This move is great for releasing tension in the shoulders while toning your thighs and butt. To do a bridge pose, you have to engage your legs, core, and butt. It may seem easy and relaxing at first, but hold it for a while and you’ll notice your body starting to shake as you engage every inch of your thigh and butt muscles.
Lie on back with knees bent. Place feet below butt. Clasp hands behind body and push shoulders back. Slowly lift hips up as high as possible. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat thrice. For a greater challenge, lift one leg straight up.
A progression of the bridge pose is the wheel pose. It’s a deep backbend pose, so only attempt if your shoulders and back are flexible enough. You also need to have sufficient leg and arm strength to support your body. Even though this looks like it will not require a lot of leg strength, most of your weight goes to your legs, especially when you try to straighten them, stand up, or drop backwards.
Lie on back with knees bent. Place feet below butt. Place hands behind ears with fingers pointing towards toes. Press feet and hands down firmly and lift hips up. Try to keep weight balanced on all four points. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat thrice. For a greater challenge, lift one leg straight up.
This looks like one of the most relaxing moves that you can do with one hand supporting your head as you lie on the side while watching TV, but trust us, this burns. As your knees are bent, you are required to engage your glutes and inner thighs.
Lie on side with knees bent. Rest head on bottom hand and place other hand on waist. Lift top knee up as high as possible and hold for one second. Lower and repeat 30 times, then repeat on other side.
For a more dynamic movement, try donkey kicks or donkey kickbacks. Your inner thighs and butt will feel the burn. Place a towel below your knees to protect them.
Start on knees with hands below shoulders and knees below hips. Keeping legs bent, lift one leg all the way up until knee is in line with body. Lower and repeat 30 times. Repeat on other side.
Another variation of the donkey kick is a side kick version called the fire hydrant. It targets the inner thighs and outer glutes as you kick sideways. It’s a full body workout as your arms will be engaged to hold you up and your core to keep you straight.
Start on knees with hands below shoulders and knees below hips. Keeping legs bent, lift one leg outwards to the side until knee is in line with body. Lower and repeat 30 times. Repeat on other side.
Lie back and get ready to relax – just for a second. Scissors are an ab exercise but the criss-cross movement of your legs will work the inner thighs and outer thighs.
Lie on back with legs straight up. Keep head, shoulders, and back connected to the ground at all times. Contract core and start criss-crossing legs. Repeat for one minute. For a greater challenge, criss-cross legs while moving them slowly towards the ground and coming back up.
(Text: Carissa Wong, SHAPE / Additional reporting: Natalya Molok)