Ready for a lower body workout that will test your muscles? Remember, the majority of your large muscles are located in your lower body and working them really burns some major calories! Plus, working these muscles in a functional way, will help you in daily activities like squatting to pick something heavy up, any lifting and twisting action, pulling weeds (hello hamstrings!), even just getting out of a chair. So lets get going!
AFTER WARMING UP (see warm-up post):
1. Wall Squat - 12-15 reps - 2 sets --- Grab a large Swiss ball, (also known as an exercise ball, stability ball, etc.) and place it between you and a sturdy wall. Place it on the lower part of your back. Feet shoulder width apart, hands straight out in front of you, or if you want a little bit more of a workout, grab some dumbbells and hold them to your side. Make sure the dumbbells are on the heavier side like 10 lbs or more. Squat down making sure your knees are not over your toes, with weight on your heels of your feet.
2. Standing Calf Raises - 20 reps- 2 sets --- Grab a set of heavier dumbbells and stand tall. If you have a platform that you can stand on and let your heels hang off of that would be even better to use. Raise up onto your toes as far as you can go and lower down as far as you can off the platform edge or if you are on the ground, back to the ground. Continue to lift and lower and you will feel a burn in your calves!
3. Alternating Legs, Reverse Lunge - 15 each leg - 2 sets --- Stand with feet together and take one step backward with one of your legs and drop down into a lunge. Make sure your front knee is over your ankle and not your toes. You should feel your muscles in your front leg working. Your back leg is there just so you don't fall over! Use the front leg to stand up and bring that back leg back into standing position. Reverse legs and repeat on the other side.
4. Hamstring Roll Outs - 12-15 reps - 2 sets --- Grab a stability ball and lie on your back on a mat. Make sure the ball is also on the mat so it doesn't slip out from under you. Place the stability ball under your heels (heels on the top of the stability ball with legs stretched out). Lift your pelvis off the floor and hold up. Tighten your hamstrings, and roll the ball toward your butt. Roll back out without lowering your hips. Continue to do this for 12-15 reps.
5. Adductor Squeeze - 15 reps with hold - 2 sets --- Keep that stability ball! Lying on your back, put the stability ball between your legs between your knees and ankles and squeeze to hold in place. Lift your legs up trying to keep your legs as straight as you can. Squeeze the ball and release. Don't let the ball drop!! Repeat for 15 reps, and after 15 hold in a squeeze for 10 seconds.
Remember, this is not a full body workout, just a short lower routine. In a different post, I will add some upper body exercises that we can add to these to make it a full body workout. And there are a bazillion different exercises you can do if you are focusing on lower body... Do some research on the links I provided on the home page (ACE, IDEA, Oxygen, etc.). They are loaded with information and details on how to do the moves properly! Now get going!!