Tag Archives: lunges

4 Super Effective Leg Workouts from Gerren Liles

leg-workouts-lunges

By Gerren Liles, AcaciaTV trainer

I’ve got the moves to chisel and sculpt your legs to perfection. Now that the weather’s warm, get ready to show off your gorgeous gams in a short skirt by doing 1-3 sets of each of these 4 exercises, 2-3 times a week.

ALL OUT LUNGES

Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides. Step your right foot back about a stride’s length then bend both knees until your left thigh is parallel to the floor. Immediately stand back up and swing your right leg forward a stride’s length, bending both knees as soon as your foot touches down.

Next, jump up in the air and switch leg positions, bending both knees again as soon as your feet touch back down. Use your arms throughout to both power and balance your movements.

Repeat 8-15 times. (more…)

The No-Squat Lower Body Workout in Just 5 Moves

lower-body-workout-no-squats

I love squats because they are functional and efficient. Squats strengthen the muscles that keep us mobile and independent. Every time we sit in a chair or use the bathroom we are squatting. When we can no longer do those things on our own we are in trouble.

So imagine the challenge for those who cannot do squats as a form of exercise. I encounter people all the time who can’t perform a squat, because of injury or chronic conditions, include squats as part of their exercise program. It can be a frustrating situation for both client and personal trainer. While this does present a unique challenge it doesn’t mean they have to resign themselves to a lower body workout of machine driven exercises like the leg extension.

Machines can have their place in a strength training program; however, some of them do put the body in an unnatural position. They don’t mimic real world movements. We live in a 3D world and are meant to move in multiple planes. Strength training is most effective for most people with movements that mimic real life motions. Also many clients have limited equipment at home. By necessity, programs must be designed that utilize simple tools like resistance bands and their own body weight.

If squats are painful or have been forbidden by your doctor, there are still many exercise options for your lower body. Try this workout combination for an effective leg workout sans squats. Do 2-3 sets of each exercise, 10 – 12 repetitions per set. (more…)

7 Fool Proof, No Excuse Ways to Move More Every Single Day

move more

Thousands of years ago, humans were always on the go: gathering berries, hunting prey, running from predators. Our metabolisms are still essentially the same as these humans and yet we are lucky if we can get in more than just the walk from our car to our desk and back again. With the rise of desk jobs comes the rise of ultra-sedentary lifestyles, even increased diabetes risk for women who sit too long.

This is not your fault! Plus…You are busy! You work hard! You get home at the end of the day exhausted, and your only remaining energy gets allocated to helping your kids, then maybe watching a quick TV show before your own well-deserved bedtime. And while this movement is no longer built into our survival like our early ancestors, we still need activity for our body to thrive.

Here are 7 Fool-Proof Ways to Move More in Your Day.

Not only does your body deserves this, it needs it. (more…)

5 Exercises You Love to Hate, but Should Do Anyway

There are three benefits to hiring a personal trainer. The first is accountability. Having someone waiting on you helps insure you get to the gym. The second is structure. We have enough to think about, letting someone else put together the workout is a huge time saver. The third is having someone who pushes you out of your comfort zone and makes you do the exercises you hate.

Even the most devoted exerciser has at least one exercise they love to hate. We hate it when we’re doing it, but we love the way we feel or look afterwards. I did an informal poll of my clients and came up with the five exercises they love to hate (and why we should all do them anyway).

plank
Burpees (aka squat thrusts): I don’t think one client likes burpees. I like them because they are efficient. If you want to get to your heart rate up and work multiple muscle groups (core, arm, shoulders and quads) then the burpee is the quickest way to do it. A burpee can also be modified for almost every fitness level.

Squats: I get groans every time I mention squats. That means there are a lot of groans because we do some form of a squat at every workout. Squats are a part of daily life (think about every time you get up out of the chair). If you want to stay independent and function for your whole life squats need to be part of your workout routine. (more…)

Saturday Morning Drill: Stretches for Runners

Stretching: Possibly the secret weapon for any successful athlete, especially runners. The trick is knowing when to stretch and how to stretch. It’s also important to know some stretches are better for runners than others, and even if you have just a little bit of time you can make a big difference in your performance with a few specific moves. 

Hanna Rosov, ACSM, HFS, and owner of Zeal Fitness in Wichita, Kansas, works with many runners and lent some insight on proper stretching routines for those who run often. “There are a couple different kinds of stretching that are appropriate at different times,” said Rosov. “Dynamic stretching works best as a warm up prior to running. It tells the muscles ‘get ready we’re going to do something.'”

Dynamic stretching looks different than traditional floor moves, as they’re typically active movements that can be safely done before a workout or run without expending too much energy. “Dynamic stretching doesn’t use a lot of energy; you are putting your muscles through a range of motion while gradually increasing heart rate,” said Rosov. (more…)

Saturday Morning Drills: 30-Minute Stairs Total Body Workout

One of the biggest excuses for not working out is the lack of time. By the time you get your gym bag together, drive to the gym, park, walk inside, say hi to your friends, do your workout, and head home again, you’ve taken up a good hour or two of your day. Because I know how valuable each individual’s time is, I developed this quick and easy access workout that can take only 10-30 minutes of your time. You’ll be getting your sweat on for that entire duration, not spending half of it driving.

All you need today is a staircase. It doesn’t matter how many steps it has because you can make do with whatever you’ve got – in your house, front porch, or stadium. Combining these exercises will give you a total body workout. The key to reaching success is to go as long as you can without any breaks (think Crossfit). My suggestion is to do one set of each exercise until you’ve completed all seven and call that round one. Try to do 3-5 rounds all together for the total workout, and only take breaks in between each round. Each exercise should be done for 10-15 reps. Once you feel like you’ve got it all figured out, start timing yourself and try to beat your time as each round progresses. Good luck!

Stair Laps: This one’s pretty self explanatory. We’re going to start with a few stair laps as our warm up to get that heart rate up, the legs stretched out and the blood pumping. For a stair case that is about 20 steps long, do 5 laps (down and back is one). Start off with an easy pace, and then pick it up after each lap. (more…)

Saturday Morning Drill: Lower Body Blitz

It’s the weekend – time to relax, unwind and blow off some steam from a long work week, right? What better way to de-stress than with exercise? Today we have a simple, 7-move workout that requires no equipment and tones and tightens your entire lower body. Get ready for classics like deep squats and side kicks, as well as a few new moves like the “runner’s start” and standing split kicks.

So get your workout gear on and do this workout, no matter if you’re at home, outside or spending time at a friend’s house. If you have 10-15 minutes, you have time to whip your lower body into shape. Let’s get started! And afterwards, don’t forget to check out these 5 tips to survive the weekend.

View Saturday Morning Drills: The Lower Body Blitz Slideshow

Saturday Morning Drill: How to Get Cameron Diaz’s Sexy Legs

Every human body is different; different in many ways, in fact. But the difference I’m referring to here is the way our individual bodies store fat. Some bodies store fat from the waist up while others store it from the waist down. This is why we’re all a different shape and have to target different body parts for toning.

Last Saturday we worked on those abdominals to help tighten up your core. This Saturday, we’re focusing on those legs. The exciting part about this week’s workout is we’ve got the scoop on what Hollywood superstar Cameron Diaz does to keep her legs in red carpet shape. Look at those gams!

It’s not hard to tell that Diaz takes very good care of her body. One of her favorite ways to workout is Crossfit. Though some of her workouts may be more advanced than the average person, there are some moves she incorporates into her routine that anyone can do, anywhere and at anytime. (more…)

Saturday Morning Drill: A Beginner’s Workout for Your New Year’s Resolution

It’s January, and you know what that means. It’s diet season and everyone’s out to be successful with their New Year’s Resolutions. Whether your goal is to lose weight, gain muscle or to just simply become healthier, it’s easier said than done. For a lot people, getting started is the hardest part. Knowing what to start with may be even more difficult.

For this week’s Saturday Morning Drill, we’ve put together a simple beginners workout that can be done anywhere at any time by using nothing but your own body weight. This is a total body workout that will really get your heart beating, the blood flowing and the muscles working. But don’t worry, it’s definitely bearable. The last thing we want to do is discourage you on the first workout!

This workout is divided into four sections. You’ll start with a type of cardiovascular exercise to get your heart rate up and follow it (without rest) with a strength training exercise. Between each section, rest for one to two minutes. Practice this every day for your first week and see if you can work your way up to doing the workout multiple times in a row.

View A Beginners Workout for Your New Years Resolution Slideshow

Also Read:

Beginners Guide to Resistance Training

Saturday Morning Drills: Post-Workout Stressing 

Absolute Beginners Fitness: 3 in 1 Kettlebell

Saturday Morning Drill: 15 Reps in 15 Minutes Total Body Workout

If you’ve got 15 minutes, you’ve got time to do this quick-yet-intense full body workout. The easiest part about it besides it requiring no equipment is that each exercise is completed a total of 15 times. This means that once you learn the moves, you can get straight to it, counting 15 reps all the way.

We integrate simple moves like high knees and jumping jacks with more challenging exercises like split squat jumps and push ups with a leg raise to get your heart rate pumping and add some serious tone to your figure. Get through the exercises as many time as you can in 15 minutes. Let’s get started!