Learn the benefits of including the detoxifying spine twist in your yoga practice and the proper technique to perform this yoga pose effectively and safely.
Leg Up on the Competition
Side Lunge – works the adductors, glutes and quads.
Start in a standing position, feet together. Step one foot out to the side about 3-4 feet, bending into the knee slightly. Bending from the hips, touch the ground besides your feet with both hands then stand upright back to starting position.
Perform on the other leg and then alternate for 15-20 repetitions each side. Start slowly to get the technique and then pick up the speed. Always be sure your body and knee face forward.
What action steps have you taken to prepare your legs for sundress season?
Kettle Bell Swings for Superior Leg Strength
Kettlebells are the ideal tool for training total body fitness and functional strength. Training the body as a unit, instead of isolated muscle groups will develop explosive hip drive and improve lower body strength.
Start your training with the kettlebell swing. Keep in mind the legs and hips, not the arms or upper body are used to propel the kettlebell through the swing. Power is created by driving through the heels, using the large muscles of the lower body including the quads, glutes, hamstrings and core.
Begin in a standing position with feet shoulder width apart, chest up, shoulders back and down, core flexed, back arched (not rounded) with a slight knee bend, and weight distributed to the heels of your feet.
- Grip the kettlebell with both hands over top of the handle.
- Sink into a squat with the weight between the legs. Keep the torso upright, the abs braced and the arms loose. At the bottom of the movement shift your weight back onto your heels.
- Standing up from the squatted position, use your hips to propel the weight to hip level.
- Engaging the hips and core, swing the weight up higher until you reach shoulder level. Focus on using your hips and legs to move the weight, rather than your arms.
When you begin kettlebell training, it is a good idea to practice kettlebell swings in addition to your normal workouts. Then, when you are comfortable with the movements begin to increase weight and attempt a more difficult kettlebell exercise routine.
When you have perfected the swing form, try this workout.
2 rounds, 30 seconds each
Body Weight Squat
Arm Circles (forward /backward, large/small)
Alternate Lunge (each leg)
20x Kettlebell Swing
20x Dumbbell Plank Row
20x Dumbbell Squat and Press
Rest @ 30 sec max.
These kettlebell exercises are Pretty Hard Work. Make sure you are watching your form and if you need assistance ask the trainer on duty at your gym.
What action steps have you taken to day to prepare yourself for beach season? read more →
Just One Leg at a Time
If you need to strengthen your hips and legs, take it 1 leg at a time. 1 legged squats is the best way to strengthen your legs and hips, as well as strengthen your flexibility and balance.
If you’ve never done a 1 legged squat, use a chair or table for support. Simply lift 1 leg out in front of you, and then squat down on the supporting leg, keeping your supporting foot flat on the floor. Try to go all the way down to where your butt just touches your ankle, then rise back up. Do as many reps as you can on 1 leg in 1 minute, and then do the other leg. Stronger legs and hips in just 2 minutes!
What action steps have you taken today to prepare yourself for swimsuit season?
There are lots of great exercises that strengthen you legs and hips. One seems to get lost in the shuffle, but is great for the glutes and some of the stabilizer muscles in your legs.
Set up a step, platform, box or other object that is stable for you to stand upon. This should be tall enough to challenge you, but so tall that you cannot maintain good technique. A simple rule of thumb is to have the object come up to just below your knee cap.
Grab a barbell (dumbbells will also work) and put the barbell resting on your shoulders and upper back. Place one foot on the raised object with your entire foot, not just the toes and mid-foot, on the object. Push through the heel of the elevated foot so that you use your hamstrings, glutes and quads and stand up tall. Lower yourself back down under control and repeat for 10-15 reps per leg. Rest a minute or so and do 10-15 reps on the other leg until you have done 3 or 4 sets on each leg.
Get ready to show off those great legs this summer in some cute sun dresses. Make May your month of action. What did you do today to get yourself swimsuit ready?
Mountain Climbers for Stronger and Tighter Glutes
Incline Mountain Climbers – Using the incline of a bench, this exercise engages every muscle below your pelvis especially the glutes while building a stronger core in this plane of motion. By utilizing the incline bench, this exercise will incorporate more muscle fibers in your glutes, hamstrings, and calves then doing this exercise on a flat surface. Mountain Climbers are a movement that can be considered the equivalent to running horizontally.
To perform, start in a military push-up position and keep your elbows slightly bent holding on to an incline bench. Bend one knee and bring it up to your chest, as if trying to touch your shoulder. Then, draw the leg back and perform with the other leg. While alternating legs, maintain a consistent solid speed throughout.
Remember to keep a neutral spinal position and don’t drop your hips. Beginners should set a goal of three sets of 20 repetitions while resting 30 seconds in between sets. The more advanced individual should shoot for three sets of 50-80 repetitions.
For further demonstration, check out this video we found on Youtube:
Swimsuit Ready Challenge
This exercise is part of our Swimsuit Ready Challenge (April 2-30, 2012). Do this exercise and comment below “I did this!” to be entered to win our $100 and $50 giveaways. You may enter up to one time per day through April 30th.
Also – be sure to share this on Facebook, Pinterest and other sites to let your friends cheer you on or – better yet – join in on the challenge so they can hang out on the beach with you this summer! read more →
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