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

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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