FitFriday #13 + Friday Favorites #3: My Favorite Lower Body Exercises

This month, instead of bringing you my favorite things this month, I'm combining FitFriday and my Friday Favorites to share some of my favorite lower body exercises. I did a workout earlier this week that contained these exercises plus a few more. The way I set it up was to focus on each muscle group of the lower body individually, working up the leg (calves-hamstrings-glutes-quads) and ending with squats. I picked my favorite exercise from each of those muscle groups to share with you today.

Calves

  • Calf Raises

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When I usually do calf raises I do variations of reps with my feet parallel and my feet turned out. This time, I added turning my feet in to work more of the muscle. Also, I decided to do this exercise on a step. Normally when doing calf raises I try not to let my heels touch the ground, but doing it on a step forces you to keep them off the ground!

To make this exercise easier, take it off the step.

To make it a bit more difficult, hold dumbbells during the exercise.

Hamsring

  • Hamstring Curl with Ball

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I did this exercise with a weighted stability ball. It made it just a little more difficult.

Glutes

  • Donkey Kicks

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This is not only my favorite glute exercise, but one of my favorite lower body exercises. For my workout this week I only did the basic donkey kick, but normally I do a different variation of this. The routine I normally do is 20 donkey kicks, 15 pulses on each side, both straight to the back, and out to the side. When going to the side I lift my leg in what some may call a "fire hydrant" position and from there, straighten my leg for the 15 pulses.

Quads

  • Wall Sit

wall sit

Wall sits are an exercise I've been doing for a long time. There was one day in my life that I actually held my wall sit for over 5 minutes. As much as I would like to set this as a goal to reach for in the near future, it's going to take a lot of work to get there again!

What's your best wall sit time? This is a great exercise to time yourself and see how long you can go. Planks are another exercise that you should do this with.

Share your favorite lower body exercises in the comments below! 

Friday Favorites #2: July 2015

It's already the last Friday in July, how does that happen?! My summer has been flying by with me taking classes and working at the dance studio. friday favorites So, let's take a look at some of the things I've been a fan of in the past month!

  • Coffee Grinder (with cord storage!)

IMG_0024 So, last month I talked about the Caveman Coffee I liked so much in June's Friday Favorites. Well, when I ordered that coffee apparently I didn't read all the details and it was whole bean coffee, not ground coffee. Not a problem while I was living in the city because we had a coffee pot that had a built in grinder. The issue came when I moved home. Luckily, I was able to find this gem on Amazon for only $15. It's super easy to use and one of the best features is the fact that the cord wraps around the bottom and is stored and "hidden."

  • Free drink from Starbucks

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After my appearance at Meadowbrook on Monday I was in the mood for something cool and refreshing, especially because it involved standing in the sun for few hours. I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that I had a free drink from Starbucks waiting for me thanks to my rewards card. I walked in and told them to give me the biggest size they had of the new Strawberry Acai Refresher. Solid choice, not disappointed.

  • Quad rides; taking advantage of the country life

IMG_0023One of my favorite things to do when I'm at my parents' house is go out and ride, either alone or with my brother. Since I've moved home I've taken advantage of that quite a bit and I'm loving it. I took our go-cart out for a spin around the yard the other day and the country girl came out of me as I thought to myself, "Why did I ever leave this place?"

  • Back on my babysitting game...and I love these kids

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Now that I'm back in the thumb and have a little more time, I've been babysitting. I missed my kids so much and they have all grown up in the year that I've been gone. What good days I have relaxing with a couple kids watching cartoons. :D (And then there are cute pictures and poses...see above.)

  • Poolside!

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Ah the luxury of having a pool (and your friends having a pool!) Lately I have been able to take advantage of laying out and getting some sun! I don't think this has ever happened as much as it has this year and I really can't complain. (Toes pointed and all...I'm a dancer, can't help it.)

  • Workouts with friends2015/07/img_0282.jpg

Saturday I participated in an event that allowed me to learn more about the Beachbody company as well as do a workout with some new friends. :) It was such a great experience and it really got me motivated to help others.

Well, that wraps things up for today. I hope you enjoy your Friday and your weekend. I'll be attending PiYo training all day Sunday so look for the recap of that next week! :D

Friday Favorites #1: June 2015

Yay! It's Friday and I'm done with finals!! Talk about feeling great :D I've decided that in addition to having Fit Fridays, the last Friday of every month I will also do Friday Favorites. My friend Heather at Life in Leggings does this every week and I really liked the idea and also the chance to link-up with other bloggers to see their Friday Favorite posts as well. So here we are.

friday favorites

  • The Stitcher radio app and podcasts in general

One of the best things that has happened to me lately is podcasts. I drive a lot so its nice to listen to something other than music, especially when you think you've heard just about every song on the radio.

stitcher logo

Source

This app is seriously so awesome. It lets you save your favorite podcasts, downloads most recent episodes for you for offline listening and even recommends podcasts you might be interested in. Even better, my car's radio has this app as well and whenever I have my phone plugged in I can easily navigate through the app on my car radio.

  • Caveman Coffee and MCT Oil

So I gave up coffee for 21 days at the end of April and when I decided to start drinking coffee again I didn't want to drink just any coffee. Sure I have those days where I grab Starbucks or a coffee from a local convenience store but most of the time I'm drinking Caveman Coffee from Onnit. Best. Coffee. Ever.

caveman coffee

When I bought my coffee I also bought MCT oil. The company had a package deal with both products so I figured "Why not?!" And come to find out the MCT oil has AWESOME benefits. It gives you great sustained energy, regulates blood sugar, improves metabolism and improves appetite regulation. Seriously, whoa. To learn more about MCT oil go here.

mct oil

You can buy both of these products from Onnit.

  • Naturebox

Seriously, I love this stuff. Can't wait for my next box which should be shipping soon. If you want to read more, check out my review of my first month of Naturebox here.

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  • Stress Away Oil Blend

As I mentioned above, this week I had finals. It was one of the most stressful weeks of my life to say the least. I took full advantage of my Stress Away oil Thursday to calm me down and keep me focused.

stress away

  • Moving Boxes from Sagebrush

In Wednesday's post I mentioned that I am moving back to the thumb. I really hate moving, there's no good way to put that. But, luckily I saved a ton of money when I took all the boxes from stock at the restaurant I work at! Score!

boxes

And with that I'm off to the restaurant to start my last weekend of work!

Hope everyone has an awesome weekend!