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Your Next Leg-Day Challenge

This lower-body workout was designed for every fitness level to help get you started back into a regular workout routine or to help you maintain your current fitness level. No need to worry about having the right equipment; you already do. Your own body weight. Trust me, you're still going to sweat and you're still going to burn. So, I suggest you drink up your favorite pre-workout and hit the gym ready to go! 

Be sure to start with 5-10 minutes of warmup exercises before doing this lower-body workout to get your muscles warm and ready for what's coming!

Warm-up suggestions: Jumping jacks, pushups, leg swings, lateral shuffle, jump-rope (timed 1-2 minutes), run in place (timed 1-2 minutes), high knees (timed 1-2 minutes). Complete 2 rounds of 8-10 repetitions.

After the workout, be sure to stretch for at least 10-15 minutes. 

Suggested stretches: Glute stretch, standing toe touch, standing overhead triceps stretch, supine twist, standing side stretch, 90 – 90 stretch, hamstring stretch seated or standing, seated external oblique stretch. 

Ready? Let's go!

Jump Squat 

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart.
  2. Bend at the hips to push your butt back and lower down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  3. Allow your knees to bend 45 degrees when you land, and then immediately drop back down into a squat and jump again.
  4. Complete recommended sets and repetitions.

Complete 3 sets x 10 reps.

Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

  1. Stand tall and tight. 
  2. Plant the foot of your right leg down into the floor by pressing through your toes and your heel.
  3. Bend slightly forward.
  4. Extend your right arm in front of you or to the side and keep your shoulders square.
  5. Slowly hinge at your hips, reaching your glutes toward the wall behind you.
  6. As you are bending forward at the hip, lower your torso forward and then down, making sure not to bring your torso past parallel with the floor.
  7. Let your left leg raise only as far as is comfortable while making sure to maintain a neutral spine.
  8. Keep the hips and shoulders square (i.e., facing directly in front of you throughout the whole movement).
  9. Repeat on the other side.

Complete 3 sets x 10 reps each leg.

Glute Bridge

  1. Start in a seated position with knees and feet flat on the floor and shoulder blades against a bench. Do not lay on your neck!
  2. While lifting hips, squeeze glutes and tighten core until your back is parallel to the floor.
  3. Hold and squeeze for three seconds in the tabletop position, then lower glutes back to the ground to the start position.

Complete 3 sets x 10 reps.

Wall Sit

  1. Lean against the wall with your feet shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Press back and slide down the wall until your thighs are parallel with the ground. 
  3. Make sure your knees are above your ankles and bent at right-angles. 
  4. Keep your head, shoulders and upper back against the wall and hold the position for the required length of time.

Complete 3 sets x 30s.

Walking Lunge

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hands can be by your sides or on your hips.
  2. Step forward with your left leg, placing most of your weight into your heel.
  3. Lower your body so left and right knees are bent at a 90-degree angle and parallel to the floor in a lunge position. 
  4. Push up on the right leg while simultaneously pushing your left foot forward, repeating the same movement on the left leg. 
  5. Repeat this movement, “walking” forward as you lunge, alternating legs.

Complete 3 sets x 10 reps each leg.

Wall Sit Calf Raise

  1. Lean back against the wall with your torso, and with your feet shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Press back and slide down the wall until your thighs are parallel with the ground. 
  3. Make sure your knees are above your ankles and bent at right-angles. 
  4. Keep your head, shoulders and upper back against the wall. 
  5. While holding the wall sit position, slowly lift your heels up and down, activating your calf muscles.
  6. Hold the position for the required length of time and repeat only the movement for the calves for the required sets and repetitions.

Complete 3 sets x 10 reps.

Good Morning

  1. Stand with your hands behind your head and feet shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Keeping your back straight, tighten your core and pull your shoulders back.
  3. Take a breath and bend forward from your hip, not your waist.
  4. Maintain a slight bend in your knees and keep your back flat.
  5. Lean forward with an exaggerated push of your bottom straight back, until you feel a slight stretch in your hamstrings.
  6. Be sure to stay in a horizontal position, exhale as you stand up to the starting position.
  7. Repeat for required repetitions.

Complete 3 sets x 10 reps.

Hamstring Curl

  1. Lie on your back. 
  2. Put your calves and heels on a chair. 
  3. Place your feet hip-width apart and flex your ankles. Set your arms on the floor, palms down.
  4. Move your hips upward until your body is straight.
  5. Lower your hips, activating both the glutes and hamstring. 
  6. Repeat this movement until complete with required repetitions.

Complete 3 sets x 10 reps.

OK, so now you're done. Don't forget that stretch session and be sure to fuel your body with the right nutrients post-workout to recover quickly and get back at it for your next leg-day workout!

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About the Author: Renea Jones-Hudson is a Retired Army Captain, Founder of FIT MOM CEO and an ISSA Certified Master Fitness Trainer. She specializes in bodybuilding, fitness nutrition, strength and conditioning, and exercise therapy. She helps clients achieve a healthy work/life balance with a holistic health approach to becoming the best versions of themselves. Follow Renea on Instagram @thefitmomceo and @reneajoneshudson. Website: reneajoneshudson.com

Photography: James Patrick, JamesPatrick.com, all rights reserved. 

 

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