Hey guys! I wanted to share five of my favorite gym exercises right now with you. Currently, I’ve been doing a lot of HIIT training with a focus on legs and glutes. Like several other people I know, I’m trying to build that booty!! 🍑 Squats are great, don’t get me wrong, but it’s important to mix up your routine and stimulate your muscles in new ways so that your progress doesn’t plateau.
I try to find exercises that not only stimulate muscle growth but also help with my stability and range of motion. I personally have very tight hips from being a long distance runner for so many years that it’s really important I work on my range of motion and stay loose. Here’s some workouts that I have found very effective in my training and I hope you give them a try!
Lateral Leg Raises : Stand tall about a foot away from the cable machine with your shoulder side by side with the machine and your legs about shoulder-width apart. Strap the ankle attachment around the ankle that’s farthest from the cable machine. Place one hand on your hips, while your other hand is securely positioned on cable machine. Raise the weighted leg out laterally to about 45*-90* (whatever is comfortable for you), pause & then reverse the motion back to starting position. This move should be slow and controlled in order to be most effective. I do 3 sets of 12 on each leg. I use 25-30 lbs but use whatever weight is right for you.
Cable Kick Backs : Standing about a foot away from the machine, attach an ankle cuff to your ankle/foot. Facing the cable machine, sit your hips back slightly, hinging at the hips, so that your glute and hamstrings are slightly stretched. You can rest your hands on the cable machine stand for balance. Tighten your core to hold your back straight in a neutral position. (keep spine in a neutral position to avoid lower-back injury) Have both legs slightly bent, use your glutes to your raise your leg directly back behind you about 90* degrees. Squeeze the glutes at the back of the movement. Return the leg back to the starting position, being sure to keep tension on the cable even in the start position. I like to do 3 sets of 12 on each leg. Combining this exercise with the Lateral Leg Raise will create a great super-set! Again just as a reference, I like to use 50-60 lbs for this exercise but do whatever is right for you.
Try alternating between Cable Kick Backs & Lateral Leg Raises on a single leg to create a super-set. A super-set simply means pairing two exercises & performing them back to back, with little to no rest in between. When you super-set 2 exercises that hit the same muscle group, you’re technically performing a “compound-set.” This works the muscle even harder because you’re forcing the same muscle to perform more work in less time! THUS CREATING GAINS!!! 🙌🏽 p.s. I never know what to do with my other hand cause I’m awk. You can try resting your hand on your hip or just have your arm straight along your side.
Lateral Arm Raises : Using two dumbbells (I like to use 10-12 lbs) stand in the anatomical position & the dumbbells by your side at arms length with the palms of the hand facing you. This will be your starting position. In a steady/controlled motion, raise the dumbbells out to your side with a slight bend on the elbow, raise all the way parallel to the floor. Pause for a second at the top and slowly lower the dumbbells back to starting position. Again, perform 3 sets of 12 reps. You can also alternate lateral arm raises with forward dumbbell raises for a super-set! YEE!
Squatted Cable Row : Or cable squat row?! You get the point OK. This is a great exercise that activates multiple muscle groups. Primary muscle groups: middle back, lats, quads. Secondary muscle
groups: abs, biceps, hamstrings. Grip the cable handle in each hand. Stand about a 2 feet away from the cable machine so that the slack tightens. Make sure your back is straight and your core is tight. Bend your knees in a squat position & sit your hips back while you keep your chest up. While squatted, pull the handles back, leading with your elbows. Tighten the back muscles then return handles to the starting position.
Weighted Plate Bicep Curls : All you need is a 25 lb weighted plate for this exercise. You can always go up in weight if this isn’t challenging enough for you. Standing straight up, knees slightly bent, core engaged (I like to face the mirror to observe my form during exercise) hold the plate for 30 seconds and go straight into 10 bicep curls for 4 sets. I get a burn from holding the plate alone!!!
I know I said I’ll only be sharing 5 exercises with you but I’m counting the first two as a one cause it’s an awesome super-set when paired together!!! With that being said, here’s my last but certainly not least fave exercise for the glutes/hamstrings/quads/calves!
Alternating Lunge Jumps : This move helps get your heart-rate up & increase explosive power in your legs! One of the many reasons I love it!!! It’s important to challenge your balance and stability in the gym, not just your strength; this move really incorporates all of those. Start in a split stance position (regular lunge position) with your hands on your hips or arms bent in a running motion, keep your torso upright, & your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Push explosively off the ground, jumping & switching your legs while in mid-air, landing into the lunge position with the opposite leg forward. Repeat, switching legs on each jump. Breaking it down sounds a lot more complicated than it really is so just watch this video for an example 😊 (if this exercise becomes too easy over time, add ankle weights for an extra challenge!!!)
As always, thank you for taking the time to read this! Let me know if this was helpful, I love y’alls feedback and tips! Don’t forget to follow along on Instagram @sarah_fitz42 for more frequent post. Happy lifting!!! Go out & GET AFTA IT 💪🏼😜💦
XOXO MrsFitz 💋