Summer Sizzlin’ Leg Workout

This week’s Summer Sizzlin Workout is focusing on the lower body but specifically legs. Next week we’ll talk about the booty because its the body part that’s worthy of a whole workout designed just for it…the  booty is that special.
As a reminder Pilates focus is about long lean muscles. For this workout I will be taking exercises we perform in class on the machines into the home with the simple use of a resistance band as our assistance to add resistance. Also if you have some paper plates and can perform these exercises on carpet you will get the best results from these exercises.
Standing Inner Thighs:This exercises is best performed with the paper plates, a resistance band is possible, however you wont have the ability to keep your legs straight the whole entire time and target your outer thighs.-In a standing position-put one paper plate under one foot), you will simply stand upright nice and tall, chest proud and abs tucked in.

-Inhale keeping your legs as straight as possible, open your legs as wide as you can. Focus on just moving the leg on the plate (the other leg will be the focus next).

-Exhale keeping your legs still as straight as possible and close your legs back to starting position engaging your inner thighs to do most of the work.

-Repeat exercise 12-15 times and then switch the plate to the other leg and repeat the same exercise.

*Try different variations by turning your toes inward (pigeon toe) or outward which will engage the glutes in different variations.

Kneeling Hamstring Curl-Kneeling on the ground, you want to lean back slighty to create an angle behind your knees that is less than 90 degrees.-Exhale as you start to bring your chest forward increasing the angle behind your knee. You may not move much more forward than 90 degrees.

*This exercise can get intense fast so you want to take it slow and with each repetition you can try and increase your chest forward

-Inhale and return your upper body back to a less than 90 degree angle behind the knee.

*Repeat this exercise 12-15 times.

GrasshopperThis is one of my all time favorite back side movement. It is great for the hamstrings and the butt!Lie on the ground with palms on floor under shoulders, fingers pointing forward, legs extended and abs pulled in.

-Gaze forward while bending knees and bringing soles of feet together.

-Exhale lifting your knees off of the ground as high as you can engaging your hamstrings and glutes. Hold for a count.

-Inhale and lower your upper things back down to the ground.

*Repeat exercise for 12-15 repetitions.

Walking SquatIn a standing position, wrap a resistance band around your ankles or just below the knees. Make sure the band is tight when your feet are placed right next to each other. The last thing you want is to worry about the band not being tight enough where it will fall off or not be tough enough to feel the leg burn you are aiming for.-Exhale open your legs.

-Inhale lower your butt down into a squat position. Make sure your knees do not come over your toes. The more you keep your butt back and low the more you will feel the burn.

-Exhale straighten your legs.

-Inhale close your legs but walk the leg that stayed put into a closed leg position so that you are laterally moving in one direction.

*Repeat 12-15 times and then laterally move in the other direction for 12-15 repetitions.

-Beginners- go for at least one round of all exercises.-For the more advanced, I recommend completing each exercises two or three times before moving on to the next exercise.If you feel the burn you are doing it right! Don’t stop when you feel the burn the whole purpose is to work to get the burn and then work as much as possible in the burn. If you don’t feel it….. do more, more repetitions. Changes occur during the famed and well earned “burn” stage- let that serve as a reminder to keep you motivated as you sculpt those sizzlin’ legs.