Lower body day is by far my favorite workout. Mostly because I can lift so much more with my lower body than my upper. That’s ok. I beginning to enjoy my upper body workouts now that I am lifting so much heavier. I started off with a nice 4 mile run. Especially with your legs it is really important to be warmed up really well, so make sure you get a good amount of cardio in prior to starting your routine. Here we go…
Kick your A$$…literally
* superset deadlifts with hip lifts, 3 sets of 15; if you are uncomfortable with your form on deadlifts, don’t do them. You should not be feeling them in your lower back as much as the back of your thighs (hamstrings). Keep the abs tight and stick your butt out keeping your knees locked and legs straight. Don’t arch your back. For the hip lifts, grab a band and place it under your feet. Raise your leg laterally. One rep is lifting each leg once.
* Smith machine squats, 3 sets of 15, 65 lbs. The Smith machine is one of the greatest pieces of equipment in the gym. If you aren’t familiar with it, its the pyramid looking maching with an attached bar that can be adjusted up or down depending on what you want to do with it. As discussed in yesterday’s post, you can do assisted pull-ups, bench press, squats, lunges…pretty much workout the whole body. Just remember that proper form on the bar is to rest it on your shoulder blades not your neck. You will not need the little foam pad that you normally see on it, because the weight of the bar is supported by your back, not your neck. This is very important. These squats are also going to majorly raise your heartrate.
* Hip adduction, 3 sets of 15, 130 lbs (this machine was seriously off, because I personally think that is impossible, more like 90 lbs)
* Seated Hamstring Curl, 3 sets of 15 70 lbs.
* Surrenders, 3 sets of 10 with 30 lbs. If I had to pick a favorite lower body exercise this is it. Jillian Michaels loves this one and I really can’t blame her. Take the dumbbells and hold them in the starting position of a military press (think field goal posts with your arms). Standing on a mat, drop down to one knee and then the other while keeping the weights in place. Return to a standing position. This is one rep. If you are worn out after the first set or so, drop the weights and just hold your arms in the correct position. If you are not used to these you will hit muscle failure quickly.
* Plie squats (aka sumo squats) 3 sets of 20, body weight. Make sure your toes are turned out and your knees bend in the direction of your toes. If you want to use weight, hold a dumbell or kettlebell in the center of your body.
*Jump lunges 3 sets of 20, no weight. Obviously you can make this lower impact by just doing alternating lunges or walking lunges. With those you can add weight.
*serious yoga to loosen up your hamstrings, quads and hip flexors