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The Skinny Jeans Workout

Popular exercise programs aim to get your butt, abs, and thighs in shape -- and help you fit into those jeans.

Build Your Own Workout

Comana says that any "skinny jeans" program needs to include cardio to promote weight loss and general conditioning, plus resistance training to tone and build muscle.

If you want to do your own skinny jeans workout, he offers this advice:

  • Lunges and squats are good resistance exercises (done with or without weights) for toning the lower body.
  • The real skinny on looking great in skinny jeans, he says, is to include cardio exercises that work your lower extremities (like running or cycling) to burn calories and tone muscles overall. Try for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise three to five times a week.
  • If you incorporate cycling or spinning, don’t mash heavy gears. That can build more muscle than you might want and even harm your knees, he says.
  • Don’t overdo running steps and hills, as they may build muscle and may not be the best for getting you into those skinny jeans (although they’re great for overall fitness).
  • Ellipticals and steppers can target the glutes, but as with lunges and squats, it’s important to use correct technique (see below).

The Right Way to Do Butt Exercises

Comana says that women tend to rely on their quads (thigh muscles) more than their glutes, hamstrings, and calves during certain stepping, squatting, and jump-landing movements. There are several mechanical reasons for this, he explains, including the structure of the knee joint, hormone levels, and motor skill development.

He says you can teach yourself to target the glutes better during squats by holding a wooden dowel against your back and making contact with your head, spine, and sacrum (it’s a little awkward, but you’ll get the feel of it). Then, maintain contact at all three points while you do your squat. Think of pushing your butt backward, rather than driving your knees downward and forward. Once you get the feel of this, try the same motion to adjust your stepping or climbing position.

Goldenthal says that targeting the glutes is important for a shapely rear. "You need something in those skinny jeans," she says. "You need a little junk in the trunk!"

But what’s the point of having the perfect butt if you’ve got a "muffin top," or your arms are saggy? It’s not just about the butt and thighs, she says. "It’s about looking good and feeling good in your clothes."

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Reviewed on October 22, 2009

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