Side-lying leg lifts strengthen and tone hip abductors, the hip and leg muscles that move the legs sideways.
For this exercise, you need two ankle weights of equal weight. Use very light weights until you become familiar with the exercise.
Place an ankle weight on each ankle. Lie on your left side with your toes pointing forward. The right leg, your top leg, is straight and the left leg is slightly bent. Rest your head on your upper left arm, and place your right hand on the floor in front of your chest, for support.
Keeping your abdominal muscles firm and hips and shoulder square to the floor, lift your right leg straight up a few inches to hip height. Raise the leg without rolling forward or backward. Hold for three seconds, then slowly lower the leg. Complete 8 to 10 repetitions. Turn over and repeat, raising the left leg.
When you are comfortable with the exercise, gradually increase the ankle weight until you can do 8 to 10 repetitions using proper form. Once you can achieve 12 or more repetitions, increase the weight to bring you back to the 8-to-10-repetition target zone.