Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Glutes & Legs of Your Dreams

Hey Preps!

Recently I have been getting a ton of e-mails asking about what I do for my own workouts...what I much I run a day...etc.  Let me be the first to say that as a personal trainer who sees all sorts and sizes of people, what works for me, may or may not work for you.  The same goes for what I love versus what you love.  Just because running is a passion of mine, doesn't mean that you have to run.  If you dread running, don't do it.  Do something that keeps you motivated to stay active whether it's spinning, kickboxing, zumba, or any weight training classes...I promise that once you find something you are passionate about in the fitness realm, that it will make that motivation stick.

As part of a New Years motivation to you, I have created three lower body circuits to share with you all.  I do many of these circuits with some of my own group fitness classes, and have found them to be fun and give me the results I am looking for.

First, let's start with the equipment (although you don't HAVE to have these things) that I use during the circuits I am about to show you:

Cute Glutes and Lean Legs Essentials

  1. Kettlebells are one of the most convenient fitness tools I have ever used.  The shape of them allows you to accomplish more advanced moves that work several muscle groups at once.  They are easier to hold than dumbbells and you can lift heavier with them depending on what you are doing.  I typically use a 25lb. kettlebell.
  2. Bar bells are great for isolating squats, deadlifts, and many upper body movements.  At my gym, we have preset smaller bar bells that are great for women who don't want to go to an Olympic bar yet.  
  3. Steppers are used so frequently at my gym.  We have step aerobics, Body Pump, boot camps, that all use them for different purposes.  Today I am using it to elevate one leg at a time to isolate my quads, glutes, and hamstrings.
  4. Dumbbells  we all know what they are, but I guarantee you are probably lifting too light if you are a girl reading this.  We are women.  We don't get bulky from lifting weights.  Your purse probably weighs more than a 5lb weight.  Challenge yourself.
So, there is all the equipment you if you don't have a stepper, use a stair or a bench...anything that is about 12 inches off of the ground.  If you don't have a kettlebell, use a heavier dumbbell, or just use your bodyweight for all of these moves at first if you are a beginner.

Here is your circuit workout:

Cute Glutes & Lean Legs
Let's go over some basics first.  What is a circuit?  It is a type of weight training using several different exercises back to back without rest.  Typically they are repeated several times.  Here, I have the circuits repeating three times.  So, the first circuit is Elevated Split Squats, Stiff-Legged Deadlifts, and Stability Lunges...looking to the right above you will see how many repetitions of each exercise you are to perform before moving to the next exercise in the circuit.  For example, I will do 12 Elevated Split Squats with my right leg forward first, then I will do 12 with my left leg forward second before moving onto my Deadlifts.  After I do 15 Stiff-Legged Deadlifts, I go right into 12 Stability Lunges.  As soon as I am done with the Stability Lunges, I go right back into my Elevated Split Squats...etc. until I have repeated all the exercises in the circuit three times.

When I am finished with the first circuit, I go right into the second circuit.  I repeat all of those exercises three times, and finally go into the third circuit.  Make sense?

For a few of the more confusing moves in this workout, I took some picture below to better explain how to do the moves correctly:
Elevated Split Squats- place one foot flat on the 12 inch stepper, the other foot should be behind the other foot (not directly think railroad tracks) and your feet should be facing the same direction.  Now think of your body as an elevator, this is a strictly up and down motion, do not lunge forward with your back leg.  Make sure your back is straight, and you are not bending at the waist.  I typically use 12lb. dumbbells when I am doing these since I do so many repetitions of them.  This move targets your hamstrings and glutes on the leg that is elevated.
Stability Lunges help to tone the glutes, and inner/outer thighs.  The goal is to do these SLOWLY.  You do have to bend slightly at the waist, but you should not be moving your waist up and down as you shift from one side to another.  The only movement that should be taking place is the shifting of your body weight from one leg to another.  Hold on each side for about 3 seconds before shifting to the other side.
Sumo Squats using a kettlebell, are great for isolating your inner thigh muscles.  Keeping your back straight, not bending at the waist, spread your feet twice your hips length apart, feet pointing away from one another.  Just like a basic squat, bend your knees until they make a 90-degree angle then extend your knees bringing your bodyweight back up.
Running Lunges begin in the basic split squat position.  One foot placed in front of the other, both feet facing the same direction. Once again this is only an up and down motion, think elevator, only moving on the vertical plane of movement, no leaning forward at the waist, keeping the back straight, and always making sure you have good posture.  To start, place feet in the starting split squat position, then bend the knees so they are both making about a 90-degree angle (like shown above).  I suggest warming up first with a few walking "lunges" (I refer to them as split squats) by extending the knees and switching feet that are in front (so move the back foot in ahead of the front foot then do another split squat).  Once you feel comfortable with this movement, you can move on to this explosive, plyometric, exercise that I call the Running Lunge.  

So, back to the beginning we start in the position shown above, using your legs explode upwards extending your knees and switching feet while in mid-air to land with the foot previous placed in the back now in the front.  This move builds LEAN.  I swear by it.  It's a great way to combine a cardio move with bodyweight for maximum results.  You will feel it the next day, I promise.
Hip Raises are a great exercise to target your lower-back, glutes, and hamstrings (so basically all of the areas that most women accumulate fat).  I do my hip-raises off of a step to increase my hips' range of motion and allow my muscles to be worked for a longer period of time than if I were to just do hip raises off of the floor.  Start with your back flat on the ground, feet placed on the floor or step.  Tighten your glutes as you raise your hips until you are making a straight diagonal line with your body.  Hold at the top keeping your core and glutes tight, and slowly release until your bum is barely touching the floor.  Repeat.  

So, there you have it.  A great leg workout that requires a good floor, and very little equipment.  Virtually a workout you can do any where you wish!  It's easy to make excuses as to why we aren't going to the gym as much as we would like, but when I worked so hard to create a workout you can do in the convenience of your own really don't have much of an excuse.  Now do you? :)

Feel free to e-mail me if you ever have questions about workouts, the exercises, nutrition, you know, anything!  

Hope you are having great weekends!
God bless y'all!


Royar said...

I'm so excited to try these! I have a big event coming up in about six weeks so I've been working out like crazy and now I have something to switch it up with! xx

Charlee R said...

Thanks so much for this workout!! Excited to try it out at the gym :)

Charlee Anne @

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