Body Weight Beginner Lower Body Workout

Is anyone else glad that it's starting to feel like normal again? I'm looking forward to getting back into my usual routine – that's not to say that I haven't enjoyed the holidays though. Getting back to normal also means getting back to the gym. Because I know that people will be looking to get more active as a result of New Year's resolutions, I thought that I'd share a body weight beginner lower body workout today. This is the perfect workout to do at home, as it requires very little equipment.

Complete 3 sets of 10 reps before moving onto the next exercise. For those exercises that involves working each side separately (step ups and donkey kicks), perform 10 reps per side and count that as 1 set. As far as rest goes, take as much of it as you need. It's important to not get too fatigued and compromise your form. Making sure that your form is correct is always you number 1 priority.

I've listed descriptions of all the exercises below. If you're unsure about any of them, talk to a local fitness professional. Looking for more beginner workouts? Try this one out.

Body Weight Beginner Lower Body Workout

Forward lunges

Stand with feet hip width apart. Step forward with one foot so that the forward leg’s thigh is parallel to the ground, and the back leg’s shin is parallel to the ground. The back knee shouldn’t touch the floor. Use your quads and glutes to step the front foot back towards your back foot and end by standing straight up with feet hip width apart again. For the second lunge step forward with the other foot.

Body weight squats

With feet hip width apart and hands in front of you to help with balance, use the glutes to lower your hips back and down while bending at the knees. Once you’ve reached the lowest position you can without leaning forward too much or letting the knees collapse in, return to a standing position, using your glutes to propel yourself.

Skaters

With your knees slightly bent, jump to the right and land on your right leg with your left leg bent behind you with your foot just off the ground. Keep your left foot off the ground. Pushing off with your right foot, jump to the left and land on your left foot, keeping your right leg bent and right foot off the ground behind you.

30 second wall sit

Stand with your back to a wall and slowly slide your back down while stepping out your feet until your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle and your thighs are parallel to the floor. Your feet should be about hip width apart. This is an isometric hold, so you’re staying in this position for the entire time.

Butt kicks

Stand with your feet hip width apart and your arms bent comfortably at the elbow. Bend your left knee and bring the heel of your left foot behind you so that it touches your butt. Lower your left foot back down to the ground and repeat with your right foot.

Step ups

Find something that when you put your foot on it, your knee is at a 90 degree angle. This could be a chair or bench. Step up with your left foot, and pushing off that heel step your right foot off the floor and onto the bench. Immediately step back down with your left foot, followed by your right foot.

Jumping jacks

Stand with feet together and arms at your sides. Jump both feet apart from each other while raising your hands above your head with straight arms. Jump your feet back together and lower your arms to the starting position.

Donkey kicks

Get on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Keeping your knee bent, lift your left leg so that your knee is parallel to the floor and the bottom of your foot is parallel to the ceiling. Lower you leg back down and repeat with the right leg.

As always, check with your doctor before beginning to workout. Honor your body and modify this workout as needed for your circumstances and injuries.

New Year’s Eve Weekend Recap

Happy new year! I hope everyone's 2018 got off to a great start. I spent New Year's Eve with my boyfriend. Before I get too far into that I'll start back on Friday.

Friday

Rocky Ridge YMCA Tour

Friday was another cold day – last week we had really cold weather here in Calgary, so much so that there was a weather advisory – so I didn't end up doing much. It's really hard to talk yourself into going outside with it's -40 outside with the windchill. The roads weren't in great shape either thanks to a bunch of snow, so they were another reason to stay close to home.

I did venture out with my dad to take a tour of the new YMCA that opens in a few weeks near me. This facility has been a long time coming and I'm so excited to start working out here! While we weren't able to actually go into the gym (we were only able to check it out from above), it still looks like it's going to be great. I was a little disappointed we weren't able to check out the change rooms either. Oh well, I'll be able to get a look at them soon.

I currently workout at a YMCA, so I'll have access to this new one when it opens. There's a lot more cardio equipment and benches than at the one I currently go to, so I'm super excited about that.

Tim Horton's Hot Chocolate

On the way home my dad and I stopped at Tim Horton's to get some hot chocolate and coffee to warm up.

Saturday

I had originally had a book club night planned for Saturday, but unfortunately it had to be moved to mid January instead. As a result I didn't have anything else going on because I thought I was going to be out already. It was actually kind of nice to have some extra time to catch up on some stuff around the house and on the blog. I got some laundry done that I was putting off as well as getting a couple blog posts started.

Sunday

For New Year's Eve I went over to my boyfriend's place. He lives downtown with a great view of the fireworks that go off at city hall. He'd bought some meat, cheese, and olives that we put together for a charcuterie board. I didn't take any photos of the food, but it was a great combination. We snacked on that throughout the night. For dinner we made pizza, which also turned out pretty good. We stayed in and watched some hockey and Netflix before the fireworks started at midnight. I'm very glad that we were able to see the fireworks while still being warm and cozy inside.

Black Cherry Cider

We also drank some delicious beers and ciders. This one was definitely my favorite from New Year's Eve. My boyfriend brought it back for me when he went home for Christmas, thinking that I'd like it. We also split a cranberry sour that was also pretty tasty.

Monday

I stayed the night and since I had splurged and parked my car in a heated parkade instead of the street like I usually do, it was so nice to get into a nice warm car and not have to worry about cleaning off snow and scraping frost off the windows.

Our family usually has a big dinner on New Year's Day, and this year was no different. We had ham, scalloped potatoes, broccoli, and sour dough bread. It was all delicious and thankfully there's lots of leftovers for this week.

Did you do anything fun for New Year's Eve? Tell me about it in the comments. 

Friday Favorites December 29 2017

Friday Favorites

Candles

I've always been someone who enjoys burning candles, but lately there's something that makes them better. Candles always seem to make the house feel more cozier, and of course they smell fantastic. My go to fragrance lately has been vanilla. It's such a classic scent that's not too over the top.

Mad Men on Netflix

I'm not sure if I should admit this or not, but I've watched the entire series of Mad Men on Netflix in only a couple months. It became one of my favorite shows while it was on TV, though I didn't start watching it until it had been on for a few seasons. Being able to watch it from the beginning was pretty fun. And I noticed a lot more of the little things that I missed when I saw it the first time. If you haven't seen it, I would highly recommend you check it out. There were so many great moments – the lawn mower at the office party, Mrs. Blankenship, and of course Bob Benson.  It's been nominated (and won) a ton of awards, so I'm not the only one who thinks that it's a great show.

Christmas Peaceful Piano Playlist on Spotify

Christmas Peaceful Piano Playlist

I discovered the Christmas Peaceful Piano playlist on Spotify awhile ago, and I've been listening to it non stop. I usually don't have music on while I'm blogging or reading because I get distracted by the lyrics, but since this is an instrumental playlist, it's perfect. I can have it on in the background without feeling like I'm scatterbrained. Also, if you're not using Spotify, you need to start. I first starting using it a couple years ago and I absolutely love it.

Having a White Christmas

Considering the fact that Calgary gets in average over 120 cm (or 50 inches) of snow each year, we haven't had much so far. Until the week before Christmas that is. We got a huge dump of snow, and although it made the roads absolutely terrible, it did mean that we had a white Christmas. I was kind of dreading the snow, but now that it's here, I'm not minding it as much as I thought I would. The houses and trees look so pretty with the snow on them. Now if only the snow didn't stay on the roads and make them so slippery.

 

Life Lately: December 2017

Life Lately December 2017

CSEP certification

It's been a long time coming, but I'm finally a Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology Certified Personal Trainer! To become a CSEP trainer you have to complete at least 2 years of university courses that cover everything from anatomy to exercise physiology. After a first aid re-certification course and taking the CSEP exam, I submitted all of my paperwork and transcripts. I finally heard back a week or two ago that my application was accepted. I was pretty excited to read that email.

I'm super excited that I can now train clients outside of a gym setting and be my own boss now that I have insurance though CSEP. I'm currently in the middle of planning some pretty big things for 2018. It's almost surreal that I now get to do what I've been working towards for years now.

Christmas

Christmas Tree

While our Christmas wasn't as picture perfect as it has been in previous years, it was still a pretty great one. I got to spend time with the people I love and care about the most. I think everyone was pretty happy with their gifts. It's so much fun to find the perfect gift for everyone on my list. I got another photo of a train to for my dad to go with the one I got him last year (check out the photographer's website here). For my brother I got a Carnivore Club box. He's a foodie, so I figured that it would be right up his alley. My mom has been on a candle kick the last few months, so I got her a couple candles from Bath and Body Works. Lastly, I baked some Christmas treats for my boyfriend. I love the feeling of seeing them open something that they'll really like.

2018 goals

Over the last few weeks I've been working hard on figuring out what I want to accomplish in 2018. I think it's going to be a great year, and I have a lot that I want to do. I love this time of year because it's so exciting to know exactly what I want to accomplish in the coming year, and figuring out the steps that I need to take to get there. I want to write a post just about my goals, so I won't get into too many specifics here.

Trying to avoid getting sick. 

This month everyone in my family (mom, dad, and brother) has gotten sick but me. Somehow I've been able to avoid the germs while still spending time with them over Christmas. Needless to say, there's been a lot of hand washing and making sure that I'm getting enough sleep, eating well, and dealing with stress so that I can help my body fight off the germs.

Stress

For the last six months or so there's been a lot of stress in my life. My mom has been dealing with some health stuff, and it's been hard. Really hard. We're still trying to get all the information about what's going on, so I'm hoping once we have all of it, we'll be able to figure out a plan. I'm hoping that once we have that plan in place, it will take away a lot of the stress, not just for me, but the entire family. Being in this place of not knowing is so tough.

Writing

Half way through December I started writing on a daily basis. I used to write a lot more, but over the last few years with school, I haven't done much. I forgot how much I enjoyed it, and I'm so glad that I'm back at it. It's amazing how many words I can write when I'm in the zone. So far I have nearly 10,000 words for a project that I'm working on.

What was the highlight of your December?