4 Lower-Body Workouts for Stronger Legs

Sure, longer-looking gams are just a wedge heel away, but a truly trimmer lower half requires some work. "Spending too much time behind a desk or steering wheel does a number on your lower body," says Clayton James, the Reebok Sports Club/NY trainer who created this workout.

By stretching your hip muscles and strengthening your glutes, these moves hit underworked lower-body muscles to trim your thighs and tighten your rear view. Do two or three sets of each exercise three or four times a week and soon you'll be strutting your stuff with confidence, whether you're in flip-flops or stilettos.

Look hot in your jeans with this 15-minute fat-blasting workout.

FOUR MOVES FOR SLEEKER STEMS


1. STEP UP



Stand in front of a step or bench and place your left foot on the step (a). Push your body up until your left leg is straight (b), then return to start. That's one rep. Repeat with the right leg, and continue alternating. Do eight to 10 reps on each side.

2. SIDE-TO-SIDE LEG SWING




Stand and grab a sturdy object in front of you with both hands. Swing your right leg out to the right as high as you can (a), then swing it back down and across your left leg (b). That's one rep. Do 12 to 20, then switch legs and repeat.

More moves for a firmer butt and legs.

3. 45-DEGREE LUNGE



Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides (a). Lunge 45 degrees to the right, keeping your hips facing forward and your left leg straight (b). Pause, then return to start. That's one rep. Do 10 to 12, then repeat on your left side.

4. BRIDGE



Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, palms down (a). Raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees (b). Hold for two seconds, then return to start. That's one rep. Do 12 to 20.

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