Challenge Your Lower Body

Here's a simple yet challenging way to firm and tighten your buttocks and thighs. If you start to incorporate this move into your exercise routine now, you can help get your lower body in shape for the summer.

Lie on a padded, flat surface and place your feet hip-width apart atop a round 36-inch foam roller. Make sure that your feet are flat, with your heels and toes on the same level. Extend your arms straight alongside your body with your head resting on the floor.

On an exhale, push down evenly with both feet on the roller. Do not allow the roller to move, and be sure to keep the soles of your feet facing the floor throughout the exercise. Raise your hips, waist and mid-back off the floor. Pause for 10 seconds at the top of the lift while balancing on your upper back and both feet. Concentrate on squeezing the muscles in your buttocks and backs of your thighs. Slowly lower your hips to the floor, then repeat three to five times.

Karen Voight is the creator of a line of fitness DVDs, including "Sleek Essentials." For more information visit her Web site.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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