Lower body training is essential. Since legs are the largest muscle group in the body, using them properly is the easiest way to increase your metabolic rate and the quickest way of changing your body composition (fat to muscle). This is what makes your workout pack a punch in terms of more general health benefits as well as increasing your fitness most quickly in the many different ways it is measured, such as strength, stability, mobility, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance and body fat composition. When I hear people talk about lower body training and “Legs Day”, I really want to rename it “Bum Day”. I want to tone my legs and whole lower body (of course), but I’m only really interested in gains in one place. So our workout guide is designed to activate the right muscles in the right order so you are working the ones you want to work: in a nutshell, less quads more glutes.
This workout uses your own bodyweight. The premise behind bodyweight training is how you control your body using a concept known as “time under tension” – how slowly or quickly you do an exercise. All experts will tell you that the longer a muscle is under tension, the more beneficial an exercise will be for your body. In the Youtube video, bear in mind we have sped up the moves. Do not rush! Planks are a good example of a time under tension exercise that is static (isometric). As you know, a plank gets progressively harder the longer you hold it. By using your own bodyweight to perform an exercise slowly, you’ll make the exercises more challenging. Only when you can perform these exercises correctly and to the right tempo, should you attempt to progress by adding weights. We’ll show you how to do these developments and more advanced moves over coming months. We’ll also be able to get more specific on the blog, showing you clips of my three favourite glutes moves or abs blast, for example. This foundation guide has to come first so that your body has the fundamentals of bodyweight training and can switch on the right muscles in the right order. By spending the time now learning to control an exercise, you’ll be able to progress to much more advanced weight bearing exercises more quickly. Time spent now on these carefully chosen moves will give you faster results.
My own experience in doing these exercises is that I have realised quite how much of a workout bodyweight training is – you absolutely do not need heavy weights to challenge and improve your body. It is also hugely empowering learning the basics of bodyweight training in a structured way like this: I will be able to workout anywhere I want by myself once I have mastered this, and so will you. I still have a cardio addiction for my mind – I just need 20 minutes here and there or a run once in a while to clear my head. Over the last year I have changed a 45 minute run or crosstrainer session into a 20 minute run/other cardio plus 20 minutes of these bodyweight moves. I cannot describe the difference that has made – it really increases the value of time spent doing cardio to activate muscles first. There is a fundamental difference in how my body feels – it feels like it is all working together in the correct way. I feel more powerful. The most surprising result is how much faster and for how much longer I can actually run now – having stopped actually running so much. My point is – if you are a cardio addict and you need it, don’t give it up but include some interspersed or preceding bodyweight training. You really will feel and see results!
Hope you are off to do this workout now! Even though it is a lower body bodyweight training workout, I can assure you that you will be using all your major muscle groups (including your core/abs) and your heart rate will go through the roof. If it is easy, you aren’t doing it correctly. Try slowing down to be more precise and exacting. Feel free to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Have fun! Try it with a friend!
LOWER BODY WORKOUT
|Lying leg lifts||1||30’s per leg per move||Moves: lateral, reverse, frontal|
|Hip flexor pulses||1||30’s||Hands flat on the floor|
|Hamstring activation||1||30’s per leg||Leg elevated; back foot flat|
|Crab Walks||1||30’s||Build to a minute|
|Air Squats with glute kick back||3||20||Adapt with ankle weights and/or glute band|
|Hamstring pull through||3||20 (10 per leg)||Use towel or sliders – adapt with ankle weights and/or glute band|
|Side lunges||3||20||Use towel or slider – adapt with resistance band|
|Reverse Lunges||3||20 (10 per leg)||Upgrade to slider or towel|
|Bulgarian Split Squat||3||20 (10 per leg)||Upgrade with weights|
|Single leg RDL||3||20 (10 per leg)||Upgrade with weights|
|Walking lunges||3||20 (10 per leg)||Upgrade with weights|
|Glute-Hamstring Bridge||3||10||Upgrade with weights and glute band|
|Isometric wall squats||3||30’s||Upgrade with weights and glute band|