This is another post in our series of Fitness Saturday exercises—workouts appropriate to women in the second half of life. Personal trainer Brooke Marrone, president and founder of Brooke Marrone Fitness, in New York City, is our fitness guru.


Resistance exercises are a key factor in building the foundation for a strong, healthy, and balanced body. Resistance training—also known as strength training—can be performed with weight machines, free weights, exercise bands, and even your own body weight. This type of training works to increase the strength and mass of muscles and to improve bone strength and metabolism. It’s also a great way to increase your high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol), reduce body fat, increase balance and agility, and prevent injuries. This week’s exercise, the Side-Lying Leg Lift, is one of my favorite go-to moves; it was recently named one of the very best thigh-toning exercises by the American Council on Exercise. 

  1. Lie on your side with you legs out at a 45-degree angle and keeping them straight. Keep you head rested on your bottom arm and your upper hand in front of your body for support.
  1. Keep your hips stacked, legs straight, and feet flexed, and engage your core. Lift your top leg up a few inches higher than your hip and bring your leg almost all the way back down and repeat. (Make sure you toes are always pointing slightly down toward the floor—never up).
  1. Keep your body stable as you move your leg up and down from your hip. Your hand should remain on the floor in front of your body and your weight slightly rotated forward.
  1. Do 2 sets of 25 on each leg.

Beginners: Start with 2 sets of 15.

Advanced: End each set with 20 little pulses at the top and/or use a resistance band around your thighs to increase difficulty.

Muscles worked: Hips, buttocks, and outer thigh (aka saddlebags).



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