The Easy 4-Step Exercise That Works Your Legs, Glutes, and Core

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“The best exercise for great-looking legs is the squat-into-calf-raise,” says Fairfax personal trainer Lynne Maloney. “This move hits every major muscle in your legs and glutes and even activates your core muscles.”

Step 1

Stand with your feet about hip width apart and your kneecaps aligned over your second and third toes. If you like, hold a five-to-eight-pound dumbbell in each hand for added resistance. Keep arms down by your sides if you’re holding dumbbells; otherwise, arms can come up to chest level and palms can come together.

Step 2

Keep your abs tight, shoulders back, and chest high as you sit back as if sitting into a chair. Make sure you aren’t leaning too far forward and that your knees don’t extend past your shoelaces.

Step 3

As you come back up to standing, think about pushing down into the ground through your heels, a move that will really engage your butt. Continue straightening your legs so you’re up on the balls of your feet and squeezing your calf muscles.

Step 4

Lower down again slowly and repeat for 15 reps. This should be a slow, fluid movement. Rest for 30 seconds, then do another 15.

Jennifer Barger ( is a freelance style writer and personal shopper.

This article appears in our April 2016 issue of Washingtonian.