Day 09 : Workout 9: Legs & Abs


Legs Exercises

1. Deadlift

  1. Stand upright with the barbell centered over your feet. Keep your feet hip width apart and your toes slightly pointed out. Hinge at your hips and use an overhand grip to grasp the bar at shoulder width so that your shoulder blades can elongate.
  2. Lower your hips and bend your knees until your shins come into contact with the bar. Look forward while keeping your chest up and your back arched. Drive through your heels to lift the weight upward.
  3. After the bar passes your knees, pull it back as you straighten your back by raising your chest. You should be pulling your shoulder blades together as you drive your hips forward into the bar. Make sure that you lock your hips and knees, move your booty back, and fire your glutes as you stand up with the bar (this movement comes from your hips, not your knees).
  4. Unlock your hips and knees so that you can lower the bar by hinging your hips back down. Bend your knees after the bar passes them and use your hips to guide the bar to the ground. The bar should land centered over your feet at the starting position.

2. Barbell Squat

  1. Find a squat rack and set the height of the bar slightly beneath your shoulders. Stand with your feet at about hip width apart. Step up to the bar, move under it, and grip it with an overhand grip. The barbell should be supported on top of your traps.
  2. Your chest should be up and your head facing forward. Once the bar is on your back, stand up, flex your core, tighten your glutes, and step away from the rack.
  3. Begin squatting by lowering yourself until your legs reach a 90° angle and your thighs are parallel to the ground. Your knees will move forward, but ensure that they stay aligned with your feet.
  4. While keeping your torso upright, drive your heels into the ground to push yourself back up.

3. Quad Extension

  1. Sit on the leg extension machine with your back against the pad. Your legs should be under the padded lever and your feet pointing forward.
  2. Adjust the pad so that it’s placed above your feet and not at your shins. Your legs should create a 90° angle between your thighs and calves. Grasp the handles on the sides of the machine for support.
  3. Using your quadriceps, extend your calves all the way out so that they align with your thighs. Grasp the handles to ensure your body remains stationary.
  4. Hold for a second then slowly begin to lower the weight back down.

4. Hamstring Extension

  1. Sit on the machine with your back against the pad. Adjust the leg pad so it rests against your ankles.
  2. Secure the lap pad against your thighs, right above your knees. Grasp the handles on the machine to assist you in pointing your toes straight (flexing your feet).
  3. Grasp the handles for support and flex your knees as you curl the weight back as far as possible toward the back of your thighs. Keep your torso stationary at all times and squeeze your hamstrings once you have moved the weight as far back as you can.
  4. After a second, slowly return the weight to the starting position.

5. Calf Raise

Caution: If you suffer from lower back problems, a better exercise would be the calf press. With this exercise your back has to support the weight being lifted. Additionally, your back needs to be straight and still at all times. If you round your back, this can cause a lower back injury.
  1. Start by adjusting the padded lever to fit your height on the standing calf raise machine.
  2. Place your shoulders under the pads and position your toes forward with your feet at shoulder width apart. The balls of your feet should be on top of the calf block and your heels should be extending off the end.
  3. Push the weight up by extending your knees until you’re standing erect. Your knees should have a slight bend and never be fully locked.
  4. Push through the balls of your feet to raise your heels while flexing your calves. There should be no bending in your knees at any time. Hold for a second before you begin to return back down.
  5. Slowly lower your heels and the weight as you bend your ankles until you feel a stretch in your calves.

Abs Exercises

1. Kneeling Cable Crunch

Caution:Do not choose a weight that is too heavy. This can result in straining your lower back.
  1. Find a cable station and attach a rope handle to the top pulley. Grasp the rope attachment at each end, and kneel down so your knees are bent at a 90° angle.
  2. Your arms should be stretched over your head. Your palms should be facing each other when holding the rope and your hands should be placed next to your face.
  3. Slightly flex your hips forward. There should be tension on the cable, and you should feel a stretch in your abs.

  4. Keep your hips stationary, contract your abs, and crunch your chest towards your hips until your head is between your knees. Your elbows should be approaching the middle of your thighs. After reaching this point, hold the contraction for a second.
  5. Slowly reverse back to the starting position. Keep as much tension in your abs during this whole movement.

2. Leg Lift

  1. Lie with your back flat on the floor (or on a bench) with your legs extended in front of you.
  2. Place your hands to your sides with your palms facing down. To keep your hands down for support, you can place them under your glutes.
  3. Keep your legs fully extended and as straight as possible (it’s okay if your knees slightly bend). Hold the contraction at the top for a second.
  4. Slowly lower your legs back down to the starting position.

3. Starfish Crunch

  1. Lie on your back with your arms and legs stretched out into an “X” position.
  2. In one movement, bring one arm straight up across your body while simultaneously lifting your opposing leg and lifting your head.
  3. Attempt to touch one arm to your opposite ankle, or try to come as close as you can.
  4. Alternate sides.

4. Plank

  1. Place your forearms on the ground with your elbows aligned beneath your shoulders. Keep your arms parallel to your body at about shoulder width distance. (You should be in a push-up position, only on your forearms rather than your hands).
  2. Ground your toes into the floor and squeeze your glutes to stabilize your body. Be careful to not to lock or hyperextend your knees.
  3. Neutralize your neck and spine by looking at a spot on the floor about a foot in front of your hands. Your head should be in line with your back. Contract your abdominals to keep yourself up and prevent your booty from sticking up.
  4. Keep your back fat and hold the position for as long as possible without compromising form.