Workout 14: Legs & Abs


Leg Exercises

  1. Using the leg press machine, sit down with your back and head against the padded support and place your feet on the footplate. Your feet should be approximately shoulder width apart and aligned with your hips.
  2. Unlock the safety bars holding the platform and press the platform all the way up until your legs are fully extended without locking your knees. Grasp the handles during the movement.
  3. Slowly lower the platform until your thighs and calves create a 90Β° angle.
  4. Drive the heels of your feet into the platform and press up using your quadriceps.
  5. When complete, ensure to lock the safety pins properly and lock the safety bars.
  1. Place the back of your torso against the pad of the machine and position your shoulders under the shoulder pads.
  2. Place your feet at shoulder width apart with your toes slightly pointed out. Extend your legs, place your hands on the side handles, and unlock the safety handles. Make sure your back remains on the pad at all times.
  3. Slowly begin to lower the unit by bending your knees. Keep your head up and maintain straight posture. Continue to lower the weight until you create a 90Β° angle, or slightly less, between your thighs and calves. Your knees should not move beyond your toes.
  4. Lift the weight by driving your heels into the floor as you straighten your legs again.
Caution: This movement requires a great deal of balance so if you lack balance or are suffering from an injury that affects your balance, use your own bodyweight without while holding onto a fixed object.
  1. Stand with your torso upright and hold one dumbbell in each hand at arm's length.
  2. Step forward with your right foot (about 2 feet or so) as you lower your body down and squat through your hips. Make sure that your left foot remains stationary and that you are maintaining your balance. Do not allow your right knee to move beyond your toes as you come down. Keep your front shin perpendicular to the ground.
  3. Using mainly the heel of your foot, drive yourself back up to the starting position.
  4. Repeat the movement for your left leg.
  1. Sit on the machine with your back against the pad. Adjust the leg pad so it rests against your ankles.
  2. Secure the lap pad against your thighs, right above your knees. Grasp the handles on the machine to assist you in pointing your toes straight (flexing your feet).
  3. Grasp the handles for support and flex your knees as you curl the weight back as far as possible toward the back of your thighs. Keep your torso stationary at all times and squeeze your hamstrings once you have moved the weight as far back as you can.
  4. After a second, slowly return the weight to the starting position.
Caution: If you suffer from lower back problems, a better exercise would be the calf press. With this exercise your back has to support the weight being lifted. Additionally, your back needs to be straight and still at all times. If you round your back, this can cause a lower back injury.
  1. Start by adjusting the padded lever to fit your height on the standing calf raise machine.
  2. Place your shoulders under the pads and position your toes forward with your feet at shoulder width apart. The balls of your feet should be on top of the calf block and your heels should be extending off the end.
  3. Push the weight up by extending your knees until you’re standing erect. Your knees should have a slight bend and never be fully locked.
  4. Push through the balls of your feet to raise your heels while flexing your calves. There should be no bending in your knees at any time. Hold for a second before you begin to return back down.
  5. Slowly lower your heels and the weight as you bend your ankles until you feel a stretch in your calves.

Abs Exercises

Caution: Do not choose a weight that is too heavy. This can result in straining your lower back.
  1. Find a cable station and attach a rope handle to the top pulley. Grasp the rope attachment at each end, and kneel down so your knees are bent at a 90Β° angle.
  2. Your arms should be stretched over your head. Your palms should be facing each other when holding the rope and your hands should be placed next to your face.
  3. Slightly flex your hips forward. There should be tension on the cable, and you should feel a stretch in your abs. 

  4. Keep your hips stationary, contract your abs, and crunch your chest towards your hips until your head is between your knees. Your elbows should be approaching the middle of your thighs. After reaching this point, hold the contraction for a second.
  5. Slowly reverse back to the starting position. Keep as much tension in your abs during this whole movement.
  1. Lie with your back flat on the floor (or on a bench) with your legs extended in front of you.
  2. Place your hands to your sides with your palms facing down. To keep your hands down for support, you can place them under your glutes.
  3. Keep your legs fully extended and as straight as possible (it’s okay if your knees slightly bend). Hold the contraction at the top for a second.
  4. Slowly lower your legs back down to the starting position. Plank
  1. Lie on your back with your arms and legs stretched out into an β€œX” position.
  2. In one movement, bring one arm straight up across your body while simultaneously lifting your opposing leg and lifting your head.
  3. Attempt to touch one arm to your opposite ankle, or try to come as close as you can.
  4. Alternate sides.
  1. Place your forearms on the ground with your elbows aligned beneath your shoulders. Keep your arms parallel to your body at about shoulder width distance. (You should be in a push-up position, only on your forearms rather than your hands).
  2. Ground your toes into the floor and squeeze your glutes to stabilize your body. Be careful to not to lock or hyperextend your knees.
  3. Neutralize your neck and spine by looking at a spot on the floor about a foot in front of your hands. Your head should be in line with your back. Contract your abdominals to keep yourself up and prevent your booty from sticking up.
  4. Keep your back flat and hold the position for as long as possible without compromising form.