Workout 46: Legs & Abs
1. Leg Press
- 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.
- 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.
- Slowly lower the platform until your thighs and calves create a 90° angle.
- Drive the heels of your feet into the platform and press up using your quadriceps.
- When complete, ensure to lock the safety pins properly and lock the safety bars.
2. Split Squat
- You can do this exercise either with a barbell on your back, or holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- Position yourself into a staggered stance with one foot in front of the other. Keep your stance comfortably wide.
- Begin by descending, flexing your knee and hip to lower your body down. Maintain good posture throughout the movement. Keep the front knee in line with the foot as you perform the exercise.
- At the bottom of the movement, drive through the heel to extend the knee and hip to return to the starting position.
- 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.
- 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 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).
- 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.
4. Calf Raise
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.
- 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 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.
- While flexing your calves, push through the balls of your feet to raise your heels. 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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
- Lie straight on your back with your legs together and your arms together, straight above your head.
- In one motion, raise your legs off the floor while keeping them straight. Also raise your torso and hands to meet your legs in the middle of your body.
4. In and Out
- Stand straight up with your feet shoulder-width apart and holding dumbbells.
- Jump into a wide squat position and touch the floor (or close to the floor) with one arm extended towards the floor.
- Jump your feet back together in a straight, standing position.
- Jump immediately back into a wide squat position and touch the floor with opposite hand.
- Keep alternating arms back and forth.
*Try to keep your chest lifted while you do this.