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Workout 34: Legs & Abs


Legs Exercises

1. 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.

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. 


Abs Exercises

1. Spider-Man Plank Crunch
  1. Get in plank position by placing your elbows and toes on the floor. Hold your body up off the floor in this position.
  2. Bring your right knee on the outside of your body to your right elbow. 
  3. Straighten your right leg back to the floor.
  4. Complete the same movement with your left leg and keep alternating 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.