If you want a flat tummy and round, pert bottom by August, this is the Brazilian babe's number one secret, nothing more exciting than walking lunges.
If done correctly, this exercise works inner and outer thighs, hips, gluts, ham strings, lower abs an upper back. And therein lies the rub, most people think that they are doing it, but with wrong technique are just going through the motions.
If you are a member of a gym and can go into a mirrored studio and practise the moves that is great. But what I really love about this exercise is that you can do it any time, any place, wearing pretty much anything. And as with everything in life, it is what you do every day that forms who you are, not the occasional splurge.
It's our number one rule, set deliverable goals. And this is (almost) as easy as putting one foot in front of the other.
1. Stand up straight, don't lock out your knees, roll your shoulder blades back so that you feel that they are sliding down your spine, this will raise your chest bone and make you pull in you stomach and raise your waist.
2. Feel the muscles in your legs and squeeze them around the length of your leg bones, pull in your bottom muscles as if you are holding in everything. Make sure your pelvis is tipped forward, this protects your lower back, if your bottom is sticking out, your pelvis isn't forward.
3. Raise your knee in a slow smooth movement, as you raise it, concentrate on staying as upright as possible so that all movement is initiated in the hip and upper thigh. Don't compensate for the movement by letting your shoulders drop or leaning forward or you will engage none of the correct muscle groups.
4. Raise the knee to slightly higher than a right angle and place the foot in front of you about a full leg's length away from the other foot. Imagine two opposing forces one pulling all of the muscles in your body upwards by your chest (you are creating this by tightening everything as much as you can) and now there is a downward force from your shoulder blades and down, pushing your legs and feet and making you use you stomach muscles even more in order to maintain balance. Allow the downward force to let your body lower and bend the back leg to a right angle so that the knee hovers an inch from the ground. You must keep the upward force strong and even, do not compensate by letting your hip drop to one side, only the knee drops, everything else is perfectly upright and balanced.
5. Now bring the back leg up to slightly higher than the right angle and lunge forward. Make sure that your front knee is at a right angle, it must always be behind the front foot, otherwise you transfer the stress away from the thigh muscles and into the knees.
6. To start with do 10 walking lunges 5 times, build to 10 lunges 10 times and then 20 5 times and then 20 10 times. Keep going until you get to 50 10 times. By this point you will have buns of steel!
Each set of 10 should take about 30 seconds in total.
You can do this in hallway at home, at the park, in an office, you don't need kit, or to lie down, or to get sweaty but you MUST do it every day.
This is low impact and using your body weight only, so this exercise is fine for anyone except people with knee or hip problems or later stages of pregnancy.