Sunday, March 4, 2018

fitness guide: legs, butt, and abs

Fitness has always been a rocky road for me. I stopped being active and caring in college and it was such a difficult journey getting more serious into fitness as well as educating myself on fitness. However, having someone to work with you is the greatest motivation ever. I have worked long and hard with one of my closest friends + gymbae Fiona to come up with this guide. We have both done so much research to come up with a work out routine that actually works for us. We generally stay for 2~3 hours on our long gym days to complete this.

It may not be ideal for everyone but with our body type and goals this was what we wanted most to target our lower body, tone legs, build a butt and work on our core. For arms and upper body, I will be coming up with another workout plan for that in the near future.

1. ONE MILE RUN
First off we usually run for 1 mile or if that's too much run at a constant pace (at your comfortable speed) for 10 minutes. I know most people stretch first but I have found that running on 5-6 speed at 1~1.5 incline on the treadmill for at least 1 mile (or 10 minutes if 1 mile is too much) has helped me warm up and activate so many muscles. I generally go to the gym in the mornings so that morning run first thing really helps me wake up. Also a 10-minute run a day really helps blast away fats!


2. STRETCHING + ROLLING
After my run I always stretch and roll out my black and legs straight after. Rolling is so important to me because it has significantly improved my posture and helped me work on my back. I like to also use the roller to roll out my legs. I like to roll my back an legs for roughly 2 minutes. Then comes stretching! Some basic ones I love doing are: lunges on both legs for 30 seconds each side (do your best to hold the form and really activate those muscles), toe touches on each leg (do your best to stand straight and do not bend your knees when stretching/touching your toes), sitting down in the butterfly position and pulling your legs in as close as possible and holding it for at least 30 seconds.


3. STAIR MASTER SQUAT JUMP + KICKBACKS
After stretching we'll usually do our stair master squat jump and kickbacks workout. (5 minutes only it burns) we do this every other workout. Although I only use the stair master for 5 minutes. These are the worst 5 minutes ever. Set the speed to 5-8 depending on what you are comfortable with. You want to skip a step each time you do a kick back, basically as you step up skip one step kick back and go for the next and repeat. This really helps work your legs and activate glutes. Keep this going. There are two marks where you stop. Once at 1:30 min and once again at 3:30 min. At those times you'll actually go into the squat position and do your best to hop on the steps instead of just walking up those steps. This sounds so much easier than it actually is. When you hop you want to also skip a step. I usually try to do this for 30 seconds but if you cant just try to do at least 5+ jumps before returning to just walking on the stairs.



4. CABLES + BUTT KICKS
Cables are our most favorite workout. This is the one thing we never skip. Try to do 20 reps each leg and 3 sets. I like to set my weight to 20~25lbs. Set it to whatever feels comfortable to you to ensure that you are able to do at least 15-20 butt kicks on each side. For some reason this one gets me sweating the most and works out your glutes, legs and surprisingly your back as well. 


5. CABLE PULL THROUGHS
Using cables again we usually attach the rope and set the weight to roughly 38~40 lbs depending on what's available at your gym. Each time you pull through squeeze your glutes and keep your back straight. I have found that this is an excellent workout for your back and glutes. We generally do 30reps and 3 sets total. Combining this with the cable kick backs makes an awesome power set.



6. LUNGES USING ASSISTED WEIGHTS
35lbs on each side, 15 lunges per leg, 3 sets total. If you are just starting off try using 10~15lb weights on each side instead of 35lb. I just worked my way to 35lbs over time and that is what I am comfortable with now. Once you are comfortable with 15lbs on each side try going to 25lbs and so on. The goal is to have more reps in order to burn more fat. Set the weight to however much you feel comfortable doing at least 15 lunges on each leg. I feel that doing this helps tone my legs so much and really helps me feel those activated glutes (especially doing this after the cable butt kicks).



7. SQUAT SQUAT SQUAT
I alternate between assisted and unassisted depending on which gym I'm at. Try doing at least 3-4 reps. I am still really new to squats because I have never been to a gym that even had free weights until early this year/end of last year. I started off working on my form first. Legs spread apart and toes pointed outwards and shifting all of the weights onto my heels, not toes (for safety reasons). You want to also keep your back straight and not hunched and finding the spot for where the bar rests takes time for you to know what is most comfortable for you. I like to squat 10-15 reps with just the bar if I am using unassisted weights since the bar itself is already 45lbs. It is a great warm up. After that, I'll slowly add on weights. Since I am still new and training on this I just go in increments of 5-10lbs. So after squatting the unassisted I would add on 15lbs on each side (making it 75lbs) and squatting at least 10-15 times. After that set, I'll go up to 25lbs on each side (95lbs total) and try to do 8-10 squats. Squatting is amazing and doesn't just work out your legs and butt but really helps you with your core whereas squatting with the assisted just help me work on my lower body alone not too much my core.


8. HIP THRUSTERS
Hip thrusters using 25/25 lbs weights + cushion to protect your hips (35-40 reps and 4 sets).
Oh my god hip thrusters are amazing and our new favorite. Fiona came up with this one and we have somewhat modified it to really activate your glutes. Grab a bar (45lbs) and grab 2x 25lbs free weights. I like to fold up a yoga mat and place it on my hips and the bar so that I don't get bruised the next day or anything, also for comfort. You want to support your back on something just like I have here and do at least 30-40 thrusts. By your last one, you want to hold it up in the air and feel that burn! Hold it for as long as you can.


9. HYDRAULIC OUTER THIGH MACHINES HIP THRUSTS
Glute workout using the hydraulic outer thigh machine. You want to set the weight at roughly 100~110lbs. I only like using the outer thigh machine and not the inner thigh because I am working on building my hips/fixing those hip dips and I do not want to grow too much of my inner thigh. I recommend setting the weight to a lower one where you feel comfortable doing more reps. It's important to do low weight and high rep. I generally set my weight at 110lbs and do 30 reps and 3 sets. Your butt will be on fire!


10. QUICKIE AB WORK OUT IS A MUST
We like to always squeeze in a quick ab workout with3 sets (we consider these our HIIT workout). First of we start with TRX crunches (as shown in the photo) 30 reps as fast as you can. You can really feel the burn from this. Then we move onto Russian twists using 10 lbs dumbbell 30 on each side, and lastly scissors 15 total (counting extremely slowly).

11. LONG WALK + HIGH INCLINE ON TREADMILL
Lastly, we like to end out workouts with a long walk high incline set at 10 incline 3.5~3.8 speed for roughly 20-30 minutes. I love just walking at a high incline at the end of my workout because it's a great cool down yet you are still toning your body from the incline.


SUPPLAMENTS?

Supplements that I am currently taking are by Women's Best BCAAs in Iced Peach Tea before and during my workouts. Immediately after my workouts, I'll make a shake with one scoop of Women's Best Whey Protein and 2 scoops of Women's Best Slim Body Shake. I get so hungry after workouts so the extra carbs form the slim body shake really help me get my energy back. Oh also, a lot of water! Want to try out Women's Best supplements? Get 15% off with discount code "fitandhealthy15"

Outfit details: top/bra lululemon + leggings saski collection

I hope this guide helps! I'll have another one for upper body (arms/back/abs) later on!
xx
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