Stop wasting your time with moves that only work one muscle group! This circuit workout turns up your fat-burning switch and builds lean muscle in your abs, butt, and legs—all at the same time! All you need is a pair of 5- to 15- pound dumbbells and a little bit of floor space, and maybe a stool.
How this workout works: Do 15 reps of each exercise in the circuit one after another with little or no rest in between. After you finish the last exercise, repeat the entire circuit 2 more times so you’re performing it a total of 3 times.
1. Stability Lunge
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides. Lift your right knee until your thigh is parallel to the floor and raise your arms overhead, palms facing in (a). Hold for 5 seconds, then slowly drop your right foot into a front lunge (b). Bring your left leg forward and return to standing. That’s 1 rep. Do 15 reps on each leg, alternating sides.
2. Good Morning Bend
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a pair of 5- to 15-pound dumbbells at your shoulders, palms facing forward (a). Keeping your knees slightly bent and your torso straight, slowly bend from your hips until your upper body is parallel to the floor (b). Hold for 5 seconds and return to start. That’s 1 rep; do 15 reps.
3. Alternate Leg Deadlift
Hold a 5- to 15-pound dumbbell in each hand and stand on your right leg, lifting your left leg a few inches behind you (a). Keeping your back straight, lean forward from your hips until your body is almost parallel to the floor, the weights in line with your shoulders (b). Return to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 15, then switch legs.
4. Half Seated Leg Circles
Sit on the floor with your legs fully extended, leaning back on your elbows, your fingers cupping the sides of your hips (a). Keeping your lower back pressed into the floor, engage your core and lift your legs about 45 degrees. Point your toes, press your thighs together, and trace 15 large clockwise circles (b), then 15 counterclockwise circles.
5. Single Leg Plank
Get on the floor and prop yourself up with your toes flexed underneath you and your elbows under your shoulders, shoulder blades back and down (a). Your body should form a straight line. Brace your abs and lift your right leg up about 10 inches (b). Balance your body weight on your forearms and the stabilizing leg. Hold for up to 60 seconds. Switch legs and repeat on the other side.
6. Prone Hip Extension
Lie facedown over a bench or padded stool with your legs hanging off the edge (a). Engage your abs and lift both legs until your body forms a straight line (b). Hold for 5 seconds, then lower slowly. That’s 1 rep; do 10 to 15.