I talk about this frequently, but I like to repeat myself. Exercising EVERY aspect of the body is important. Yes, the core, legs, arms, back…all of it. This is because if we skip muscle groups or movements, it increases our chances of getting injured. This is because strengthening only SOME of the muscles pulls more in one direction at the joint. The more we strengthen the same muscle, without strengthening the opposing one, the more likely we are to injure a muscle/ligament because the joint is compromised. So make sure you are doing exercises/movements in ALL directions/planes of movement! Now lets dive into this weeks no equipment leg workout!
TRI-SETS — 3 sets of each–YOU NEED A CHAIR!
• 10(e) lunge with front foot elevation
• 20 Elevated bridges
• :30 wall sit
• 10 step up hops
• 20 ¾ squat pulse
• :30 SL burpees
• 10 kneel-standing
• 20 heel tap jump squats
• :30 SL side/side hops
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Form: Find yourself a chair or something you can elevate your front foot on..could be a step, table etc. Place your front foot on it and make sure you have a wide stance. Slowly drop down into a lunge and leaning into that front heel and then push back to straighten both legs! You want to make sure you are coming forward at the front foot, but also bending both knees! This is going to burn the fronts of your legs!
Modifications: You can also do these from the floor with no elevation, otherwise just decreasing the elevation will make it easier as well! Adding a set of dumbbells can really ramp up this movement!
Form: Again, you need something you can prop those feet up on! Laying flat on your back and your feet elevated, drive into your HEELS as you pick your butt up, squeeze those glutes at the top, and release back down! It is important that you really engage your glutes at the top. You want to make sure your feet are about shoulder width apart. Driving into those heels is going to firing both your hamstrings and your glutes!
Modifications: Just a hip bridge on the floor is a great place to start for this movement! If you find that is too easy, the elevating of the feet (as shown here) is your next step! Keeping things moving, using one leg is going to make things more challenging for you, or placing some dumbbells on your hips for some extra resistance!
Form: Find a wall, sit against it. haha. But really, you want your feet out far enough that your hips and knees are both at 90 degrees! Make sure you press that low back into the wall and the weight is in your heels NOT in your toes!
Modifications: The lower you go, the harder it is going to be! So just decreasing your range of motion here is going to make things easier for you! Harder versions include using only 1 leg, adding weights, or adding a march!
Form: This is definitely an advanced move and should only be done if you are really ready! First of all, make sure your chair or table is secure so you know it is not going to slip away from you! The best option for this exercise is probably something anchored or a step! You want to place one foot on top and act as though you are doing a step up, except when you get to the top (instead of just stepping back down) add a small hop! Keep your core tight and make sure you land soft with your knee tracking in the forward motion!
Modifications: Omit the jump and just do a step up! You can also just add a small heel raise so that you are not fully jumping, but makes it more difficult than just a step up! Increasing the height of your step/chair is what will make things more difficult for you here.
Form: In a squat stance, you are going to do pulsing squats. BUT, do not come all the way out of it. This means you are just pulsing for the repetitions instead of fully coming out and engaging the glutes. This increases time under tension for the muscle and fatigues it faster (yay!).
Modifications: No modification for this movement. Just come out of the pulse if the burn is too much and then go right back into it! Adding a weight in your hands and holding it between your legs is going to increase the difficulty of this movement!
Form: WHEW, these are tricky! This movement is basically just a burpee, from hell. haha. As always for a burpee, you want to keep your core tight, make sure your wrists are under your shoulders, and make sure you jump those legs all the way back into a full extension plank. But, instead of using both legs, you are only using one. This means one foot jumps out and in and stands you up before switching feet!
Modifications: Easier versions is just a regular burpee, or simply just stepping those feet back into a high plank and back in instead of jumping. And, I don’t think you need to make this movement any more difficult!
Form: Super simple concept here, but difficult to perform for an extended period of time. First of all, this is simply just kneeling down and standing up. But, you want to make sure you do NOT use your hands to push up on your leg, you do not want your toes curled under to help you stand, and you want to make sure your core is tight and you have a solid base. You simply just kneel down (on a mat or carpet preferably) and then stand up. When standing, make sure you have your foot far enough in front of you that you can drive into your HEEL when standing up!
Modifications: There really isn’y an easier version of this, so just take your time. If you do not feel comfortable, you can simply just do some air squats instead. To make this movement harder you can jump up from the kneeling position onto two feet rather than stepping one at a time.
Form: Squat jumps, but better! Instead of just jumping straight up and down in your jump squats, at a heel tap when you are in the air! This is going to fire those outer/inner thigh muscles for an extra burn! Again, make sure your core is tight and you are landing softly with your knees bent!
Modifications: Instead of jumping, you can simply just squat and then tap the right foot in and the left foot in. To make things harder you can hold a dumbbell (or two) while doing these, but be careful as to not go too heavy!
Form: This movement is sneaky! It is not hard, it just causes a great deal of BURN in those legs..just what I am after! Pretend as though there is a rope on the floor and you are trying to jump over it! Always landing with a soft knee, and preferably on your toe so that you can protect your knee.
Modifications: Instead of jumping side to side, just rise up onto your toe and come back down. You can even do double leg hops over the “rope” if you feel comfortable! To make things harder, just try to jump FURTHER and increase that stride!
Check out my previous leg day blog here for a good warm up and cool down!
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