Work Those Legs!

All of these exercises are body weight only.  You can add weight as you like to progress.

LUNGES

Side Lunge

CUES: Pull belly button to spine, contracting abs.  Sit back to the side, keep shins as vertical as possible, knee behind toes.

 

Side Lunge to Balance

CUES: As you return to the starting position, lift knee to hip height, then go back to side lunge without touching your foot to the ground.  Same as above, continue to contract abs as you come up to balance, keep a slight bend in the standing leg.

 

Reverse Lunge

Lunge with movement to the rear.

CUES: Belly button to spine, lunge to a position in which the hip and ankle are at 90°. Keep knees and toes in line. Contract glutes to pull yourself forward, instead of pushing off the back toe.

Reverse Lunge with Balance

 CUES: As you come up from the reverse lunge, bring the rear leg up to a balance position, with hip and knee at 90°.  You should be balanced on the front leg at this point.  Keep belly button to spine, back flat and front knee slightly bent.  Lower leg and go back into a reverse lunge.

 

SQUATS

Body Weight Squat

CUES: Belly button to spine, tighten pelvic floor muscles (kegel), feet shoulder width apart or slightly wider, keep shins as vertical as possible, sit butt back as if sitting in a chair.  Keep back straight, do not lean forward.

 

Bulgarian Squat

CUES: Same as above, with foot behind you on a stable surface.  Move straight up and down, no back and forward movement.

 

Pistol Squat

CUES: Belly button to spine, balance on one leg, bend knee and lower as far as possible.  It is okay here to let the knee come forward.

Split Squat

CUES: This is a lunge in place, moving straight up and down.  The bottom of the movement is with hip and knee at 90°.  Belly button to spine!

 

 Curtsy Squat

CUES: Belly button to spine! Step the right and behind with your left leg, and lower yourself straight down.  Return to the beginning position.

 

Curtsy Squat with Rear Leg Lift

CUES: Add a rear leg lift to the top position of the curtsy squat. Keep belly button to spine, do not raise the rear leg so high that it causes the back to curve.  The rear leg extension should come from the glutes, not the lower back!

Curtsy Squat with Side Leg Lift

CUES: Same as above, however instead of lifting the leg behind you, lift it out to the side.

Sumo Squat

CUES: Feet out at 45°, sit back with butt, keeping shins as vertical as possible.  Belly button to spine!

Sumo Squat to Lunge

Cues: Do a Sumo Squat as shown above.  In the bottom position, twist to the right into a lunge position.  Repeat to the right.  Then switch sides and twist to the left into a lunge position.

Side Leg Lifts from the Floor

CUES: Belly button to spine, stack hips, point toe forward.  Keep leg straight but do not lock knee.  Lift leg up and then return to starting position.  Repeat with opposite leg.

Side Leg Raise with Lift

CUES: Lift top leg, then lift bottom leg to top leg.  Lower together.

Side Leg Lift with Pull Progression

CUES: Bend knee to 90°, lift up, straighten leg.  Belly button to spine, stack hips.  Repeat with opposite leg.

 

Side Leg Lift with Pull/Push Progression

CUES:  Lift leg and hold lift.  Bend knee to 90°, then push out.  Repeat.  Belly button to spine, stack hips.  Repeat with opposite leg.

 

Side Leg Lift with Circles Progression

CUES:  Lift leg and hold lift.  Draw forward circles with foot. Draw reverse circles with foot.  Belly button to spine, stack hips.  Repeat with opposite leg.

Side Leg Lift with 90° Kick Backs

CUES:  Lift leg with knee bent at 90°.  Kick leg back, but do not arch back.  Belly button to spine, stack hips.  Repeat on opposite leg.

Side Leg Clam Shell Lift

CUES: Stack hips, knees, and feet together, raise top knee up and down.  Progress the difficulty by lifting feet off the floor.

Bottom Leg Lift

CUES: Belly button to spine, hips stacked, toes pointing forward.  Keep leg straight but do not lock out knee.  Lift leg to ceiling.  Repeat on opposite side.

 

Bottom Leg Lift with Circles Progression

CUES:  Lift bottom leg and hold lift.  Draw forward circles with foot. Draw reverse circles with foot.  Belly button to spine, stack hips.  Repeat with opposite leg.

Fire Hydrants

CUES: Keep belly button to spine, back straight.  Only lift leg as high as you can without twisting or curving spine.  Keep your hips flat!!

Spiderman

CUES: The photo below shows a progression to being on your hands.  Start this exercise on your forearms, in plank position.  Progress to hands if forearms are too easy.  Keep back flat, belly button to spine.  Lift knee to torso without twisting spine.

So What Do You Think?

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