Moderate and advanced exercises for toning your lower body
BY ANISSA STAMBOULI
If you spend most of your day sitting in class or at work, or while away the winter hours on your couch watching Netflix (no judging), then your glutes and thighs may be due for a tune-up. The following exercise should take between 45-60 minutes, including light stretching at the end. Be sure to warm up with at least five minutes of non-intensive cardio or stretching, and have a bottle of water and some upbeat music on hand (OTD TIP: Girl Talk, All Day)
*Most of the following are intervals, meaning you will do the first exercise, and then jump right into the second (this is one set); rest 30 seconds, and then do the next set, for a total of 3-4 sets.
1. SQUATS (10-12reps/3-4 sets) paired with CALVE RAISES (20reps/3-4 sets)
A. For your squats, make sure that when you go down, your knees never pass the tip of your toes. Inhale when you go down, and exhale as you come up to make sure you don’t forget to breathe. Keep your core engaged, and use a mirror if possible to make sure your technique is accurate. For beginners, place an exercise ball on the wall and squat against it to ensure you build strength using the right technique. For advanced versions, use a weighted barbell and kick your leg out in front each time you come up, alternating legs. You can also try jump squats, or squating with the dumbbells on a bosu ball (balance trainer).http://cconnorworkoutplan.blogspot.ca/
Moderate Advanced (bosu ball with dumbbells)
B. Calve raises can be as easy or difficult as you like; use of barbells or dumbbells can increase the challenge, or doing single-calf raises. Make sure to engage your core, always.
2. BULGARIAN LUNGES (10-12reps/3-4sets)
Again, make sure that your knees do not pass the edge of your toes. To increase the level of difficulty, add dumbbells or increase the distance between your lunging leg and the surface from which you are lunging. For beginners, try regular lunges first to build your strength.
3. SUMO SQUAT (10-12reps/3-4sets) paired with NARROW SQUAT (10-12reps/3-4sets)
A. To make the sumo squat more advanced, hold a medicine ball and lift your leg, alternating each time you come up.
B. Similar to standard squats, you can do the narrow squat with a balance ball against the wall for a moderate version, or use a barbell to increase the difficulty.
4. HIP THRUSTS (10-12reps/3-4sets)
This is one of my favourite butt-blaster exercises. For beginners, keep both legs on the mat. To make this exercise more advanced, there are many variations; adding a weight over your hips, raising one leg, doing single-leg hip thrusts, or even elevating your shoulders can all increase the challenge.
Congratulations, you made it through! Be sure to stretch, drink lots of water, and eat some protein. Stay tuned for more OTD workout plans, and enjoy your progress.
Featured image taken from kathysmith.com