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Workout 29: Legs & Abs


Legs Exercises

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. 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. 

 

3. Curtsy Lunge
  1. Begin by standing upright, feet hip-width apart hands either relaxed to the sides or gently clasped in front of your chest.
  2. With your left foot, “draw” a semicircle until your left foot is behind your right, at a lunge-distance.
  3. Drop into a lunge, as deeply as possible, without allowing your knee to touch the floor.
  4. Contract your gluteal muscles and return to staring position. 
  5. Repeat for the opposite leg to complete one 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. 


Abs Exercises

 

1. Bicycle Crunch
  1. Lie flat with your lower back pressed to the ground. Place your hands behind your head slightly above your neck. Lift your shoulders into a crunch position.
  2. Raise yours legs so that your thighs are perpendicular to the ground and your shins parallel to the ground.
  3. Simultaneously, slowly go through a cycle pedal motion kicking forward with the right leg while pulling in the knee of the left leg. 
  4. Bring your right elbow close to your left knee by crunching to the side. Then crunch to the opposite side as you cycle your legs and bring your left elbow closer to your right knee.
  5. Alternate sides. 

2. Leg Lift

 

  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. 

3. Starfish Crunch

 

  1. Lie on your back with your arms and legs stretched out into an 'X' 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. 

4. Plank

 

  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.