Ouch! My legs hurt today! It's not every day that my own Belly Bootcamp classes hit me so hard I'm actually sore for a day or two...but it happens sometimes when I've crafted a particularly effective combination of exercises to target a specific part of the body.
In this case: quadriceps (the muscles of the front of your thigh) and adductors (the muscles of your inner thigh).
Is there a woman out there who doesn't want firmer, more shapely thighs? Especially that jiggly bit, right at the top—the biological purpose of that fat deposit is right up there with black holes as far as mysteries go.
And even if short-shorts don't motivate you, strong thighs & hips help build a strong core and keep your knees well supported to prevent knee injuries and pain.
If you are running or running-walking the RBC Run For The Kids this September with Erica and me, these moves will help you build endurance for running and keep your knees happy when you pound the pavement.
Best part? No equipment required! Add them to the end of your runs, or do them every other day before dinner. Yes, you will have to put down that glass of dinner-prep red...
Want to feel the burn? Warm up first with 2-5 minutes of stairs, jogging on the spot. jumping jacks or other cardio. Next, try one set of each exercise, in order. Rest 1 minute, then repeat. Rest again, then repeat for one third and final set. Finally, stretch or follow with more cardio if you have time.
Here are the 3 killer leg-toners straight from Belly Bootcamp:
Pivot Lunge: begin with feet together. Pivot and step to the left (turning 90 degrees) into lunge position; lower until left thigh is parallel with floor, then press back to starting position (turning back 90 degrees) Repeat on right. Continue alternating sides for 20-30 reps.
In And Out Jump Squat: begin with feet hip-width apart. Squat until thighs are roughly parallel with floor, then jump up explosively and land with feet wide, lowering immediately into another squat. Be sure to land softly to minimize the impact on your joints and place your heels down after landing. Next, from wide squat, jump again to land with feet narrow to complete 1 rep. Continue jumping out and in for a total of 8-12 reps (16-24 total jumps).
Wall Sit: stand with back against wall, feet hip-width apart and roughly a foot from the wall. Lower yourself until thighs are parallel with floor. Extend arms out to side and keep abdominal muscles drawn in so back does not arch excessively. Hold 1 minute (or as long as possible if 1 minute is too long).
Enjoy! And prepare to curse your stairs tomorrow morning.
Masochist? Get more leg exercises to tone butt & thighs!
A little public service message here: There are risks with any kind of exercise. If you are unsure, I always recommend you ask questions first, shoot later. You can shoot me an email at dara[at]bellybootcampdot]ca if you have a question about this or any other exercise.