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4 Underrated Workout Moves You Should Be Doing More Often

They are incredibly powerful.

Fitness trends come and go, but certain workout moves will always be considered classics for one big reason: They work.

These powerful exercises can tighten and tone without any fancy equipment, nuanced expertise or gym membership required. 

Leg Raises (for abs) 

As trainer Ngo Okafor explains in the above video, there's no reason to overcomplicate your ab workout. Just stick to the basics -- and make sure you keep proper form. "A common mistake people make is kicking their legs up and holding their breath," he warns. "Breathe. Keep your back flat. Lock the legs out, and bring the legs up."

The Row (for your back)

We tend to do more pushing than pulling in our daily lives, says trainer Cece Marizu, so do this move to help restore some of that balance. Bend slightly at the hips, keep a neutral spine ("Pretend you're Super-Man or -Woman… keep your chest open," Cece instructs) and squeeze your shoulder blades together and bring your elbows to the ceiling while holding small weights. 

Upward Plank Pose (for shoulders, hips and core)

Planks tends to be popular, but many people don't think of doing their planks like this. As yoga teacher Diana Zotos Florio explains, the upward plank is incredibly beneficial for those with desk jobs, especially. "It opens up the part of the body which gets tight from sitting all day," she says. The key with this move is to keep proper form -- watch Zotos Florio's demonstration in the clip to perfect this plank.

Side Leg Extension (for outer hips)

Working the fronts and backs of your legs are easy, says barre instructor Kara Liotta, because we have big muscles there. What we don't often do is move sideways and work our outer hips. So, stand on a large workout band, then lift and extend one leg to the side in several small pulses, working against the band's resistance. "Try not to lean away from the leg," Kara adds. "Also, try not to let your toes turn out or in."

 

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