Workout Wednesday, Week 5:
Everyone loves a good “Leg Day” meme considering they are so relevant after a hard lower body workout. Our legs are incredibly powerful as they house the largest muscle groups in our bodies, so don’t be afraid of the heavy weight when hitting the gym for leg day. And if you are worried about ‘bulking’ know that the more muscle one has on his/her frame, the higher one’s metabolism, and ultimately the more fat one burns—so fear not and pack it on!
This week I wanted to showcase two leg and booty exercises that you can tackle in a park, in your home, or in a gym. What I love about these two exercises is they’re entirely stackable meaning that as you get stronger one could add heavier weights, or if you’re just starting out or recovering from an injury, you can omit the weights all together. Weights or no weights, remember the key to a comprehensive fitness program is making sure you target various muscle groups, cross train, and challenge yourself. Have fun with these exercises and let me know how your legs feel a day or so after!
Click here or on the video below to view one round of this week’s exercises (note, the video does not have any sound).
Total time: 4:30 minutes of work with 30 seconds of rest between sets
Each set is 1:00, consisting of 30 seconds of Exercise 1, right into Exercise 2, rest 30 seconds, then repeat 3x.
Exercise 1: Weighted Step Ups, 30 seconds
Stand facing your bench with dumbbells in your hands resting at your side. Begin by stepping straight up on the bench. Both feet should meet at the top of the bench, hips square, head up. Step back down using the same leg you stepped up with. Continue step ups with the same leg for 15 seconds, then switch to the other leg for the final 15 seconds of the set.
Modification: You can skip the weights all together. Or to make this more challenging by increasing the weight, using a barbell, using a higher platform to step up on if one is available.
Exercise 2: Single Leg Bench Lunges, 30 seconds
Put your weights down. Turn your back to your bench and step away about 3 feet (this will vary based upon your height and leg length). Extend one leg behind you so it’s resting on the bench and bend both knees. I like to keep my toes curled under on the leg on the bench, but if you prefer to rest the top of your foot on the bench instead—that works too. Lunge down towards the ground then press up towards the sky coming out of that deep bend in the front knee but not straightening it. Lower back down, bending your back knee the get deeper into the lunge, then the front leg will bend too. Continue these lifts and lowers (not pulses) on each leg for 15 seconds. Ensure while lunging your front knee does not push forward over the front toes, this will protect your knee joint.
Modification: You can add dumbbells to make this more challenging. If you have knee issues, I would recommend feeling it out first, then incorporating weights if it feels good.
Rest 30 seconds then REPEAT 3x
Enjoy and Happy #WorkoutWednesday!