Squats and lunges have always been a great way to get your legs and glutes warmed up for the day. Plyo lunges do a better job because you’re engaging more of your body. It’s all about pushing your body to its limits so that it can work harder in the future. Start by doing lunges: extend your right foot forward and lower your body, return to starting position and repeat on the other leg. To make a plyo lunge, just skip out the middle step. Switch your legs in midair instead of bringing them together in the starting position.
The curtsy lunge may sound like a silly name for an exercise, but it’s actually pretty good at working your quads and glutes in a low-intensity way. This strength exercise will increase your stability and balance so that you can engage in more challenging activities, as well as maintain your core as you age. Stand with your feet slightly apart and your arms at your sideStep back with your left foot like you’re doing a curtsy, and lower your body as you bend your knees. Raise your arms to help you balance, and then return to the starting position. Switch legs and repeat on the other side.
Using a resistance band can help to make your workouts a lot more intense. It can provide you with the effects of weights without buying weights, and a resistance band can be folded up and stored in a drawer out of the way. So when you add a band to the mountain climber exercise, you’re definitely going to put your body to work. Hook your thumbs through a resistance band and loop it around your torso, behind your back. Go into the pushup position and, with your hands completely straight, lift your right foot, raising your knee to your chest. Return to starting position and repeat on the other leg.
The bird dog is a simple exercise that works on your core and improves your stability. It’s low-impact, so it also works outstanding as a warm-up exercise or if you’re just interested in doing yoga. It’s also an exercise that’s great at relieving chronic lower back pain. Get on the floor on your hands and knees. Raise your right arm and your left leg, keeping them parallel to the floor. Hold it for a few seconds and return to starting position. Then switch to your left arm and right leg, hold, and return to starting position. Repeat 8 to 12 more times.
Doing squats works perfectly on your glutes, but you can intensify the exercise with single-leg squats. They require a lot of balance, so you’re also engaging your core in the process. But you can add a dumbbell or medicine ball to the mix to up the difficulty level. Stand on your right foot and lift your left leg straight out in front of you. Lower yourself into a squat position by bending your right knee. Aim for getting low enough so that your hips are parallel to the ground. Stand back up and repeat five more times, then switch to the left leg.
The single-leg deadlift is a variation of a regular deadlift; only you’re doing it on one leg. The exercise forces you to be aware of your body as you try to maintain your balance. The goal is to keep your back as straight as possible to avoid injury from taking place. Start with your feet a little apart, with your hands at your sides. Slightly bend your right knee and extend your left knee out behind you while keeping it straight. Lean forward at the hips at the same time until you’re parallel with the floor. Return to starting position, switch legs, and repeat.
Are you interested in working out your glutes and your hamstrings? They can get pretty tight and underutilized if you’re not putting them to work. The single-leg bridge will help sculpt and tone the muscles within so that you can have a fabulous booty that you’ll love to show off to the world. Lie on your back and place your hands on the floor for added stability. Bend your right leg and straighten your left leg towards the ceiling. Pressing the heel of your right foot into the floor, lift your pelvis off the floor as high as you can, keeping your upper body on the ground. Slowly lower to the floor and repeat about ten times before switching to the other side.
Squat thrusts are similar to burpees, except without the jumping part at the end. It’s not an exercise for a beginner, but it’s great at getting your heart rate up once you’ve warmed up properly. It focuses on your abdominal, legs, and glutes but is also good at toning your shoulders. Stand with your feet slightly together and lower your body into a squat position. Then, place your hands on the ground in front of your feet. Jump your feet backward until you’re in the pushup position. Jump again, bring your feet back to your hands, and then stand. Repeat the exercise a few more times.
If you find that your hamstrings and glute muscles are feeling a little tight, then reverse lunge to high knees is the perfect exercise to loosen them up. This exercise is excellent at getting your legs limber, especially if you plan on doing a lot of running. Stand with your feet apart and your hands on your hips. Lunge backward with your left foot until both knees are at 90 degrees. Bring the left foot forward as you straighten your right leg and bring your left knee as high as it can go. Repeat 8-10 times and then repeat on the other leg.
Your thighs and knees are definitely going to burn after performing a few wide-narrow-wide squat jumps. This exercise will strengthen the muscles in your hips as well, but it’s primarily designed to keep your legs toned and strong. Only do this exercise at a level you’re comfortable with so that you don’t risk injury. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands at chest level. Lower into a squat and then jump, bringing your feet together. Land with bent knees into a squat, then jump again and spread your feet again back into starting position.
Keeping your hips limber is the key to maintaining your balance. Weak hips mean that you don’t have a lot to stop you from falling. Using a wall helps you to warm up to this exercise so that you can end up doing it on your own without the assistance of a wall. That’s why wall squat isometrics are important. Stand with your feet apart, as wide as your hips, and with a wall behind you. You should fold your arms should go over each other at chest level. Squat until your knees are at 90 degrees and your back comes into contact with the wall. Hold for a few seconds and stand back up to the starting position. Repeat as many times as you’re comfortable doing.
Air squats aren’t for the faint of heart. They’re mostly used in CrossFit because you’re using your own body weight to help your muscles work out, and you should do these strength training exercises after you’ve warmed up effectively. Keeping proper form is also crucial so that you don’t put any strain on your back. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and clasp your hands together. Squat like you’re sitting in a chair, but don’t lean too forward. Aim to get your knees at 90 degrees, and your thighs are parallel with the floor. Hold for a few seconds and then return to starting position.
Summer is the time to show off those abs, and you can definitely achieve that sic pack by adding these two-point touch planks to your everyday routine. It’s vital that you start slowly to get used to your sense of balance and how your body will react to the exercise. Don’t jump into them too quickly. Get into plank position. Bring your right knee up to your chest and bend your left elbow to try and touch your right knee. Then extend your right leg straight behind you and your left arm straight in front of you so that they form a straight line with your back. Return to plank position and switch to your left leg and right arm.
Performing a glute march in bridge is a great way to get that curvylicious booty you’ve always been aiming for to fill out that pair of jeans. It’s a great exercise to tone your glutes, work on your abs, and help you to stretch out the muscles in your back as well. Lie on your back with your arms out to your sides, palms up, for added balance. Bend your knees and lift your pelvis off the ground. Then perform a march, lifting your left leg first and then your right leg, keeping your pelvis off the ground the entire time.
Crunches are pretty easy to do, so it’s time to step up your game and take them to the next level with these alternating toe touch crunches. Don’t feel like you have to get these perfect the very first time. This is a flexibility test, so it’s essential that you work your way up to them over time. Lie on your back and extend your legs straight up towards the ceiling. Place your hands behind your head. Perform a crunch while keeping your legs straight, and try to touch your right foot with your left hand. Lower yourself back to the ground and repeat with the opposite hand. Repeat as often as is comfortable.
Bicycle crunches are also a great way to work on your abdominal without putting a lot of strain on your back. Keeping your legs engaged during the exercise will help you burn more calories and help develop the muscles along your sides for improved balance. Lie on your back with your knees bent at 90 degrees. Place your hands behind your head and curl your shoulders off the floor. Twist your right elbow to touch your left knee while straightening your right leg. Then twist your left elbow to your right knee, straightening your left leg. Go at a slow pace and repeat 10 more reps.