Abs, Thighs & Glutes: On the Mat- Low Impact, No Equipment Home Workout

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Hello Everyone,

Welcome to today’s workout. This workout routine is primarily focused on the core, but also incorporates some amazing moves that will activate the muscles of your glutes, inner and outer thighs, and hamstrings.

I love multi-functional, compound exercises that maximize a workout. I went through today’s workout twice. It was a great burn and challenge. You can repeat it up to three times.

I included some exercises to really focus on strengthening the core from the inside out. In the Hip Tilt to Leg Press exercise focus on using the deep core muscles to pull the hip bones toward the low ribs. It’s a small movement, but it is powerfully effective for activating those deep core muscles. If the leg extension is too intense during this movement you can repeat the hip tilt for the full 50-seconds. There is always a way to modify a movement.

Modifications, shaking muscles, sweating, getting out of breath…none of those are bad things. Often people get embarrassed and start shaming/berating themselves over those moments in a workout. You are showing up, challenging yourself and teaching your mind and body how competent you are at doing difficult things. Working hard and having the ability to challenge yourself and move outside of your comfort zone is something you should be proud of.

Hip Tilt Leg Press

How to Measure Fitness Progress

Measuring progress in a fitness program can be very motivating or very demoralizing. Deciding how you want to measure your progress requires taking a good look at what motivates you, and what thoughts or habits eventually become a hurdle to your progress.

For example, a weight loss goal might be motivating when you see the scale move and demoralizing when the number plateaus or moves upward.

As a trainer, I feel most successful when the people I train measure their progress based on what they have gained, instead of what they have lost.

For example, it’s powerful to hear someone say that they no longer have daily back pain, or they now have the energy to participate in physical activities that they weren’t able to participate in before. When someone changes a goal from focusing on number of inches lost to number of push-ups completed in a minute I internally do a little happy dance. The mental shift that happens when you focus on what your body is capable of vs what you want to change about your body is powerful. I don’t care what the number on the scale is, what your BMI is, how many reps you can do, you are worth loving as you are right now.

What are you capable of right now? If you find yourself in a cycle of self berating, take a moment to answer that question. Then follow it up with: what do you want to be able to do? This is where goal making can be a powerful tool. I want to be able to run a 5K any time I want. I want to have the energy to play with my kids. I want my body to be pain free and strong well into old age. Whatever your goals are they should be meaningful to you. My goals are part of the reason that I train consistently. They are lifelong goals that help me to prioritize physical health because it impacts my ability to participate in everything else in my life.

While weight loss can be part of making healthy changes for some people, it’s more important to look at the whole picture. What functional changes are happening as a result of the healthy decisions you are making?

So, what are your goals? I would love to hear them in the comments.


You can find me on Social Media: @BenderFitness and on Facebook: @MelissaBenderFitness Pinterest: Pinterest.com/BenderFitness

If you want to help support BenderFitness so we can keep bringing you new workouts, your donation is greatly appreciated: https://www.patreon.com/BenderFitness

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  1. Knee Drop Plank
  2. Hip Tilt to Leg Press
  3. Superman
  4. Elbow Tap Side Plank: Right
  5. Elbow Tap Side Plank: Left
  6. Angel Abs
  7. Beast Reach/Rib Hug
  8. Side Scissor: Right
  9. Side Scissor: Left
  10. Crab Crunch: Right
  11. Crab Crunch: Left
  12. Kneeling Hip Lift: Right
  13. Kneeling Hip Lift: Left
  14. Knee to Elbow Hydrant: Right
  15. Knee to Elbow Hydrant: Left

12 thoughts on “Abs, Thighs & Glutes: On the Mat- Low Impact, No Equipment Home Workout

  1. Jennifer

    Beast reach plus rib hug was awesome! I loved the very simple and subtle movement but I really felt my body work. Thanks so much for the low impact workout, they really help this old gal! I love the real time video, it’s great to workout alongside you. And seeing the timer was helpful for me to keep pushing.

  2. Katherine

    I’ve been following your workouts for almost a decade and have transitioned into motherhood as well. I appreciate the low impact and all the new moves. Thank you for keeping me inspired!

  3. Erin J

    Thank you, this was a great workout! I love it when I’m pleasantly surprised by Low impact workouts and how much they still kick my butt! I went through 2x and I was a sweaty mess! I enjoy low impact because it reminds to me pay attention to form. My two challenging yet favorite moves were back to back, crab crunch & kneeling hip lift. I am going to bookmark this one definitely enjoyed it!

  4. Leah

    Melissa, I worked out with you daily so many years ago when you were first beginning! Then, I had four kids in four years and worked out less and less after each child. My youngest is turning three this month. Life is definitely getting easier and I don’t have any more excuses! I started doing some of your workouts again last week. I’m so sore haha! It’s hard not to get discouraged when one round is SO hard for me now, and I use to do that same workout 2-3 times and follow it with a run! But, I’ve got to start somewhere and praying I stick with it this time! Thank you for sticking to your commitment to providing free and awesome workouts for all these years!

    • benderfitness

      Welcome back! I used to get in multiple rounds plus a run as well, but with young kiddos it’s normally 1-2 rounds and not much time left for running these days. It will get easier and it sounds like you’ve decided to stick with it. That determination is the key factor.

    • Abbie

      Oh my good I’m in the same boat with four kids youngest being 2. It is so discouraging when you know what you could once do! I’ve just started back on Melissa’s workouts this week.

      Keep at it it will be worth it! Preaching to myself too!

  5. Alex

    Thank you for another awesome workout! It was challenging enough for me, as I’m getting over a cold and didn’t feel like jumping around as I’m still recovering.
    Thank you for keeping me in shape, Melissa!

  6. Anonymous

    Really liked this one! I don’t think I’ve done it before and paired it with a walk/jog… You are motivating and I appreciated the encouragement! I am stronger and have less hip/back discomfort due to strengthening core and glutes specifically. You always have the perfect workout to suit my needs on any given day! Thank you! Oh, and I really liked the hip tilt (2nd exercise) to really think about controlling movements.

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