Workout 64: Legs & Abs
- Stand upright with the barbell centered over your feet. Keep your feet hip width apart and your toes slightly pointed out. Hinge at your hips and use an overhand grip to grasp the bar at shoulder width so that your shoulder blades can elongate.
- Lower your hips and bend your knees until your shins come into contact with the bar. Look forward while keeping your chest up and your back arched. Drive through your heels to lift the weight upward.
- After the bar passes your knees, pull it back as you straighten your back by raising your chest. You should be pulling your shoulder blades together as you drive your hips forward into the bar. Make sure that you lock your hips and knees, move your booty back, and fire your glutes as you stand up with the bar (this movement comes from your hips, not your knees).
- Unlock your hips and knees so that you can lower the bar by hinging your hips back down. Bend your knees after the bar passes them and use your hips to guide the bar to the ground. The bar should land centered over your feet at the starting position.
- Find a squat rack and set the height of the bar slightly beneath your shoulders. Stand with your feet at about hip width apart. Step up to the bar, move under it, and grip it with an overhand grip. The barbell should be supported on top of your traps.
- Your chest should be up and your head facing forward. Once the bar is on your back, stand up, flex your core, tighten your glutes, and step away from the rack.
- Begin squatting by lowering yourself until your legs reach a 90° angle and your thighs are parallel to the ground. Your knees will move forward, but ensure that they stay aligned with your feet.
- While keeping your torso upright, drive your heels into the ground to push yourself back up.
- Stand with your torso upright and hold one dumbbell in each hand at arm's length.
- 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.
- Using mainly the heel of your foot, drive yourself back up to the starting position.
- Repeat the movement for your left leg.
- Sit on the machine with your back against the pad. Adjust the leg pad so it rests against your ankles.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- Slowly lower your heels and the weight as you bend your ankles until you feel a stretch in your calves.
- Start by adjusting the padded lever to fit your height on the standing calf raise machine.
- 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.
- 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.
- After a second, slowly return the weight to the starting position.
1. Kneeling Cable Crunch
Caution: Do not choose a weight that is too heavy. This can result in straining your lower back.
- 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 90° angle.
- 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.
- Slightly flex your hips forward. There should be tension on the cable, and you should feel a stretch in your abs.
- 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.
- Slowly reverse back to the starting position. Keep as much tension in your abs during this whole movement.
2. Hanging Leg Lift
- Hang from a chin-up bar with both arms extended at arms length in top of you using either a wide grip or a medium grip. The legs should be straight down with the pelvis rolled slightly backwards. This will be your starting position.
- Raise your legs until the torso makes a 90-degree angle with the legs. Hold for 0.5-1 seconds.
- Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
3. Russian Twist
- Lie down on the floor placing your feet either under something that will not move or by having a partner hold them. Your legs should be bent at the knees.
- Elevate your upper body so that it creates an imaginary V-shape with your thighs. Your arms should be fully extended in front of you, perpendicular to your torso and with the hands clasped. This is the starting position.
- Twist your torso to the right side until your arms are parallel with the floor while breathing out.
- Hold the contraction for a second and exhale, moving back to the starting position. Now, move to the opposite side, performing the same techniques you applied to the right side.
- Repeat for 10-20 reps per side.
- Position yourself face-down on the ground and place your hands shoulder width apart. Keeping your back as straight as possible, push your body off the ground, through your hands.
- Inhale as you lower yourself downward, until your chest nearly touches the ground.
- Exhale and press your upper body back up to the starting position while squeezing your chest, arms, and abdominal muscles.