5 Leg Toning Moves to Banish Cellulite

Bikini season is on the horizon, and we all know you'd much rather be accessorizing that adorable new suit with a pair of matching earrings rather than the dreaded cellulite. We recently caught up with Sadie Lincoln, founder of Barre3 and author of Love Your Lower Body, for her 5 must-do leg moves to get bikini ready.

April 15, 2014
Thomas MacDonald

Women everywhere have long experienced the same workout mentality: It's all about how many calories your burning. What we've come to learn, though? Major calorie burn doesn't always equal visual results. In fact, a series of low-impact moves can burn more fat, build more muscle, and help those struggling with weight loss to break through plateaus. That's why low-impact workouts, such as power yoga and ballet barre classes, are growing in popularity.

More: Low-Impact Workouts with a Big Calorie Burn

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With bathing suit season upon us, we caught up with Sadie Lincoln, founder of Portland-based Barre3 and author of Love Your Lower Body to get her 5 lower body transformative moves. Lincoln's Barre3 classes, which combine the grace of ballet, wisdom of yoga, and strength of Pilates, are becoming quite the rage -- with more than 70 exercise studios worldwide.

The best part about these exercises? They're standing, which means you can literally do them anytime, anywhere. Lincoln even confessed to doing the circuit frequently in her pajamas and multitasking! Now THAT is one comfortable way to sneak in a sweat sesh!

Check out Sadie Lincoln's 5 exercises to transform your lower body, here:

Carousel Horse

Thomas MacDonald

Setup: Rest hands lightly on the barre with feet parallel and hip-width apart. Step left foot back and bend both knees into a lunge and hold. Right knee is directly over your right ankle. Left knee is directly under left hip. Keep hips level and square, engage core, and stack shoulders directly over your hips. Hold for 5 deep breaths.
Movement 1: Lower left knee one inch towards the floor. Right knee stays directly over ankle.
Movement 2: Press feet into the floor and lift up one inch.  
Reps: 30 each side

Sumo Squat

Thomas MacDonald

Setup: Step feet out slightly wider than hips and turn legs out so toes point to 1 and 11 o'clock. Bend knees and move hips down and back into a squat. Hands come together in front of your chest, and knees are stacked over ankles and in line with your second toes. Spine is long, abs are hugging in, and shoulders are drawing down the back. Hold for 5 deep breaths.
Movement 1: Press into feet and straighten your legs. At the same time, extend arms overhead, palms facing in.
Movement 2: Bend knees, reach hips back, and bring hands back in front of chest, returning to starting position.
Reps: 15

More: 5 New Squat Moves That Make You Stronger

Power Leg

Thomas MacDonald

Setup: Stand a forearm's distance from the barre. Place feet hip-width apart with toes, knees, and tops of thighs pointed straight ahead. Place palms lightly on the barre, lift heels high, and root down into the balls of feet. Bend knees forward and slide your back down an imaginary wall. Keep hips stacked over ankles and shoulders stacked over hips, and engage core muscles. Hold for 5 deep breaths.
Movement 1: Bend knees, lowering hips one inch and keep heels lifted.
Movement 2: Press into the balls of feet and lift up one inch.
Reps: 30

Horse Pose Plies

Thomas MacDonald

Setup: Come to Horse Pose by stepping out wider than hips with feet turned out to 2 and 10 o'clock. Shoulders should be stacked over hips and core is engaged. Bend knees and slide back 6 inches down an imaginary wall. Knees should remain over ankles and in line with second toes, arms are low. Hold for 5 deep breaths.
Movement 1: Push down with feet and straighten legs. At the same time, sweep arms to the sides and above head.
Movement 2: Bend knees and lower 6 inches. Sweep arms down.
Reps: 15

Standing Leg Lifts

Thomas MacDonald

Setup: Stand with hands resting lightly on the barre and feet hip-width apart. Extend left leg back, pointing foot and lifting toes a few inches off the floor. Keep standing knee soft, hips square, abs drawn in, and lower back long. Relax shoulders. Hold for 5 deep breaths.
Movement 1: Engage left hamstring and glutes and lift left leg up one inch.
Movement 2: Lower left leg one inch.
Reps: 30 each side.