Hello All! Workout #4 is up! Time for lower body (and abs, because they really should always be engaged). You know the drill: 45 seconds for each exercise, back to back (no rest). Once you complete the entire circuit, rest for 30 seconds. Repeat the circuit 1-4 times.
- Piston Curtsy Lunge: This move is tough because your feet are so close together as you descend into your plie. Avoid leaning over or letting your butt sit backwards. Keep your spine and pelvis neutral and move straight up and down (like a piston!). As you descend, open your knees into a slight diamond shape, and then push through your heels and squeeze your inner thighs as you return upward. I love this exercise.
- Plyometric Squat: Sit back on your heels and descend as deep as possible (try to get your thighs parallel to the ground) — then explode upward, and flex your legs as you jump. The flex as you jump is really important, and it adds a whole other element to this exercise — point your toes and really flex and extend your legs.
- Band Lifts & Swings: Keeping your torso engaged and straight (don’t let your side collapse downward towards the mat), envision a big beach ball between your torso and your mat — don’t squish it! Avoid placing any pressure on it at all. Now lift your leg upward, keeping your leg straight, toes pointed, and your muscles engaged. This should be hard, especially if you abide by my beach ball rule. If you’re not squishing that ball, then you won’t be able to lift your leg very high, and that’s okay — that’s why the band is there, to provide resistance without the need to lift the leg very much. Return to starting position, keeping your abs engaged, and, with control, swing your leg forward in front of you. Return to starting position and repeat. If you follow proper form, you’ll quickly see that this exercise targets the abs just as much (if not more) than your legs.
- Alternating Leg Tuck Sit Ups: From the mat engage your abs and slowly sit up (avoid using momentum) while you use your lower abs to pull one leg in towards your torso. Using control, lie back down (don’t plop down … keep your abs engaged throughout the entire move) and repeat with the other leg. If you cannot sit all the way up, that’s fine! Just do the best you can … it’ll get easier as you get stronger.
- Single Leg Hip Thrusts: Lie down on your back, bending one leg and placing your foot on the floor. Raise your other leg, toes pointing to the ceiling. Keeping your spine neutral, drive your hips up by pressing your foot into the floor (focus on pushing through your heel to really fire up your glutes). Lower down with control and repeat. If a single leg bridge is too difficult, see the modification section below.
- Static Squat Band Pulses: Place a band around your mid thigh and sit back into a narrow squat (be sure you are holding something that can bear your weight). Use your outer thighs to pull the band open and closed in a pulsing rhythm.
- If you’re looking for a low-impact alternative, skip the plyometric squats and do standard squats … just keep your form nice and tight.
- The single leg hip thrusts are tough … you can always do standard hip thrusts with both legs, and work up to singles. Or hold a single leg bridge for 45 seconds and save the thrusts for another day.