Stuck as I am on using alteration in my titles, I almost used the word “luscious” as a descriptive term in the title. Then my
feminist right mind took over.
I created this workout to complement the Amazing Arms and Shoulders workout. While both are total body workouts, which are perfect for someone like me who is always time-challenged, the first emphasizes the upper body, particularly arms and shoulders, while this functional workout is designed to create a strong lower body and lean legs.
Total Body Functional Workout with Special Focus on Strong Lean Legs
Ball Squat with Pilates Ring or Small Ball: Position a stability ball against a wall and stand with the small of your back pressed into the ball. Put the Pilates ring or small ball between your thighs and squeeze just enough to hold it in place. Lower yourself into a squat, pause for a moment, then return to your starting position. To Advance: Move the ball a little higher on your back, at about the level of your shoulder blades. This position will challenge your core muscles to maintain balance.
Bicep Curls, standing on your Right Leg: Shift your weight to your right leg and lift your left foot off the floor. Hold this position while you complete your bicep curls.
Overhead Triceps Extension, standing on your Left Leg: Switch over to the left leg. Hold one or two dumbbells above your head, with your arms in close to your ears. Without moving the upper arms, bend your elbows, lowering the weight behind your head. Straighten your elbows to the starting position.
Squat Combo: Squat, Hip Abduction, Curtsy Lunge: This is a three-part move. Stand with your legs about hip-width apart. Sit back into a squat. As you stand back up, bring your right leg out to the side, keeping the knee straight and facing forward. Don’t bring it so high that you need to tilt over the other way. As you lower your right leg, cross it behind you and bend both knees again into a curtsy lunge. Stand back up, bringing your legs to the starting position. Complete all the repetitions with your right leg, then repeat on the left.
Pullover, head on Stability Ball (bridge position): Lie back on the stability ball in a bridge position (head on ball, hips lifted, abdominals contracted). Hold one dumbbell in both hands above your head, elbows straight. Slowly lower the weight behind your head, keeping your elbows straight, until your arms are about level with your ears. Return to your starting position.
Seated Twist on Stability Ball: Sit on a stability ball, holding a medicine ball with both hands. Sit tall, lengthening your spin and contracting your abdominal muscles. Without rolling the ball, start to sit back a few inches, until you feel like your abdominal muscles are engaged. Hold this positions throughout the exercise. Holding the medicine ball in front of you, twist to the right, pause, then twist all the way to the left and pause. Repeat for all repetitions.
Lunge with Twist, holding Medicine Ball: Standing with feet about hip-width apart, hold the medicine ball in front of you as you step into a lunge with your right leg forward. Twist to the right, pause, then return to face the front. Step back, then step forward with your left leg. Twist to the left, pause, then return to face the front. Step back to your starting position.
Plank with forearms on Stability Ball: Kneeling behind a stability ball, place your forearms on the ball and lift into a plank position. Your chest should be several inches above the ball. Keep your body straight, don’t sag or lift your hips. Hold for 60 seconds or as long as you can.
Hamstring Curls (Ball Rolls): Lie on your back with your feet on a stability ball. With your arms to your sides, lift your hips. Your weight should be on your upper back and shoulders, not your neck. Holding this position, slowly bend your knees and roll the ball toward you. Pause then return to the starting position. Keep your hips lifted for all the repetitions.
You can alternate this workout with the Amazing Arms and Shoulders workout, or mix it in occasionally for a change of pace. Enjoy!
Do you prefer exercising your upper or lower body? What is your favorite exercise? Least favorite?
Disclaimer: Although I am a certified Personal Trainer, I am not YOUR Personal Trainer. Always adapt workouts to suit your body and fitness level. Always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.