Toned legs aren't just for show. Aside from helping you feel proud when wearing thigh-hugging pants, strong legs will make your favorite form of exercise feel easier, and building muscle mass also keeps your metabolism going strong. All these moves require no equipment — just you and five minutes. Repeat this five-move circuit two or three times, and you'll feel your inner and outer thighs, hamstrings, and calves burning.
Leggings have become a wardrobe staple — what's not to love? But these comfy pants can, at times, be a little unforgiving. Now is the time to tone any jiggly bits hiding under your leggings with this six-minute legs, hips, and butt workout. It'll work your upper thighs from all angles so you look good from all angles!
No need for coffee: this quick workout will raise your heart rate and make you glad you didn't hit the snooze button. So drag yourself out of bed and do this five-minute warmup: you'll feel so good, you won't need that morning caffeine jolt! Bonus: you'll burn 46 calories in five minutes before you've even brushed your teeth.
Exercise alone will not tame the muffin top, but strengthening the muscles underneath the body fat that hangs around the waist is a great way to start. And remember, strong obliques mean a strong core, better posture, and toned abs. Along with a healthy diet and a regular doses of cardio, this BOSU workout will show some love to your love handles. Press play, and work your waist for a few minutes!
Don't neglect your strength-training routine; add it to your next cardio session instead! This quick strengthening workout can be done on a bench or low wall, meaning it's the perfect way to break up an outdoor run. Get more info on how to do each move here, and then add these calorie-blasting moves to your running routine. Get a printable PDF of this workout here.
Can you spare five minutes? Of course you can. This workout is just five basic exercises, 20 reps of each, done three times a day. Pick three times that work for you such as before getting in the shower in the morning, right before eating lunch at noon, and before hopping into bed at night. That's all, and you'll soon notice a difference in strength in your entire body.
- Come into plank position with your arms and legs straight, shoulders above the wrists. If this is too difficult, do this exercise with your knees on the floor.
- Take a breath in, and as you exhale, bend your elbows out to the sides and lower your chest toward the ground. Stop as soon as your shoulders are in line with your elbows. Inhale to straighten the arms.
- This counts as one rep. Complete 20.
2. Superman Lifts
- Lie facedown on your stomach with the arms and legs extended. Keep your neck in a neutral position.
- Keeping your arms and legs straight (but not locked) and torso stationary, simultaneously lift your arms and legs up toward the ceiling to form an elongated "u" shape with your body — your back arches and the arms and legs lift several inches off the floor.
- Hold for two seconds, and lower back down to complete one.
- Do a set of 20.
3. Ab Pass
- Grab a block, and roll onto your back. If you don't have a block, use your shoe, or use nothing at all. Engage your core, and actively press your spine toward the floor.
- Place the block between your feet, and on an exhale, slowly and simultaneously lower your hands and feet toward the floor, making sure your back is flush with the floor the entire time. If you find this is too difficult, bend your knees slightly.
- Stop once your hands and feet are a few inches from the ground, then inhale as you slowly raise them back up, reaching for the block.
- Grab the block with your hands, flex your feet, and lower your hands and feet again until they are a few inches from the floor.
- Rise back up, and pass the block to your feet. This counts as one rep.
- Complete 10 reps (which means lowering the legs 20 times).
Keep reading to see the rest of this five-minute workout.
If you have five minutes and a place to sit, you can work on your six pack. These five moves work your entire core in almost no time. Take a break and tone your midsection with this ab workout!
Seated Trunk Twist
- Sit on the ground with your legs extended out in front of you, and lean ever so slightly forward.
- Keeping your elbows relaxed, lift your hands so they are even with the bottom of your rib cage.
- Pull your navel to your spine, and twist slowly to the right touching the floor by your hip. The movement is not large and comes from the ribs rotating. Inhale through center and rotate to the left. This completes one rep.
- Repeat for one minute.
- Lie on your back and reach your arms at rigid your side, off of the floor. Lift your legs off the floor and point them so they are at about a 45-degree angle. Lift your head so your shoulders are off of the floor as well.
- When ready to begin, lift your upper torso off the floor and bend your knees. You can lean back to make this move harder or come up more to make it easier. Lower back down to the floor so your legs are straight out and your back is on the floor, but not your head, shoulders, or legs.
- Repeat for one minute. Keep your abs engaged as you perform this move instead of relying on gravity; if it gets too hard, keep your knees bent as you lower down.
Elbow Plank With Arm Reach
- Start in an elbow plank, then walk your legs apart until they are a bit wider than your hips.
- Keeping torso stable, lift your right arm up and forward. Hold this position for two seconds, then return to elbow plank.
- Repeat with the left arm. This completes one rep.
- Repeat, alternating arms, for one minute.
Continue reading to learn the rest of this five-minute ab workout.
Keeping your feet planted firmly on the ground is overrated. Plyometrics, or explosive jumping moves, make for healthy bones, a powerful core, and strong muscles. Translation — everyone at the gym will be envious of your athletic prowess. Feel like a superhero after this five-minute power workout; remember to rest for 20-30 seconds in between each move if needed.
The burpee is a must-do total-body toner; see the classic burpee in action here and learn how to do it below.
- Bring your body down to the floor into a low squat with palms planted in front of you. Jump your legs back so you are in plank position, with toes touching the ground and heels up.
- Lower yourself down into a push-up. After you raise back up, jump feet forward so they are right under your hips as you raise your body up into a low squat. You should still be bent with palms on the floor.
- In a swift motion, lift your upper body up and jump up off the floor with your arms extended. When your feet are back on the floor, reposition into a low squat and repeat.
- Repeat for one minute.
This move is great for strengthening calf muscles.
- With your right foot slightly off the ground, balance on your left foot.
- Hop back and forth over an imaginary line laterally for 30 seconds.
- Repeat the same motion for another 30 seconds, this time balancing on your right foot.
Jumping Side Squats With BOSU
Lateral squats using a BOSU help work oft-neglected muscles in your legs.
- Place your left foot in the center of the BOSU with your right foot parallel to your left, on the floor. Bend down into a squat position, with your backside out like you are sitting in a chair. Keep your body in a low squat, and clasp your hands in front of you for balance.
- In one quick motion, lift your body up and jump to your left so your right foot replaces your left in the center of the BOSU. Your left foot should be parallel to your right but on the floor. Keep your body low in a squat as you plant your foot on the ground.
- Repeat for one minute.
Use a box at the gym or a stable low chair or bench to perform this balance-improving move. If you've never done a box jump before, don't be intimidated — work your way up to a box jump with this video.
- To start, stand in front of the item you'll be jumping onto. Position feet hip-width apart, and drop into partial squat position with your arms extended in front of you and hold one count, then use your arms to propel you by swinging them behind and in front of you as you "explode" jump onto the top of the box. Make sure you land softly and absorb your landing by keeping your knees bent, in a squat position.
- Fully extend your legs so you are standing on top of the box. As you prepare to jump back down, lower back into a squat position.
- Jump backward off box, landing softly with knees bent and using your arms to propel you like before. Finish in partial squat position with arms extended forward. Get ready to do another jump (another rep).
- Do 15-20 reps or 45 seconds to one minute.
This plyometric move requires balance as well as lower-body strength. It's a great cardio move to help raise your heartbeat!
- Start in a split stance with a long stride. Check to make sure your knee is directly over your foot when you lower down.
- Push off both feet at the same time. As you jump switch the position of your legs so the back leg is now in front and vice versa. Keep your stride open and your torso straight, not bent over.
- As you land, raise the opposite arm of your front leg. Keep your landing gentle as you bend your knee to a lunge position.
- Do as many as you can in one minute.
Watch a video on how to do the split lunge jump here.
When you just don't have time to get to the gym, sneak a few minutes of calorie-burning moves into your day by throwing on sweats, turning on your favorite TV show, and doing this five-minute workout. Grab a pair of dumbbells and take a quick timeout from the couch.
The arm of your couch, a stable coffee table, or a nearby chair is all you need to target your triceps.
- Position your hands shoulder-width apart on a secured bench or stable chair.
- Move your butt in front of the bench with your legs extended in front of you. Modify by keeping your legs bent and feet placed about hip-width apart on the floor.
- Straighten out your arms and keep a little bend in your elbows in order to always keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints.
- Now slowly bend at your elbows and lower your upper body down toward the floor until your arms are at about a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench.
- Once you reach the bottom of the movement, slowly press off with your hands, and push yourself straight back up to the starting position.
- Repeat as many times as you can for one minute.
This leg move is just as effective as the basic lunge but helps save your knees from too much stress. Hold a dumbbell in each hand while you perform this exercise to make it even more effective.
- To begin, stand tall and take a controlled lunge (or large step) backward with your left foot.
- Lower your hips so that your right thigh (front leg) becomes parallel to the floor and your right knee is positioned directly over your ankle. Keep your left knee bent at a 90-degree angle and pointing toward the floor. Your left heel should be lifted.
- When your left knee is almost touching the floor, hold. Then, slowly push with your left foot to raise your pelvis up a bit, then straighten your knees and return your left leg back to starting position next to your right leg.
- This completes one rep. Complete as many reps as you can in 30 seconds before repeating on your right side.
This basic move is effective for strengthening your upper body. You can also do them while placing your feet on your couch to add a challenging element.
- Start in the top position: palms spread out evenly next to your shoulders, with shoulders over the wrists and legs out behind you. Pull your belly button in, and keep your back straight.
- As you lower and exhale, bend your elbows outward to the sides. Hold at the bottom before you raise back up.
- Do as many reps as possible in one minute.
- Watch our video on how to do a push-up to ensure that you are doing it correctly.
Take five minutes out of your day to challenge your core. Strengthening the center of your body does wonders for your posture and your athletic performance — hello increased endurance! You might be unfamiliar with two of the moves, so watch our video tutorials to help you master the up-down plank (aka push-up walks) and advanced bridge.