Tone your glutes, quads, and thighs with this superfast lower-body routine, then enjoy a 20-minute dinner recipe.
What you'll need: A step or low bench, and a pair of five- to eight-pound dumbbells. (If any of the toning moves are difficult, do them without
weights for the first few weeks.)
Minute 1: Step-Ups on a Bench (cardio)
Stand facing a bench or step. Quickly step up with your right foot, then your left, then step down with the right foot, followed by the left. Repeat, moving comfortably as fast as you can. After 30 seconds, switch the lead leg.
Minute 2: Skater's Lunge (toning, pictured)
Stand on a hardwood or linoleum floor with socks on (remove shoes for this move). Lift left heel, and slowly slide leg back and to side at a 45-degree angle, bending right leg. (Lower as far as you can comfortably.) Keep chest lifted, and don’t allow right knee to move past toes. Hold for a count of three, then squeeze buttocks as you slide leg back to start position.
After 30 seconds, switch legs.
Minute 3: Sideways Shuffle (cardio)
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Step to the right with right foot, then quickly bring left foot to meet it. Repeat, picking up the pace as you shuffle sideways all the way across the room; return with left foot leading. Continue going back and forth for a full minute.
Minute 4: Single-Leg Squat (toning, pictured)
Stand with knees slightly bent, holding a five- to eight-pound dumbbell in each hand. Lift right heel slightly off floor so you’re standing on your left leg. Bend left knee, making sure it doesn't go past toes, as you sit back as far as you can comfortably. Hold for a count of three; return to starting position. After 30 seconds, switch legs.
Minute 5: Football Drill (cardio)
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Run in place as fast as you can. Take periodic 10-second breaks to jog, if needed.
Minute 6: Lunge Step-Ups (toning, pictured)
Hold a five- to eight-pound dumbbell in each hand, and place left foot on a step or low bench. Take a big step back with right leg (at least three feet behind you) as you bend left knee to a 90-degree angle, as shown. Straighten left leg as you bring right leg forward, and touch step with right foot. Repeat. After 30 seconds, switch legs.
Minute 7: High Knee Lifts (cardio)
Jog in place, bringing each knee up until thigh is parallel with the floor.
Minute Three-Point Lunge (toning, pictured)
Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a five- to eight-pound dumbbell in each hand. Take a large step forward with right leg (about three feet), then bend knee to a 90-degree angle, keeping left leg behind you, heel off the floor. Switching your weight to your left leg, bring right leg out to side so it's in line with left leg, and bend into a squat with both thighs close to parallel to the floor and arms in front of body. Push off right leg, and place it about three feet behind you, so left leg is forward and bent at 90 degrees. Return to start position. Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch legs.
Minute 9: Stair Climbers (cardio cooldown)
Run up a flight of stairs as fast as you can, then jog down. Repeat for 30 seconds. (If you don't have stairs, do the Sideways Shuffle.) Then walk in place for 30 seconds to slow your heart rate.
Minute 10: Hamstring Stretch (stretch)
Place left heel on step, and keep knee straight but not locked. Bend torso forward until you feel a stretch in the back of your left leg. Try to keep back straight. Hold for 15 seconds, then switch legs and repeat.
Now that your upper-body workout's complete, here's a dish that's almost as quick to make: golden-seared scallops over lemony
View Recipe: Seared Scallops with Lemon Orzo