Workout 19: Legs

1. Bodyweight Deadlift
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Soften your knees and shift your weight to your left leg. 
  2. In a controlled movement, drive your right leg behind you, hinging at the waist. Extend your left arm directly out to the side and your right arm down toward the toes on your left foot. 
  3. Continue tilting downward, driving your right heel back and your right hand fingertips toward your toes, until your torso is nearly parallel to the ground.
  4. Lift yourself up to starting position and repeat on the opposite side. This is one rep.

 


2. Squat
  1. Stand upright with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart and your toes turned slightly out. If you can, engage your abdominal muscles and broaden your chest by gently pulling your shoulder blades in toward each other.
  2. Bend your knees slowly, pushing your glutes and hips out and down behind you as if you’re sitting down on a chair. Keep your head and shoulders aligned with your knees and your knees aligned with your ankles. 
  3. Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Keep your knees alined with your toes (without surpassing them) as you lower yourself as straight down as possible. You can raise your arms up and in front of you (no higher than parallel to the ground) as you lower your body.
  4. Straighten your legs to come up and squeeze your glutes as you approach the starting position. 

 

3. Glute Bridge
  1. Position yourself with your back the ground, knees bent and feet on the floor, hip-width apart, shins perpendicular to the floor.
  2. Engage your core by first flattening your back onto the ground. Imagine a string pulling your bellybutton into your spine.
  3. Brace your core and drive your hips and chest upward at the same time until your torso, hips and thighs form a 45° angle to the floor.
  4. Contract your glute muscles and hold for a count of 2. 
  5. In a controlled movement, return to starting position to begin the next rep. 

 

4. Tabletop + Donkey Kick
  1. Get into a tabletop position with your hands and knees on the floor and your back comfortably straight. 
  2. Raise one leg and straighten it out directly behind you while raising it as high as you possibly can. Make sure to feel the contraction in your glute muscles. 
  3. Allow the leg to slowly return to the original position and repeat. (To increase the challenge of this exercise, place a weight behind your knee or utilize a resistance band on your thighs.) 

 

5. Calf Raise

 

  1. Stand on the floor or, for more of a challenge, on a block or step, heels unsupported. (You can also do this with a weight in one hand, using the other to support your balance.)
  2. Slowly lower your heels toward the floor until you feel a stretch in your calves.
  3. Before your heels touch the ground, contract your calf muscles, press in to the balls of your feet, and raise yourself up until you’re supporting your body with your toes, your heels raised up. 
  4. Repeat this, ensuring full control in all movements. 

6. Alternating Lunge

Caution: This movement requires a great deal of balance so if you lack balance or are suffering from an injury that affects your balance, hold on to a fixed object while completing this movement.

  1. Stand with your torso upright and your hands by your sides. 
  2. Step forward with your right foot about 2 feet in front of you while lowering your upper body and maintaining your balance. Leave your left foot stationary behind you.
  3. Squat down through your hips. Do not allow your front knee to extend beyond your toes as you lower yourself. Keep your front shin perpendicular to the ground.
  4. Using mainly the heel of your foot, drive yourself back up to the starting position.
  5. Alternate sides. 

7. Elevated Glute Bridge
  1. Position yourself with your back on the ground, heels of your feet resting on a sturdy piece of furniture (e.g. ottoman, chair, bench, etc.) and knees bent at a 90° angle.
  2. Engage your core by first flattening your back onto the ground. Imagine a string pulling your bellybutton into your spine.
  3. Brace your core and drive your hips and chest upward at the same time until your torso, hips, and thighs form a straight line.
  4. Contract your glute muscles and hold for a count of 2.
  5. In a controlled movement, return to starting position to begin the next rep.

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