg. Hold for 10 seconds before flexing your foot towards the ceiling, then hold for another 10. Repeat with your left leg.
3. Lie on the floor and hug your knees to your chest, rocking slightly from side to side to soothe your back. Next stretch your body out as long as it will go, pointing your toes and reaching up with your fingertips.
Repeat these exercises daily, or at least five times a week, in combination with an active and healthy lifestyle, and your legs will become more toned and trim.
If you also have bingo wings you want to banish, check out our Five easy exercises to tone your arms.
With all forms of exercise, if you have any medical concerns, including joint or back pain, consult your doctor before starting new fitness routines.
What do you do to keep in shape? Let us know in the comments section below.