Ask celebrity fitness trainer Erin Oprea what body part every woman wants to focus on for summer, and she’ll tell you: It’s legs. Known for her own set of envy-worthy gams and those of her celebrity clients (Carrie Underwood, Kelsea Ballerini, Jennifer Nettles), Oprea knows a thing or two about toning and sculpting your lower half.
“It is all about reaching your goals,” she explains. “If you feel that, this summer, sexy legs are what you want to achieve, it’s very doable. It just takes persistence.” According to Oprea, now is the time to start putting the wheels in motion.
We caught up with Oprea to learn about her four favorite moves for sculpting and toning, which she affectionately refers to as “Operation Summer Legs.” Even better, all of these maneuvers can be done at the gym or home. Here’s the routine:
1. SQUAT INTO A LUNGE
The move: Squat down on your left leg, right toes just touching the floor for balance.
Without standing up, move your right leg back into a lunge. Keep your left leg bent and return your right leg to starting position. Do 15 reps, then repeat on the other side.
2. CHERRY PICKERS
The move: Hold a 10- to 25-pound kettlebell or dumbbell with both hands. Stand with your legs wide and soften your knees.
Bend at the hips, keeping your back flat, chest up and shoulders back as you lower the weight straight down, then reach it back between your legs, controlling the motion. Push through your heels to lift back up to standing, still keeping your back flat, chest up and shoulders back.
READ MORE > MASTER THE MOVE: THE LUNGE
3. STAIR SQUAT AND JUMP
The move: Lower into a squat, extending your hips back, keeping your knees over your toes and your chest up.
Jump onto the first stair, dropping directly back into a squat. Repeat the motion, jumping up onto the next stair and dropping into a squat when you land. When you reach the top, walk down to the bottom. Repeat five times.
4. SKATER HOPS
The move: Stand on your right foot with your right knee bent, left leg lifted behind you. Lower your body into a squat, then jump to the left, landing on your left leg and bringing your right foot back behind you (keep it hovering off the ground). Pause in the position, then jump back onto your right foot, bringing your left foot bent behind you. Repeat this movement for one minute.
Make sure to adequately rest in between moves and repeat each circuit four times. “This can be done as often as you like but aim for at least twice a week,” says Oprea.
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