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Lower Body Circuit Workouts

For effective toning of your lower body, consider adopting a circuit workout. Circuit training workouts typically consist of five or more exercises strung together with little rest in between. Upon completion of the circuit, a break is taken, and the circuit begins again. Targeted exercises that work lower body muscle groups will shape, define and strengthen your abs, hips, glutes and legs.

Sumo sit-downs work the glutes and inner thighs and are performed with a chair. Stand with your back to the chair, feet hip-width apart and hands in front of your chest. In a fast motion, jump in the air backward, widen your legs and land with your toes pointing out and your thighs straddling the chair. Slowly lower your body until the backs of your thighs lightly touch the chair, jump back to the starting position and repeat 15 to 20 times.

Lunges work the glutes and the quadriceps and hamstrings on the front and back of the thighs. Take a step forward with your right foot and lower yourself down by bending your knee. Stop when your thigh parallels the floor -- do not let your opposite knee touch the floor -- stand back up and step back with your right foot. Slowly lower yourself again, repeat for 10 reps and switch sides.

Leg lifts on an exercise ball target the glutes. This exercise is done from a face-down position with your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor, tops of your feet on the ball and legs together. Keeping your back, arms and legs straight, roll the ball toward your head and push your hips in the air so your body forms an angle. Carefully lift your right leg high in the air, squeeze your glutes and lower it back down. Repeat with your left leg and continue alternating for 15 to 20 repetitions.

Prone leg lifts work the glutes and hamstrings and are done from a face-down position. Lift your right leg in the air approximately 6 inches and squeeze your hamstrings forcefully. Slowly lower your leg and repeat with your left leg. Alternate back and forth for 15 to 20 repetitions.

Star jumps work your entire lower body explosively. Stand with your feet together, bend down into a squat and place your chest on top of your thighs and your hands right in front of your ankles. In a fast motion, jump in the air as high as possible while spreading your arms and legs out into an "X" shape. Land with your feet together and repeat 15 to 20 times.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.