Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Single Leg Stability Ball Squats

It’s leg day at Fueling Strong! Don’t worry; I’m not going to make you squat 250+ pounds like my strength coaches used to make me do on leg day. Those days of my life are over. Now I have fun making up new and challenging leg exercises that give you just as much burn as a 250 pound squat, but with half of the weight. Today, I am going to add a  little instability to your normal squat with Single Leg Stability Ball Squats. These squats strengthen your quadriceps, gluteus maximus, and hamstrings. There is an added bonus as well, since we add a stability ball to the workout the squats also strengthen your core (abs/back)! Put aside the sit ups today, and try this total body workout!

If you are new to single leg squats, do not use a stability ball! Instead, replace the stability ball with a stable bench or chair (shown below). Once you’ve gained strength there, gradually move your way up to using a stability ball. Also, start with no weights. After mastering the exercise a couple of times, then you can start to add weight slowly. Get ready to embrace the burn! Remember burn = calories burning! 

 Single Leg Stability Ball Squats

1.  Grab a medium sized stability ball and stand near a wall or piece of equipment that you can hold on to.
2.   While holding on to the wall/equipment place the ball behind you and put your foot on the ball. The ball should be far enough behind you that only the top of your foot is touching. If your shin is on the ball, hold on to the equipment and walk the ball backwards until you are in the correct position.

3. Take your hands from the wall/equipment and lunge down through the front leg to a 90 degree angle. Be sure that your knee is over your ankle and that you keep your core tight and engaged. You will notice that your shin will be touching the ball when you are in this position.

4. Return to a standing position and repeat 8-10 more times on your right leg. Then switch to your left. Do 3 sets. 

For those of you who are not ready for the stability ball, follow the same directions as above, but do it on a stable bench  or chair. 

Let me know what you think. I promise you that you will feel these squats the next day, but soreness leads to positive changes in the body!

[Thanks to my wonderful husband for taking the pictures]

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