It’s that holiday season again. Time for family, traditional meals and the hustle + bustle of the countdown to New Years. This is also the time of year that many people are so strapped for time that they miss their workouts. Here is just the beginning of a string of at-home workouts that you too can do with minimal equipment + minimal time. So warm up first with a few jumping jacks, running in circles or up and down your stairs, then get ready for your first leg workout in the series.
- light dumbbells (I used 8lbs for this workout).
- Stability ball
- Flex band or tubing (I used a red one and that is somewhat equivalent to 10-12lbs).
Stand with your feet hip width apart, weights in hands. Inhale and bend at the waist, stick booty back, keep back flat (help to keep back flat by keeping your head up and your eyes looking forward). Guide the weights down against your legs, arms straight. Move down as far as you comfortably can without losing proper form and then exhale while you tighten glutes and abs to come back to a standing position. Continue for 12-15 complete repetitions. If it gets too difficult and you begin to curve your back, drop the weights and continue until you have finished the complete set.
One legged dead lifts:
Begin as you would with the regular dead lifts. If you have never done this version, begin with no weights. I typically only use one because quite frankly, my balance stinks! As you hinge forward from the waist, lifting the foot up and off the floor, bring one leg back behind you, while allowing the weight to slide downward to about the shin. Then engage the abdominals and the glutes, to then come back to a standing position.
Now this is where it can get tricky. Sometimes, it is best for balance to raise one arm out in front of your body, but for some people, they can keep balanced without doing this. I go back and forth depending on the day. Sometimes my balance is spot on and other days, it is horrible. Use you own judgement and just be sure you are practicing proper form before adding weight. Continue until you have completed 12-15 repetitions per leg.
Modification: Instead of lifting your leg up off the ground you can try this. Stand in a staggered leg position, your working leg forward and the stabilized leg slightly in back of you. Some pros will call this “kick standing” your foot so that you’re on the ball of your foot. Hinge from the waist, allowing the weight to drop to your shin, engage the abdominals and the glutes, to then come back to a standing position.
Standing side leg lifts/raises:
Grab a resistance band and wrap it around your ankles. Brace yourself with a nearby object in a standing position. This could be the back of a chair, a wall or in my case, it is either my treadmill or a foam roller standing on end. Gently lift your leg out to the side while the other leg is slightly bent, foot firmly planted on the ground. Your leg will lift off the ground approximately 1 foot but you should only go as high as what’s comfortable for you. Continue until you have performed 12-15 repetitions per leg.
From a standing position, cross one foot over the opposite knee to form your legs like a #4. Hold arms out straight in front of your body and squat down. Be mindful, as with any squat, that your knees do not pass beyond your toes. Push your booty, exhale and return to a semi-standing position, keeping legs crossed. Continue for 12-15 repetitions.
Stability ball booty lift:
Lie belly down on a stability ball. Grasp onto a weighted object to keep from rolling. Slowly lift your legs up behind you and squeeze the glutes. Vary the move by holding feet wider the shoulder width, at shoulder width and with the soles of the feet touching. Repeat until you have completed 12-15 repetitions.
BONUS: roll over + do some abdominal crunches!
Would you like to see this in action? You can check out my edited (not full workout) version here.
There you have it! This leg workout is the first in a series of workouts for you try at home. Remember to set your goals high and shoot for a workout everyday. This will ensure that on most days of the week you will get active and surely see the weight drop, muscles tone and energy increase. Be sure to comment below + let me know how you are doing or if you have questions about the workout. See you at the next workout!
Disclaimer: My personal recommendation is to hire a personal trainer. This person will be able to thoroughly help with proper posture.