Glutes, Thighs, Legs, Foam Rolling, Stretching... Sink + Kitchen = This Workout
One Hairy Scary Leg
Not the drill sergeant kind. ZZ Top already dedicated a song to this topic. I'm dedicating a hub to our beloved badonk, thighs, everything in between, and evaporating excess flab. Aka tone and shape your butt and legs.
Do not do any leg exercises that exacerbate old injuries. Pay attention to any soreness, stiffness, and pain. If your physical therapist or doctor to clear you to start a new exercise program if you are recovering from an injury or have any medical conditions you're unsure about. We're toning your butt things and legs, not trying to kill you.
Continue with this advice only if your body moves correctly in a postural assessment. When doing any workout, whether it's a leg workout, butt workout, thigh workout (which is redundant because that's a part of your leg), an abs workout, you name it; form is the most important factor. OK I lied. The most important factor for any workout routine relies on understanding not one factor holds rank as the most important factor. Our body works as a system much like our social networking. Split us up, divide us, and we will succumb to the conqueror of isolation.
Don't skip it! No, seriously, don't.
10 minutes of cardiovascular exercise. If indoors, I recommend a treadmill at walking speed with an incline. I do not recommend running on a treadmill. During each stride in our run the tread pulls our foot back, runs for us, and we do a perfect imitation of Fred the Wonder Horse.
If cardio bores you, perform movement related warm-ups with active stretching.
- figure 4's (lay on your back, one leg flat, one leg raised at a 90 degree angle. Cross it over back and forth, alternating legs.
- pulling knees to chest while walking, pausing for 2-3 seconds for balance
- glute kickers (kick yourself in your rear while running forward)
Lastly, roll around on the infamous foam roller to unlock any points of tension that would cause you to unwittingly perform movements in a compensated position.
Self-myofascial release aka foam rolling spots:
- Iliotibial band (IT band)
Knee to chest: Supine. Can also do it while walking.
Self Myofascial Release for Glutes and Hamstrings
Piriformis (can also get glutes this way)
Deadlift: To develop strength in your butt and thighs as well as the agonist muscles in your legs, I recommend asking help from a personal trainer at your gym to demonstrate this leg exercise. Grip the bar with a reverse grip. It allows you to expand your chest and keep your shoulders back. Lead by sticking your butt out until either right before the point where you lose form or around your knees with the bar close to your legs the whole time. Raise yourself up by squeezing the bottom of your butt, hamstrings, and driving your heels into the floor. and top of your hamstrings to return to standing up straight. 8-12 reps, 3 sets. 3/0/3 tempo (3 seconds down, 0 seconds stopped, 3 seconds back up) Reduce repetitions or weight if you lose form.
Ball squat: This leg exercise is a little easier. Put a stability ball against the wall, sandwich it between you and the wall, and at a 3/1/3 tempo (3 seconds down, 1 second hold, 3 seconds up), repeat 8-12 repetitions, 3 sets. If you lose form before completing the repetitions, stop, do not pass go, never sacrifice form. Weights and overhead movement optional for progressing difficulty. It's a great progression for any leg workout.
Lateral lunges: Almost all our knee injuries occur when we move side to side. Thus it's extremely important to exercise these movements to help reduce any future injuries. Spread feet apart wider than you shoulders, toes pointed forward. Loading your weight to the glute on your side of choice, keeping both feet on the ground, move side to side, lowering and raising your body, alternating legs, concentrating on loading your wait into your glutes when you go down, and pressing up through your heels when you raise back up.
Walking up-hill or stairs: If you would like to mix in your calves with cardio, you can walk up-hill or hike. When walking up stairs, I recommend heightened attention to finding the step with the ball of your feet in a flexed position (toes slightly up). Use the full range of motion to target your calves. Running up stairs often keeps our toes pointed down (we run on our toes) and does not give us the full range of motion to sculpt our muscles. If you do run, you will use more quadriceps. If walking, you will use glutes and calves.
Cardiovascular and flexibility: A full compliment of resistance and cardiovascular exercise will melt away any unwanted fat. There's no way to target fat specifically. The common misconception is we believe that we can target a body part with fat on it. Once we target it, we mistakenly believe that by exercising that specific part, it will get rid of fat on that part.
The only way to get rid of fat is to burn more calories than you consume. Cardiovascular, full-body resistance training with weights, and flexibility training exceed any of these 3 options alone.
By exercising with resistance training, you will not "bulk" up unless you train like a body builder or have very sensitive genetics. Muscles actually become more dense and smaller with resistance training, not bigger. Bigger muscles requires specific hypertrophy training regimens which are not what you will be doing.
TRX alternative for corrective movements: TRX training is all the rage these days. I recommend it for corrective exercises where you might not be strong enough to perform the usual movements. It's wish-bone shaped rope you can hang on to while doing things like squats, 1 leg squats, etc.
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