Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Workout Wednesday

I used to share some easy at home workouts on here pretty frequently, but have gotten away from it in recent months, which is ironic because I'm working out more now than I have in quite some time. I have intentions of sharing my weekly workouts as well in case anyone is looking for a plan to follow. I try to change things up pretty regularly to keep my body guessing. And just as an FYI, I've held Personal Training certifications from ACE, NCSF, the YMCA and group exercise certifications, so I am qualified to share in case that's ever a concern, but like with every other physical activity, if you have certain limitations, or are new, you may want to consult a physician to get a physical before starting in any program. And always remember, any activity is better than no activity. 

The workout I'm sharing today is an at home Leg Day workout. A quick Google or Youtube search of the exercise names will show you how to execute and I will do my best to include clear explanations as well. This workout is to be performed as a circuit, so as soon as you finish one move, immediately move on to the next one, etc. Once you've completed the entire list, start back at the beginning until you've done every exercise three times total. 


Breaking down each move...

Leg Bridges: Lying flay on your back, place your feet flat on the floor so that your knees are bent and heels are close to your glutes. Raise your hips to the ceiling and slowly return to the start position. For single leg bridges, cross your non working ankle over your working knee, raise hips towards ceiling and slowly lower to start position. 

Kneeling Glute Kickbacks: Get on the floor on hands and knees. One leg at a time and with a flexed foot, press through your heel straight up towards the ceiling. Note that the range of motion on this move is fairly small, maybe a few inches. You can lower your leg back to the ground between each rep, however, keeping your leg up the entire time and your range of motion small will keep your glutes and hamstrings engaged and working the entire time. 

Side Plank Leg Lifts: Assume a side plank position. To modify, lower your bottom leg's knee to the ground while keeping your top leg straight. If you don't need the modification, keep both legs stacked and straight, pulled forward slightly so that you can see your feet when you look down. Keep your hip raised off the ground the entire time. Top leg only will lift slowly up with a flexed foot and lower back to start position. 

Jump Lunges: These are a more advanced move and can simply be replaced with stationary lunges if needed. For jump lunges, start in a lunge position with either leg in front you wish to start with. Jump as high as you can, driving off through your toes, then switch your legs in the air so that your other leg is now in front when you land back in the lunge position. 

Lunge Driver Jumps:  Another more advanced move here that requires a lot of balance. I really love these. Start with either leg you wish in front in the lunge position and this leg will stay in front for all 10 reps, before you switch to the other leg for ten reps. For the driver jumps, lower into the lunge position (front knee never goes forward of your toes. If you look down when lunging, you should still be able to see your big toe). As you drive off the ground through your front toe to jump, your back knee will drive up into a high knee position and you will land back in your starting position. These happen fast, so I hope that explanation made sense. To modify this move, you can just do a lunge, then when you stand, raise your back knee up before returning to start position. 

Lean Backs: These will target your quads and hamstrings a bit as well. You kneel, bringing your heels together behind you with your knees about hip width apart. You want to keep a straight line from your head down through your hips as you lean back slowly, then slowly return to the starting position. It's important that you don't drop your hips here. Your glutes should never be near your heels in this move. 

Squat Jumps: These are exactly what they sound like. Start with your feet hip width apart, Lower into a squat position making sure that your knees stay behind your toes at the bottom of the move. Think about dropping your hind end towards the ground. From that squat position, simply jump striaght up, then land back in the squat position. 

Single Leg Toe Touches: Think of these like a single leg deadlift, just without weight. You can always add dumbbells to this move or a kettlebell if you want to up the intensity a bit. You want your standing leg to be soft, in other words, your knee is slightly bent. If you stand on your right leg to start, hold your right arm out in a T straight to your side. Your left arm will reach for your toes as you slowly bend forward, raising your left leg straight behind you. 

 
 Calf Raises: Stand on a step so that the balls of you feet are on the step, but your heels are hanging off. Raise up to your tippy toes, then slowly lower back down. 

The biggest things with most of these moves is to perform them in a slow and controlled manner. With the exception of the jumping and explosive moves, you can make them more difficult by holding a pair of dumbbells for added resistance. Let me know if anything doesn't make sense!

And finally, but more importantly today, Happy Veterans Day to all those who have served and are serving in our military. Y'all are what makes this country great. 


 



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