Monday, August 29, 2011

Bodyweight Workout Routine: Leg Progressions

If you are catching this on Monday, then a happy Monday to ya! If not, use this as day 1 for the week and follow along until Friday.

Let's get straight to it, today's bodyweight exercise program:

Warm-up: Joint Rotations, from neck to ankles. Take it slow, let the body wake up. If you need a review of these exercises, visit:
Add easy standing torso rotations, arms out to sides. Then continue the warm-up with,

Choose: Jumping Jacks x25,  1/4 Squats (only going halfway, not to parallel) x 30

If you are still not warmed up, repeat, do some shadow boxing, walking or maybe sun salutations until you are.


Single Standing Rear Leg Raise:  A picture is worth a thousand words right, so:

Single Arm-Single Leg Standing Raise
Start standing at attention, tighten abs and your 'rooted' leg. Bend at the waist, extend one arm and one leg as you do. Bend to parallel, ideally with the leg at the same level as your waist. keep the moving leg and arm straight as you do. This works the hamstrings/glutes and lower back, as well as testing your balance.

Use both legs to complete this exercise, contracting the stationary one and the moving one.

2,3, or 4 sets x 5, 10 or 15 reps (depending on fitness level.) 5 second hold at top of movement on each rep. Steady reps, 2-3 seconds up and 2-3 down. 30 seconds rest between.

Bodyweight Squats:  Simple; squat to parallel, hold 5 seconds, come back up. Do not lock out at top, keep tension throughout. 2,3, or 4 sets x 10,15, or 20 reps. 30 seconds rest between.

***Beginners can stop here, intermediate and advanced go to:

Isometric Balance Hold/One Leg Squat:  Stand at attention, raise arms to shoulder level and lift one leg in front of you. Try to raise it to waist level and hold it there. The goal is to hold it for 30 seconds, but go for at least ten. If this is too easy, close your eyes.

Doing a weighted pistol at
Immediately execute a one-legged squat, If you can do a full pistol (all the way down,) do this x 5-10 reps.

If not, go as far down as you can, hold it for 3 seconds and repeat. 5-10 reps.

Another alternative is to put your leg behind you and squat down as far as possible. Again, hold for three seconds and repeat, 5-10 reps.

Depending on fitness level, complete entire sequence for 2, 3, or 4 sets of 10/30seconds+5-10 reps.

Finish with:

Mountain Climbers: 2, 3, or 4 sets of 30/30: 30 seconds work/30 seconds rest.

Don't forget to cool down with some stretching or more joint work. Good luck!

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