Workout 44: Legs & Abs
1. Bodyweight Deadlift
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Soften your knees and shift your weight to your left leg.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lift yourself up to starting position and repeat on the opposite side. This is one rep.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Straighten your legs to come up and squeeze your glutes as you approach the starting position.
3. Curtsy Lunge
- Begin by standing upright, feet hip-width apart hands either relaxed to the sides or gently clasped in front of your chest.
- With your left foot, “draw” a semicircle until your left foot is behind your right, at a lunge-distance.
- Drop into a lunge, as deeply as possible, without allowing your knee to touch the floor.
- Contract your gluteal muscles and return to staring position.
- Repeat for the opposite leg to complete one rep.
4. Tabletop + Donkey Kick
- Get into a tabletop position with your hands and knees on the floor and your back comfortably straight.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.)
- Slowly lower your heels toward the floor until you feel a stretch in your calves.
- 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.
- Repeat this, ensuring full control in all movements.
1. Spider-Man Plank Crunch
- Get in plank position by placing your elbows and toes on the floor. Hold your body up off the floor in this position.
- Bring your right knee on the outside of your body to your right elbow.
- Straighten your right leg back to the floor.
- Complete the same movement with your left leg and keep alternating sides.
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 move back to the starting position while breathing out. Now move to the opposite side performing the same techniques you applied to the right side.
- Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
3. Leg Lift
- Lie with your back flat on the floor (or on a bench) with your legs extended in front of you.
- 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.
- 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.
- Slowly lower your legs back down to the starting position.
4. Bicycle Crunch
- 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.
- Raise yours legs so that your thighs are perpendicular to the ground and your shins parallel to the ground.
- Simultaneously, slowly go through a cycle pedal motion kicking forward with the right leg while pulling in the knee of the left leg.
- 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.
- Alternate sides.