Chilly days spent on the couch binge-watching The Crown may have been relaxing, but they probably didn’t do your body any favors. With warmer weather (and swimsuits!) in sight, it’s time to pay more attention to the areas you want to show off—like your abs, legs, and booty. Obviously, the first step is to back off the comfort food, start reaching for healthier options and watch portion sizes. But embracing exercise is also key. Thankfully, Frank Baptiste, owner of FranklyFitness in New York City, developed the perfect post-winter plan specifically for Health. “These exercises are going to impact your metabolism because they work a lot of different muscles at the same time, which increases your calorie burn,” notes Baptiste. “Plus they focus on body parts people care about, while making you move better and feel stronger.” Now, who’s ready to get fit for spring?
Do this entire circuit twice, or 2 or 3 times a week, or choose the area you want to target and complete the routine three times, 2 or three times a week.
Lower body exercises
1. Hop Squats: Stand tall with feet together and arms at sides (A). Hop feet out into a wide stance, landing softly, then immediately shift hips back to lower down into a squat, bringing arms forward and clasping hands in front of chest (B). Jump up, hopping feet back to start. Repeat in a fluid, continuous motion. Do 15 reps.
2. Bulgarian Split Squat: Position yourself a few feet in front of a step or bench, with top of left foot on the step or bench behind you and hands clasped in front of chest (A). With core tight, lower down until left knee nearly touches ground (B). Push into right foot to come to standing; squeeze glutes. Do 10 reps.
3. Lateral Lunge to Stand: Stand tall with feet together. Take a big step out to the right, sitting hips back and down, coming into a single-sided squat (A); keep left leg straight. Push into right foot to come to standing as you slide left foot in to meet right (B). Repeat on opposite side. Do 8 reps per leg.
4. Step-Up With Knee Raise: Face a step or bench and stand with your torso upright and your shoulders down and back. Step right foot onto step or bench (A), pushing into right leg to rise up to full extension as you bring right arm forward, bent to 90 degrees; drive left knee up (B). With control, lower left foot back down to ground; immediately repeat. Do 15 reps per leg.
1. Kettlebell Swings: Stand in front of kettlebell with feet slightly wider than shoulderwidth apart, knees soft. Grasp bell with both hands. With flat back, “hike” bell between legs (A), thrusting hips forward explosively as you squeeze glutes, swinging bell to chest height (B); keep abs tight, arms straight, and shoulders down and back. Maintaining flat back, allow kettlebell to pull you back down to start; repeat. Do 20 reps.
2. Single-Leg Romanian Dead Lift: With a 10-pound dumbbell in each hand, stand tall with core and glutes engaged (A). Soften right knee, lift left foot, hinge at hips, and reach the left heel back and up as you lower torso down (B). Reverse motion to come back to standing. Do 8 reps. This challenges balance, coordination, and core stability.
3. Single-leg/Medicine Ball Bridge: Lie faceup with knees bent, left leg straight up and right heel on top of medicine ball, arms at sides with palms down (A). Tuck hips, engage core, and then press into the ball and arms to lift hips while squeezing glutes (B). Slowly, and with control, lower back down. Do 8 reps.
4. Mini-Band Monster Walks: Place a medium resistance band just below knees; stand in a quarter squat with band taut (A). Step right foot diagonally forward (B), and then step left foot in line with right; band remains taut. Next, step left foot diagonally forward, and then step right foot in line with left. Continue for 10 steps forward and 10 steps backward, two times.
1. Body Saw: Get into a forearm plank, with shoulders directly over elbows and shins on foam roller (A). With core tight, push body away from hands, extending plank 3 to 6 inches (B), and then return to start. Do 10 reps, working your way up to 15.
2. Mountain Climbers: Begin in the “up” part of a push-up, with shoulders over hands, abs tight, and body in a straight line from head to ankles. Raise right knee, bringing it in toward chest (A). Return to start, and then repeat movement with left knee (B). Do 20 reps.
3. Single-Arm/Leg Jackknife: Lie faceup with arms extended overhead (A). Crunch up, lifting torso and left leg, as you bring left leg and right arm to meet over body (B). Slowly, and with control, lower back to start. Repeat with right leg and left arm; continue alternating. Do 10 reps per side.
4. Side Plank With Rotation: Start in a right-side side plank with shoulder directly above elbow, feet stacked, and left arm extended straight up (A). Rotate torso down, reaching left hand down and toward right knee (B); return to start. Do 10 reps, then switch sides.