Busy Parent Fitness Challenge - Day 16: Legs!

by - Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Today is all about legs! Are squats your friend yet? They hurt so good!! If they aren't, add some weight or hold them longer. I can do 5 minutes of squats (usually while stretching my upper body) and am hoping to extend that time. You could try jump squats for a more vigorous workout too. With the step ups, you want controlled movements, so don't do them too quickly, but do more reps if you can. The toe raises are new this week and will help strengthen an area of the leg we haven't worked on before and will prevent shin splints. Do these a few times a week if you run or plan on adding runs to your fitness regime.   

1) Step Ups: Stand in front of some stairs, a bench, or picnic table (the higher you have to step up, the harder it will be), and step up with your right leg, placing all weight on your right leg. Once your right leg is straight, bring your left leg up beside it. Step down with your right leg, and repeat on the left side. Do 15-20 per side. If you need more of a challenge, do your step ups with a can of soup or light (2-5 lbs) dumbbell in each hand. Start light, then increase the weight in subsequent workouts.

Step up with one foot...
...and then the other
2) Toe Raises: Stand on a (lower, for safety) step with your toes hanging over. With one foot, lift your toes up and hold for a few seconds. Lower your toes. Do 15-20 per side.  
  • Variation: Do these with your backside supported by a wall as if you were going to do a squat.  See this short video to learn how. 
Raise your toe
Lower your toe
3) 30-second Squats: Do 10. You can do it!! If your knees are solid, do 10-20 squat jumps instead. Squat jump = squat with hands out in front of you, jump up and lift arms above your head, immediately lower into another squat and bounce up. You will find your rhythm. 

Squat - start position

Lower and hold
Let me know how it's going! Are you able to do more reps than before? Hold your squats longer?

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