It’s that time of year again! The holidays are over, and the New Year has begun, which means it’s time to get back to the grind. The problem: You haven’t been to the gym in weeks. We get it…things have been busy and when that happens, the gym seems to be one of the first things to take the backseat. But is it too late for you to get back into a routine now? And can you jump back in right where you left off?
Chances are that because you took some time off, you won’t be able to run as long or lift as heavy as you did last time you worked out… Don’t fret though—the body has muscle memory and it will get you back to where you were.
Try this leg routine that will also get your heart rate revved, to help you get back into the swing of things.
How to: Hold a dumbbell in front of your body with both hands, or place a barbell on your shoulders. Set your feet wider than shoulder width, with your toes slightly turned out. Lower your body down by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Complete two sets with the bar to warm up. For beginners, complete two to three sets of 12 reps, with just the bar. For advanced, complete four sets of 12 reps at 50 percent of your maximum weight challenge.
LEG EXTENSION MACHINE
How to: Adjust the seat and ankle arms so your knees are next to the rotation joint of the machine and the ankle-arm is just above your feet. Hold the handles of the machine. Flex your feet with your toes turned slightly outward. Contract your thighs and extend your legs outward until your knees are fully open, nearing a locked position. Pause, then slowly bend your knees and lower your feet back to starting position. That’s one rep, complete 15.
GLUTE BRIDGE WITH DUMBBELLS
How to: Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Hold a pair of dumbbells by your side, upper arms touching the floor, palms facing each other. Raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Press both dumbbells up until your arms are completely straight. Lower the dumbbells back to starting position, then lower the rest of your body to starting position. That’s one rep, complete 15.
How to: Stand in a staggered stance, right foot about two feet in front of left, hands on hips. Slowly lower your body as far as you can. Pause, then quickly push yourself back up to starting position. That’s one rep. Complete 15 reps on each leg.
FIRE HYDRANT EXTENSION
How to: Get on all fours with your knees directly beneath your hips and your hands under your shoulders. Extend your left leg, and lift your it up and out to the side as high as possible. Pause, then bring it back to start. That’s one rep, do 20 on each side.
How to: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms by your sides. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower until your upper thighs are parallel to the floor. Raise your arms until they’re parallel to the floor. Pause, then jump as high as you can while swinging your arms back toward your sides. Land and reset. That’s one rep, complete 20.
How to: Stand as tall as you can with your feet spread shoulder-width apart. Lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Push yourself back to the starting position. That’s one rep, complete 20.
Finish up with some static stretching for at least 10 minutes, for your cool down.