When you have little time to hit the gym and zero patience for your legs to firm up, try this high-intensity outer-thigh workout designed by Alex Silver-Fagan, a New York City-based fitness trainer. The dynamic, time-based workout will raise your heart rate and get the blood flowing to your thigh muscles for some extra definition — all in five minutes flat.
1. Pop Squats (60 Seconds)
How to do it: Start with your feet slightly wider than shoulders-width apart and palms held together at chest-height. Bend your knees to sit into a deep squat with your thighs parallel to the ground. In one dynamic movement, extend your arms and legs to jump straight up off the ground. Land with soft knees to complete one rep, going right into a second squat.
2. Traveling Lunges (30 Seconds Per Side)
How to do it: Stand on your right leg with your hands on your hips, and take a large step backward with your left leg. Keeping your shoulders stacked over your hips, bend both knees 90 degrees. Press through your front heel to return to starting position, then take a large step forward with your left leg. Keeping your shoulders stacked over your hips, bend both knees 90 degrees. Return to center to complete one rep. Continue to alternate between forward and backward lunges for 30 seconds, then switch legs and repeat on the opposite side.
3. Lateral Lunge With Kick (30 Seconds Per Side)
How to do it: Standing on your left leg, take a large step out to the side with your right foot. From this position, bend your right knee about 90 degrees to lower into a side lunge, then press off the right heel to come back to balancing on your left leg, raising your right knee as you come up. Without dropping the right foot, kick straight out to the side. Next, bring your right foot back down to the ground, landing in your wide stance. That’s one rep. Continue alternating between a side lunge and kick for 30 seconds, then switch sides and continue for another 30 seconds.
How to do it: Standing on your left leg with your left arm extended out to the side and right elbow bent with hand raised (for balance), tap your right toes diagonally behind you (first tap), a few inches farther (second tap), and a few inches farther (third tap). Then, keeping your shoulders stacked over your hips, bend both knees 90 degrees to lower into a curtsy squat. Press through the left heel to come back to starting position and complete one rep. Continue stepping backward with the right foot for 30 seconds, then switch legs and continue for another 30 seconds.
5. Switch Lunge Squats (60 Seconds)
How to do it: Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulders-width apart. Bend both knees to sit back into a deep squat. From this position, extend your legs as you jump straight up, swinging your left arm forward and right arm backward (for momentum) and landing with your right foot a few feet ahead of your left foot. Keeping your shoulders stacked over your hips, bend both knees about 90 degrees, then jump up again, reversing lead arms and legs in the air, and landing with your left foot a few feet ahead of your right foot. Bend both knees 90 degrees, then jump straight up out of the split squat, landing in starting position with your feet parallel. That’s one rep