Believe it or not, this is my last post for January! Somehow this month seemed to crawl and fly by at the same time. It feels like it’s been ages since we’ve seen family, but it’s only been a month! It also seems like we were just talking about setting new goals for the year. A few highlights from January include: trying Orange Theory Fitness for the first time, offering a new opt in incentive, posting fun New Year’s workouts, and lots of snow. It’s been a busy but exciting month that has me feeling slightly worn out but ready to tackle February.
Today’s workout is all about legs. You will need a box and/or a bench, a set of dumbbells, and potentially a mat. Six exercises, 4 sets, 12 reps. Quick and easy to remember but tough to complete.
Cross back curtsey lunge: Stand with feet under the hips and dumbbells in either hand (option to do without weights for less intensity). Take a step diagonally backwards (like you are going to curtsey) and bend the knees into a lunge. Return to standing a repeat on the other leg! Make sure to watch your front knee and prevent it from crossing in front of the toes.
Donkey kicks: Start in a table top on all fours (here’s where your mat may be handy!). Lift one leg at a 90 degree angle behind you and lift your foot towards the ceiling. Pulse the leg (like you are trying to make your foot touch the ceiling) for 12 reps before switching to the other leg. You have the option to add intensity by tucking a medium dumbbell into the crook of you knee, but it can be tricky to keep the weight steady. Keep the core braced and try not to let the rib cage spread apart.
Box jumps: Most gyms have a box for box jumps these days, but if yours doesn’t you can always (carefully) use a stepper with risers. The exercise is exactly like it sounds, jump on and off the box! Keep your eyes on your destination and remember to land with both feet completely on the box.
Bench toe taps: Start with one foot lightly rested on your bench/box. Jog in place while alternating which foot is touching the bench/box. To lower the intensity level, march instead of jog. Use the arms to help keep your momentum going and keep the abs engaged.
Alternating calf raises: This exercise is done off of your bench or box, unless you don’t feel comfortable balancing and dipping low with your calf. While keeping the rest of your body still, knees straight, and glutes engaged lower your heels off the edge of the bench/ box. Do your best not to rock back and forth but lift straight up and down. Lower as if you are trying to squeeze an orange under your heels and repeat. Option to do one or both legs at the same time. Be careful not to dip too low!
Bench step ups: Use your box or bench depending on how comfortable you are the size of your step. You can hold your dumbbells to make it harder. Plant one foot on the bench, step up and lift the opposite leg to hip height. Return the your starting position and alternate to the other leg or repeat on the same side. Complete 12 reps per leg. Hold the chest high to protect the lower back and squeeze the shoulder blades together.