Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Glute Day! 30-Minute Lower Body Circuit

I've become a pro at short but sweet workouts. Not because I don't love being in the gym but now that my day job isn't inside a gym, I simply don't have the same kind of time to exercise that I once did.

My workouts are rarely longer than 20-30 minutes... primarily due to having to squeeze in my workout before work... but I find that quality over quantity works every time.  Maximizing my time in the gym and lifting heavy (for me) weights help me stay on track.

You do not need to spend hours in the gym or take back-to-back classes to see results...
Efficiency is key.


I mostly work out to offset my Dorito habit maintain my muscle and feel good about myself.  However, if I decide to compete in another fitness show next year (which I'm contemplating!) then I will have to adjust my routine a bit because my goals will change from maintenance mode to show prep. My goal will still be to fit everything in in 30-45 minutes though, albeit adding another day or two per week.

Generally, I stick with full-body workouts but this past weekend I solely focused on lower body.  I've been traveling a lot lately, both car travel and plane travel, which means a ton of sitting... so I wanted to shake things up a bit!

I did 3 sets of 10 repetitions on almost all exercises, only resting enough in between each exercise to catch my breath and drink water.  It took me about 30 minutes, including my warm-up and foam rolling.

Here's what I did...

30-Minute Lower Body Circuit
  • Dynamic warm-up: walking lunges, high-kick walk, squats, hip-openers, side lunges
  • Foam Roll: quads, adductors, abductors , glutes, back, lats
  • Stretch: Hamstrings (mine are notoriously tight!)

Circuit #1 (3 x 10, unless noted):
  1. Hip Thrusters (double-leg x10; single-leg x5ea)
  2. Rear-Foot Elevated Split Squat
  3. Wide/Narrow Squat Jumps *

Circuit #2 (3 x 10):
  1. Step-Down Taps (I couldn't find a good video but basically you start on top of a bench, tap down with one foot then use your glute to pull yourself back up.  Do all one side then switch)
  2. KB Deadlift
  3. Jump Lunges *

*The jumping exercises can be modified and performed without the jump as well.  Be smart and listen to your body!  If your knee or ankle or some other part of your body feels a little out of whack, don't make it worse!

You'll notice that I do a LOT of single-leg work. I do a lot of single arm work too.  My body is pretty off-centered, literally and strength-wise, because of my scoliosis...

I have a clear weaker side in both upper and lower body, so unilateral exercises (aka, working each side individually) helps train the asymmetries in my body.

Train smart, unlike Ron...

Let me know if you decide to try this circuit out!  I recommend bodyweight only to start, especially if these exercises (or strength training in general) are new for you... see how you feel in the 48 hours after (especially those glutes!), and then add weights the next time if muscles feel good.

Consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program and always seek professional advice before engaging in any physical activity.

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