Happy Thursday, friends! This post was originally supposed to go live tomorrow, but I’ve got exciting news to share so I am bumping to post up a day early.
This week, I am sharing some of my favorite lower body exercises. These hit two types of contractions: concentric & eccentric/full-range movements and isometric (muscle is contracting but no change in joint angle). Both train your muscle fibers a little differently providing a greater overall strength and training development.
If you missed last week’s Fitness Favorites post, check it out here!
Start in a squat position as shown below. Keep your knees behind your toes, core strong, back straight, and weight in your heels.
(I didn’t realize until writing this post that my eyes were closed in this picture..haha!)
Powering up through the glutes and thighs, extend your knees until you have completed a jump:
Soft landing back into your starting position is key. Modifications include: removing the jump, making the jump smaller (or bigger), or increasing/decreasing the speed of the jump squats.
Single Leg RDL
A few things to keep in mind with the single leg RDL:
-Keep a slight bend in the knee of the standing leg
-Keep the weight in the heel of your standing foot
-Tip forward by driving through the heel of the back leg
-Keep your spine tall by engaging your core
-When coming up to stand, press through your standing heel, engaging your hamstrings and glutes.
-Keep your weights close to your legs, almost framing your standing knee
-Back leg is extending long through the heel and hips shoot straight back
-Think of a tipping motion and using your glutes to come back to standing!
Modifications include: removing the weights, increasing the weight, using one weight in the opposite hand of standing leg, adding in an upper body exercise in the movement.
Begin by press every bone in your back into the wall. Walk down the wall until you are in a “seated” position – knees 90 degrees. Knees should be right over your ankles and the weight should be out of the balls of your feet.
Modifications include: Increasing the angle in your knee by sliding up the wall slightly, using only one leg to hold the wall sit, adding a weight on top of your legs, or adding in an upper body exercise to complete while holding a wall sit
Pulse Lunge with Heel Lifts and Lowers
Begin this exercise by holding the lowest point of a lunge and begin to pulse by going up an inch and down an inch. Keep a consistent pulsing pace and your knee behind your toes!
With each pulse, lower your heel and lift your heel. Think “pulse lift heel, pulse lower heel, pulse lift heel, pulse lower heel.”
Modifications include: keep the front heel high throughout the pulsing, removing the heel lifts and only pulse, or removing the pulsing and just slowly lower and lift your front heel.
As always, please consult with your physician if you are new to exercise or have a professional watch your form if you add these into your routine.
What’s your favorite lower body exercise?
Do your prefer training lower body or upper body?
What’s on the workout schedule for today? I’m teaching Cardio Pump, Boxing, and 2 abs classes! Woooo