These exercises will give you much better fat loss and toning results than the seated hip abductor and seated hip adductor machines in your local health club. Honestly, I wish they would take those machines out of the club.....Anyway, here they are...
1. Lateral Tube Walk - A strength exercise that tones your lower body. It also looks like an easy exercise to perform. Don't be fooled by appearances. When done correctly, the lateral tube walk will challenge your strength (especially in the frontal plane), endurance and balance.
The frontal plane is an imaginary bisector that divides the body into equal front and back halves. The motions primarily involve abduction and adduction (side-to-side motions).
Abduction takes your limb away from the midline of your body and adduction takes your limb closer to the midline of your body.
The lateral tube walk will strengthen and shape your butt, hips, core, adductors (inner thighs) and outer thighs.
Do the exercise this way:
a. Attach the resistance band just above each ankle. Place your feet shoulder-width apart with your knees slightly bent and your back straight.
b. Maintaining good posture, step your right foot out to the side about 2 shoulder-widths apart. Then, step your left foot inward until your feet are again shoulder-width apart. Your knees should remain aligned over your feet during the exercise. It is important to not let your knees "cave in" or spread outside your feet. Also, keep your glutes contracted during the exercise.
c. Do 10-15 steps in the same direction and repeat in opposite direction. That is one set. Do 2-3 sets.
If you've never done the lateral tube walk, try it during your next workout. It is an exercise you should do on a regular basis.
2. Lateral Cone Hops - Do this exercise to burn leg fat and improve your strength and power in the frontal plane of motion. Hops and jumps are very intense exercises that activate that bulkier, shapely fast twitch muscles fibers in your butt, hips and thighs.
Lateral cone hops are done as fast as possible. Also, your feet should remain on the ground as little as possible as you do the hops. Focus on hopping (not jumping) from side to side (on the balls of your feet) with very little vertical height. You are working to improve lateral strength and power with this exercise and not vertical power. Do 8-10 repetitions per set.
As you progress, you can begin to do single leg lateral cone hops.
3. Medicine Ball Lateral Lunge - This exercise will help you tone your hips, glutes and thighs faster. The lateral lunge will improve your overall lower body strength, especially in the frontal plane of motion.
a. Grab a medicine ball and stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width. Point your feet slightly outward. Brace your core (as if taking a punch to the gut).
b. Keep your chest and head up, shoulders back and lunge to the right.
c. Drive upward back to the standing position. Repeat the movement to the left side and back up to the standing position. That is 1 repetition.
Shape your butt, hips and thighs better with these effective exercises.
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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES