I love re-discovering exercises that I used to do or have done in the past. It is like moving the couch and finding the lost remote. Recently, I had such an experience and it led me to think of some other lower body exercises I have filed away.
As I was doing some crunches on the floor, I had the urge to stretch my back and came across an exercise I did years ago. We called it a body bridge, but I have also seen it called a hip bridge, and it is awesome for working the glutes.
To do the move lie on your back as if you are about to do a sit up with your knees bent 90 degrees. Then place your arms straight with your fingers pointing at your feet. Then simply straighten your body to make a straight line from your knee caps to your shoulders. As you do this, make sure your toes are pointed towards the sky so you are on your heels. Hold this position for a three-count and then slowly lower. Three sets of 15 will have you feeling nice.
Another exercise for the legs is called the slalom jump or side lunges. This works all of your leg muscles pretty well and is a great addition to a cardio workout too. To do this, get into a stance like you are about to ski down the mountain. Your feet should be just a touch more than shoulder width apart and bend your knees slightly. What you do with your arms is up to you, however, I like to pretend I am holding ski poles. Then, you lift your lift your left leg slightly and jump with your right foot a couple of feet to the left. Then do it again the other way going back and forth.
It is like you have a pile of snow beside you and you are leaping over it again and again. Just like a slalom skier. Again three sets of 15 each way will give you a decent workout. If it is too challenging to complete it while jumping, there is an alternative. When you begin the exercise, keep your feet closer together for a true shoulder width stance. Again bend legs slightly and then step with your left off to the side as far as you feel comfortable and then squat. Go down to your legs are bent 90 degrees and then come right back up and return your left leg to the starting position. Repeat the same thing off to the right side.
These are two simple exercises that will give you a lower body workout with much effort or time. Are there any exercises you have forgotten about and would like to share?