Workout 21: Legs & Abs 

Leg Exercises

1.Deadlift

  1. Stand upright with the barbell centered over your feet. Keep your feet hip-width apart and your toes slightly pointed outward. Hinge at your hips and use an overhand grip to grasp the bar at shoulder-width so that your shoulder blades can elongate.
  2. 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. 
  3. After the bar passes your knees, pull it upward as you raise your chest and, thus, straightening your back. 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).
  4. 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.

2.Barbell Squat

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. While keeping your torso upright, drive your heels into the ground to push yourself back up.

3. Hip Thrust

  1. Using a barbell or heavy dumbbell, select an amount of weight you’re comfortable with. 
  2. Place your body under the barbell or put the dumbbell on the upper part of your thighs, using a bench to support your back, neck, and head behind you.
  3. Keep your feet on the floor and directly under your knees so that when you extend, you’ll make a 90-degree angle. 
  4. Using your glute muscles, raise the barbell up from the floor.r primarily using your glute muscles. 
  5. Repeat the motion until the set is complete.  

*It is VERY important to focus on contracting your glute muscles throughout this movement - make use of the mind-muscle connection! If you need to, slightly move your feet to see if you can get your glutes to fire. 

*Make sure to maximize the full range of motion, going all the way up with your hips before coming back down slowly!

*If you’re unsure what weight you’re comfortable with, start off with something very light and see how it feels. Add to it until you find that comfortable but difficult weight level

*You can use a pad or a towel under the bar for comfort.


4.Leg Press

  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 90° 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.

Ab Exercises

1. Kneeling Cable Crunch 

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 90° 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.

2.Standing Oblique Cable Crunch

  1. Start off standing with your side next to a high pulley cable machine with a grip attachment connected to the machine.
  2. Grasp the handle with one of your hands, with your feet shoulder width apart and the other arm rested at your side.
  3. Slowly pull down with the arm grasping the cable with your obliques until you feel a stretch in your abs.
  4. Return back to the starting position and repeat. Only when you’re done with one side, move to the opposite side. 
  5. Repeat! 

3. Hanging Leg Lift 

  1. 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.
  2. Raise your legs until the torso makes a 90-degree angle with the legs. Hold for 0.5-1 seconds. 
  3. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

4.Russian Twist

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Twist your torso to the right side until your arms are parallel with the floor while breathing out.
  4. 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.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.