Thursday, September 13, 2012

Leg Day

It's game day! I have been waiting "patiently" all week to watch the Bears take on the Packers. I rarely go home and watch TV, but tonight I am making an exception. I plan on heating up a bowl of the chili I made last night and cheering on Da Bears to a victory (sorry Packer friends...not really). Chicago- I need you to win tonight because I already picked out my victory outfit for casual Friday. Thanks:)

I slacked last week on giving you guys a new work out. With the holiday week, it kind of slipped my mind to take pictures of my workouts. Well, you don't have to wait any longer. It's time for Side Lunges! This exercise is great for toning the inner and outer thighs, butt, and quads. Also, I add a slight twisting motion to incorporate your whole core. It doesn't get much better than that.

For this exercise, I like to use a kettle bell because they are easy to hold, but you can do it without weight, with a dumbbell, or even a gallon of milk. I'll let you be the judge for what you need to use. Follow my step by step directions below. I recommend starting with 8 reps on each leg for 3 sets, but increase to as many as 20 reps per leg at a time. You will feel a nice burn and stretch, but don't stop! Embrace the burn to see changes.

                                                                Standing Side Lunges

1. Grab your weight in your left hand and stand up straight with your shoulders back and abs pulled in tight. Remember to keep your abs engaged (tightened) throughout the whole workout.

Kyle made me smile for the camera at 5:15 AM. 

2. With your opposite leg (the side that is not holding the weight), step laterally as though you are stretching your groin. Dip down into the stretch until you are a 90 degree angle. Be sure to keep your knee aligned over your ankle, and sit back into the squat to engage the glutes. Also, keep the opposite leg straight and firmly planted on the ground.

 Reach your right hand (or hand holding the weight) to your bent knee to create a mild twist in the torso.

3. Push off of your bent knee to a standing position. I like to keep the knee that was bent off of the ground before continuing into another set. This adds a layer of balance to the equation and works your lower abs. Repeat the same thing on this leg for 8-15 reps before switching legs.

Note: Keep your heels firmly planted on the ground. If you come onto your toes you will feel pain/tension in your knees and potentially injure yourself. Also, if you want to feel this more in the glute (butt), step out further.

Enjoy this leg toning exercise, and remember to cheer on the Bears tonight! Bear down!

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