10-Minute Lower Body Blast


David Freeman's Alpha Strong Lower Body Blaster 

As National Manager of Life Time's Alpha program , David Freeman understands what it takes to squeeze a solid lower body workout into a short amount of time. Here, he shares four exercises that will have you pushing yourself to the limit. 

Do all four movements for five rounds (reps included in each exercise description). Rest one minute after each round.
Goblet Squats:  The goblet squats are a front-loaded squat using a dumbbell or kettlebell. Get in a traditional squat position and hold the weight under your chin. Keep your arms close to your chest and elbows pointing down, then lower your body to a squat. Pause at the bottom and press back up. In addition to the lower body, this move engages the core and allows for great glute activation with the counterbalance of the weight being in front, and glutes setting back in squat motion. Repeat for 20 reps.

Squat Jumps:  Assume a squat position with your legs shoulder-width apart. Now, bend your knees and lower yourself into a squat position. Explode up, raising your feet off the floor a few inches. Your arms can be out in front of you or at your sides. As you come back down, make sure to land softly in a squat position. Repeat for 15 reps.

Walking Lunges:  Find an area that has a long stretch of floor. Stand with your feet together and hands on your hips. Starting with your right foot, step forward into a lunge position. Now, bring your left foot forward and step into a lunge position. Alternate legs and walk for 20 reps per leg.

Hip Thrusters:  Sit down on the floor with a bench behind you (the long way). Push your upper back into the bench. Engage your core and glutes, and push through your heels to thrust you up. Your feet should be a little more than shoulder-width apart. Lift your hips toward the ceiling, as high as you can. Try to form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Pause at the top of the movement, and return to the starting position. Repeat for 20 reps.

Amy Jordan's Functional Lower-Body Blast 

Celebrity trainer and WundaBar creator Amy Jordan uses a lot of foundational Pilates moves to create her lower body routines. Here, she takes us through a four-move sequence guaranteed to have your glutes screaming by the end. 

Perform eight reps of each move, repeating on the other side when necessary. Rest for 30 to 60 seconds after one round and repeat. Complete up to three rounds. 

Tree Hugger Clock Sweeps:  Stand with shoulders over ankles over hips (you can use a chair back for support). Feet are in first position--heels touching and toes open like a slice of pie. Reach your left leg forward with your big toe grazing the floor. Hold two light dumbbells at chest height as if you're hugging a beach ball or tree trunk. Inhale and let your left big toe graze the floor as you sweep your straight left leg around the clock from 12 o'clock to 6 o'clock. Exhale and let your big toe continue to graze the floor as you sweep around the clock from 6 o'clock back to 12 o'clock.

Touchdown Lunges:  Stand with feet parallel and shoulder-width apart. Take one large step forward with your left leg; your left foot will be flat and your right heel will be lifted off the floor. Hold dumbbells at chest height in front of you. Exhale and lower into a lunge by softening both knees and allowing the left knee to reach a bit in front of the ankle while keeping it aligned with your big toe and second toe. Hold at the bottom of lunge to wag your tailbone a bit to the right. While holding in the lunge position, inhale and melt your shoulder blades down like pulleys to draw the dumbbells up to the sky. Exhale, and return the dumbbells to the starting position. Inhale and think of your inner thighs like a pair of scissors closing from the top, narrow through the hips and lift through the core back to two straight legs. Avoid the temptation to push through your left heel. Perform eight reps on each side.

Side Plank Scoops:  Sit on your left hip and place your left hand in line with your left shoulder. Extend your legs with your left foot in front of right on the floor. Your head, shoulders, hips and left heel are in a perfect line. Lift out of your left wrist by narrowing your imaginary corset around the waist and drawing the back side of your left underarm forward. Inhale. Your right hand should have the dumbbell extended to the sky. Reach through every limb. Exhale and bring your right hand toward the floor as your pelvis pivots and your torso rotates while your right arm reaches under the torso. Hips simultaneously reach up and back like a downward dog. Inhale and unwind the right arm, torso and pelvis to return to side plank. Move back to the starting position and repeat. Perform eight reps on each side.

Four-Point Kneeling Xs:  Lower yourself to the floor with shoulders over wrists and knees four to six inches apart below your hip sockets. This is called "four-point kneeling" in Pilates. Before you move, find your neutral pelvis by allowing the natural curve of your low back to be present. Lift out of your wrists by opening your chest and spiraling the inside of your elbows to the front. Inhale and reach the right arm with a light dumbbell straight forward and at the same time graze the toes of the left leg back along the floor until they float off the floor. Your left leg and right arm are now level with your torso. Inhale and return right arm and left leg to parallel. Exhale and lower right arm and left leg to start. Perform eight reps on each side.

One Legged Bridges:  Lie on your back with knees bent, both feet flat on the floor and outer thighs magnetized to keep legs closed. Hold a light dumbbell in each hand with arms reaching straight to the sky. Exhale and roll the pelvis like a gear wheel toward your navel to peel your hips off the floor. Slowly follow with the rest of the spine, lifting with length, until you are in a bridge with your body flat from your shoulders to your knees. Inhale, keeping the knees glued together, and extend the right leg at a 45-degree angle with the front of your ankle open. Hold. Exhale and bring both arms open to the sides with a soft bend at elbows until your hands hover over the floor. Inhale and bend your arms to 90-degree angles with elbows hovering over the floor and arms sweep through back to start position straight to the sky. Exhale and slowly roll down, starting with the upper back and ending with the pelvis. Lower down the spaces between your vertebrae rather than the bones themselves to really find length through your downward motion. Perform eight reps on each side.

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