“Let it Snow, Let it Snow”…We’ll Still Get Fit!

It’s snowing polar bears and penguins right now! Last night the weatherman predicted “light snow, maybe an inch or two,” and that it’d let up around mid-morning (why I still maintain hope for the accuracy of meteorology, I’ll never know). Well, it’s now after two and it’s still a virtual blizzard outside as far as East Texans are concerned.

Anyway, I’ll get back to the topic of unfriendly foods and those recommended by the USDA – Undeniably Safe & Divinely Approved – later, but today I want to psyche up those of us who find snow cover and arctic air less than motivating; we can, in the censored words of Cee-Lo Green, say, “Forget you!” to snow-induced hibernation and break a sweat in the warm cozy privacy of our igloos.

I’ve already posted a total body at-home circuit routine that you can find in the “Beginner Workouts” category, but since I’m constantly reminded of legs each time I stand up thanks to a pleasant time spent at the squat rack yesterday, I think it’s only fair for me to guide you through your own “legs only” routine. ;-).

With this routine, you need a pair of medium or heavy dumbbells, a medium-weight resistance band, exercise ball, chair, and a wall.

Do the exercises below in the order listed, moving from one exercise to the next without resting. These exercises will not be timed, but you should complete the given number of repetitions as you concentrate on proper form and controlled breathing, exhaling during exertion. Complete the circuit three times before moving on to the next. Rest fifteen to thirty seconds between circuits.

Time for me to finish this ice cold protein shake and then take a hot bath!

Stay fit, stay faithful ~<3

Circuit 1

1.)   Lunge on the ball

a.      Holding dumbbell at either end, close to your chest, position front leg so it is planted firmly on the floor with the foot facing forward.

b.     Step back with the trailing leg and place it on top of the ball, sole facing up.

c.      Slowly lower your body straight down. The distance you lower will depend on your hip flexibility, but do not go past 90 degrees. Do not let your knee go past your toe line.

d.     Return to start position and repeat for given number of reps before switching legs.

2.)   Ball roll-ins

a.      Lie on your back with legs extended, heels on top of the ball.

b.     Press your heels into the ball and lift your hips. Arms are down at your side, palms down.

c.      With your heels, pull the ball in toward your body. Your hips should remain in a neutral position; don’t let them sag.

d.     Slowly return to starting position.

Note: If you feel yourself pushing through your hands, turn palms up.

3.)   Plie squat with heel raise

a.      Holding dumbbell at either end, close to your chest, stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Point toes outward at 45 degrees.

b.     Bend your knees at 90 degrees or as far as you can without compromising good form or losing balance. Keep hips tucked under and back slightly arched.

c.      Straighten your legs as you squeeze your rear. As you stand, push up onto the balls of your feet as explosively as possible.

d.     Hold for a second, then lower heels.

4.)   Butt blaster

a.      Get on hands and knees and wrap band around the sole of your right shoe. Bend right knee off the ground. Hold handles in each hand.

b.     Flex your right foot and extend leg straight back, squeezing the glutes.

c.      Slowly return to starting position. Repeat for given number of reps, then switch to left leg.

Circuit 2

1.)   Squat

a.      Stand on bands with feet shoulder-width apart, keeping tension on the band by holding a half-bicep curl.

b.     Lower into a squat, bending knees to 90 degrees, keeping them behind the toes. Pull on the band to add tension.

c.      Return to starting position.

2.)   Ball calf raise

a.      Holding dumbbells, place ball against the wall and rest your chest against it.

b.     Using both legs, lift up onto the balls of your feet.

c.      Lower slowly.

3.)   Curtsy lunge

a.      Stand with feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips.

b.     Take a big step back with your right leg, crossing it behind your left leg.

c.      Bend your knees and lower your hips until your left thigh is nearly parallel to the floor. Keep your torso upright and your hips and shoulders square.

d.     Return to starting position. Repeat for given number of reps, then switch legs.

4.)   Stiff leg dead-lift

a.      Stand with feet hip-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand.

b.     With knees straight, lower weights by bending hips until hamstrings are tight, or just before lower back bends.

c.      Lift dumbbells by extending hips until they’re straight.

d.     Pull shoulders back slightly at the top of the lift.

Circuit 3

1.)   Bridge on the ball

a.      Lie on your back with feet placed on the ball so that knees are bent. Hips are slightly off the floor, hands are down at your side, palms down.

b.     Press the feet to lift hips off the floor. Hips should stay in a neutral position; don’t let them sag, and avoid arching your back.

c.      Gently return to starting position.

Note: If you find yourself pushing through your hands, turn your palms up.

2.)   Ball lift

a.      On a soft surface, place ball between your feet and lie on your side.

b.     Use the arm on the floor as support for your head. The other hand can be placed on the floor for balance.

c.      Without moving, squeeze the ball with both feet, lifting ball off the floor.

d.     Slowly return to starting position. Repeat for given number of reps before switching sides.

2.)   Squat with leg extension

a.      Place ball on the wall, positioning it on the mid-lower part of your back. Place hands on hips.

b.     Lean against the ball slightly and bend your knees, lowering your body until knees are a 90 degree angle.

c.      At the bottom of the movement, extend one leg out.

d.     Hold and lower, pushing back to starting position.

e.      Alternate legs with each repetition.

3.)   Seated calf raise

a.      Sitting on chair, hold dumbbells across your thighs. Sit up straight with feet flat on the ground.

b.     Lift up onto the balls of your feet, flexing calf muscles.

c.      Hold and squeeze for 1-2 seconds.

d.     Lower heels to the floor.

Stretching Descriptions:

1.)   Lunge stretch

a.      Straddle the ball, staying centered on it.

b.     Press back thighs into the ball, causing your hips to tilt backward. The ball will roll slightly forward.

c.      Hold and switch sides.

2.)   Bent-over inner thigh stretch

a.      Place the ball to your side. Place your foot on top of the ball.

b.     Roll your foot out to the side to straighten your leg. The knee supporting you should be slighting bent.

c.      Hold and switch sides.

3.)   Hip/glute

a.      Cross your left foot over right knee.

b.     Grasp hands behind right thigh and gently pull thigh towards you, keeping the body relaxed.

c.      Hold for at least fifteen seconds before switching sides.

4.)   Inner thigh

a.      Sit on the floor with feet pressed together.

b.     Keep abs pulled in as you lean forward.

c.      Keep leaning until you feel a nice stretch in your inner thighs.

5.)   Hamstrings

a.      Sit on the floor and extend one leg out straight.

b.     Bend the other leg at the knee and position the sole of that foot against your opposite inner thigh.

c.      Extend your arms and reach forward over the straight leg by bending at the waist as far as possible.

d.     Hold and switch legs.

6.)   Calves

a.      Place both hands on wall with arms extended.

b.     Lean against wall with one leg bent forward and other leg extended back with knee straight and foot positioned directly forward.

c.      Press rear heel into the floor and move hips slightly forward.

d.     Hold and repeat on other leg.

7.)   Spine twist

a.      Lie on the floor and place your right foot on left knee.

b.     Using your left hand, gently pull your right knee towards the floor, twisting your spine, keeping hips and shoulders on the floor, left arm straight out.

c.      Hold for at least fifteen seconds before switching sides.

 

 

 

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