Happy hump day! This week is flying by for me. It feels like it should still be Monday. Before I get into today’s lower body workout, I wanted to share my yoga workout from last night.
I was craving some yoga yesterday, so I checked out the schedule for my favorite yoga studio here in Calgary, the Yoga Shala. There was a class on the schedule called ashtanga unwind that I hadn’t tried before, and one of my favorite teachers was teaching it, so I decided to check it out.
I’m so glad I did because it was such a great class and exactly what I needed. The first part of the class was an abbreviated primary series of ashtanga yoga. I got to move, get sweaty, and work hard. The last 20 minutes or so of class was nice and slow and relaxing. We did a passive chest opener by laying on our backs on a bolster with our arms out to our sides. It felt so good! We spent probably 10 minutes in that pose, and then we went straight into savasana.
I felt amazing when I left the studio. I had had a tough day on Monday (grief sneaks up on you when you least expect it), so being able to focus on my breath (and breathe deeply) and relax. That yoga class was exactly what I needed.
And now onto today’s lower body workout….
This workout can be done at the gym or at home if you have a couple pairs of dumbbells. I like these ones (affiliate link) from Amazon. You’ll start at the top and work your way down, working for 30 seconds and then resting for 30 seconds before moving onto the next move. At the end after the donkey kicks, rest as much as you need before starting over at the top. Complete the whole circuit three time through for a full workout.
Below you’ll find a description of all the exercises I’ve included in this workout, just in case you need a refresher. Proper form is the most important thing, so if you’re unable to have good form for the entire 30 seconds, use a lower weight or end early.
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. Continue alternating legs for the entire 30 seconds.
With feet hip width apart and dumbbells in your hands at your sides, use the glutes to lower your hips back and down while bending at the knees and ankles. 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, again using your glutes to propel yourself.
With your hands on top of a bench, stand on one side of it. Hop your feet to the other side while keeping your hands on the bench for support. Repeat by hopping to the other side of the bench and returning to the original position.
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.
With a dumbbell in each hand. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Slowly bend forward at the hips, letting your arms hang down and keeping your back straight. Using your glutes, lift your torso back up to the starting standing position.
Starting in a standing position, quickly bring your left knee up in front of you as high as you can. Step back down and repeat with your right leg. Repeat.
Lay on your side on the floor with your hips bent at a 45 degree angle and your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. With your legs stacked on top of one another, slowly lift your top knee up while keeping the top heal on the bottom heal. Then lower your knee back down. Make sure to use your glutes do the movement. Once one side is done flip over so the top leg is on the bottom and repeat with the second leg.
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.
What’s your favorite lower body exercise? For me it’s definitely squats or leg press.
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As always, check with your doctor before beginning to workout. Honor your body and modify this workout as needed for you.