01-21-2015

Do-Anywhere Leg Workout For Runners

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been doing more circuit based workouts recently, which include single leg movements and plyometric movements. As I was working out, I thought, these exercises are perfect for runners. 

As runners, we spend most of our time on one leg…so it makes sense to do single leg training. I love step-ups, lunges, single leg hip raises, etc. and include those in my own training plans I make for my cross country team.

Before I get into the workout, here is one of my favorite exercises: reverse lunge into single leg deadlift. It’s working on your hip stabilizing muscles, core, hamstrings, glutes and quads…what more can you ask for?? It’s okay if you’re wobbly (like I am in this video). Start with no weights then add in dumbbells.

 

A video posted by pattyrivas13 (@pattyrivas13) on


Cues:

  • Keep your chest up and shoulders back throughout the movement.
  • When you go into the deadlift, hinge at your hips and bring your back leg up as high as you can as you squeeze your glutes.
  • When you’re not using weights, reach out in front of you a bit with your hands. Place a low box in front of you and touch that with your fingers, then come back up and into reverse lunge. When you start using dumbbells, lower dumbbells straight down (not out in front) so you’re not placing pressure on your lower back.

It’s a bit challenging, especially for someone with lack of balance like me, but it really is a great exercise for runners to work on!

And here is my do-anywhere leg workout for runners:

Leg Workout For Runners
So you do the first group of exercises for 5 minutes straight, take a break, then repeat. Then move onto the next set. Or you could do the first group, break, second group, break, and go back to the first group.

With reverse lunge with knee raise I mean step back into a lunge, and when you step back forward left your knee up so it’s at a 90 degree angle, balance for a second, then go back into reverse lunge. Let’s work on our balance people! :)

What are your favorite leg exercises you can do anywhere? Or balance exercises…because I need those!

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12-03-2014

Cardio Acceleration Workout

Yesterday I was going to run on the treadmill then do a strength workout. Well, as I’m driving to the gym I realize I forgot a sports bra. The worst! There’s no way I can run without one, so while my mom ran 2 miles as her warm-up I just foam rolled and did some stretching. I decided to add cardio into my strength workout, and came up with this workout below:

cardio-strength-workout
I wanted to mainly focus on legs, but did some upper body as well with the presses focusing on shoulders and the rows on my back. I’ve never added in cardio while lifting – I typically just like to lift and do cardio separately…boy, was this killer! I was dripping in sweat. 

Doing intervals of cardio in between lifts is called “cardio accelerations.” According to Men’s Fit Club:

A study done at UCLA (University of California) showed that cardio acceleration delivers better blood flow and gives you a much better pump and also has shown to increase the rate of recovery because of the addition nutrients and oxygen pumped into the muscles. 

Cardio acceleration intervals also create that afterburn everyone always talks about. If you’re not keen on doing treadmill intervals or hill sprints as “HIIT,” then this type of workout is perfect for you!

The step-ups were done on a bench with no added weight – just do them as fast as you can. Harder than it sounds! For the last round, where I wrote cardio of your choice, I did stair sprints. 

I think I am going to start doing this type of workout more often, since I think it will have a benefit for me as a runner as well. Not only will I be burning extra calories, I’ll be doing plyometric/explosive type movements as cardio, which will make me a stronger runner.

Have you added in cardio intervals to your strength workouts? What’s your favorite way? I hate mountain climbers!!

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09-12-2014

The 10 Minute Leg Workout

My mom and I try to do strength training two times per week. We are training for a half marathon but also want to make sure we make time to lift as well. Some days we run beforehand and go to the gym after…so let’s face it, we really don’t want to be there for hours. We want to get in and get out.

So that’s why this past week we started incorporating this leg workout into our workout. It only takes 10 minutes when you do it for 3 sets. And trust me it’s not easy. Once you’re done, you now have more time to work on other body parts like back, arms, and especially core.

10-min-leg-workout

So you go through and do each exercise for 30 seconds, then take a 30 second rest. You do this for three sets. You need to make sure the weight is heavy enough. You should be getting 8-10 reps in those 30 seconds. If you’re doing more, then the weight is too light. I am always dripping in sweat after this workout!

Here’s a picture I posted on my Instagram showing the exercises (ignore my running splits, that was from my tempo run that day which was awesome!!) :

This workout targets all the major muscles in your legs, like glutes, quads and hamstrings. It’s great when you’re short on time or want to do something quick after a run.

Let me know if you try it out! What types of lifting do you do while you’re training for a race?

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07-24-2014

Booty Burner Workout

I haven’t posted a workout in a while, and I thought why not focus on legs? I’m going to start half marathon training in the next week or two, so it’s time to make my legs stronger.

This leg workout includes some cardio in the form of burpees! Everyone’s favorite exercise ;) Check it out, and read on for instructions.

Booty Burner Workout

I love bulgarian split squats…they are killer, and you will feel it in your glutes and quads! This is an especially great exercise for athletes, since it’s a single leg exercise. You’ll be working on balance and core throughout the movement as well.

If you’re not familiar with them, take a look at this video:

The key thing to remember is to keep your chest up and shoulders back. Start with a lighter weight so you get the hang of it, and then increase.

Let me know if you try out the workout! I love hearing feedback

Have you used bulgarian split squats in your routine?

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05-15-2014

Leg Workout For Runners

Last week, I posted a 4 minute leg workout…so quick, you have no excuses! Well, today I wanted to share a lower body workout I did last night that took about 30 minutes to complete. This is perfect for runners because it is working on your balance a bit, and also incorporating cardio (with the thrusters). You’re hitting your quads, glutes, and hamstrings…all the muscle groups you need to work on to be a strong runner! This is the perfect leg workout for runners ;)

lifting-for-runnersPhoto Credit: vauvau via Compfightcc

I broke it up into the reverse lunges paired with deadlifts (3 sets), then the other 2 exercises (3 sets). You can do core work at the end too if you’re up to it.

I like doing the reverse lunge right into a single leg deadlift (as opposed to doing 10 lunges then 10 single leg deadlifts) because it is challenging in terms of balance. It will really help develop ankle, hip and core strength.

Here is a video for a barbell thruster in case you’re not familiar:

I wish I could use as much weight as her, but I only used a 35 lb. barbell. This one will definitely get your heart rate up, and helps work on power and explosiveness in the legs.

As always, let me know if you try it out! I’d love to hear your thoughts :)

Have you tried thrusters?

Do you prefer working quads and glutes, or hamstrings?

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05-08-2014

Strong & Lean Legs Workout

Summer is almost here…which means shorts and skirts!

Recently, I’ve liked making quick (but certainly not easy) workouts, like my 4 minute HIIT workout and my 3 minute abs workout. They are quick in the sense that doing just 1 round will take you 3-4 minutes…and this leg workout is no different – it’s a total of 4 minutes!

Keep in mind, it doesn’t have to be just 4 minutes. You can do these workouts anywhere from 3-6 rounds depending on how long and challenging you want the workout to be. You can also use them as finishers after your own workout.

Strong & Lean Legs WorkoutPhoto Credit: k-girl via Compfight cc

This is also a great workout to do after a run if you want something quick to get in some leg strengthening! Hits all the major muscle groups like the glutes and hamstrings, with a little plyo action thrown in.

If you don’t have a box or step to use, no worries, just do squat jumps or burpees instead. I actually did this workout after my run yesterday for 3 sets :)

Let me know if you try it out and what you think!

Would you rather do burpees or walking lunges? ;)

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04-15-2014

Squat Variations

We all know squats are a great lower body exercise, but did you know there are a ton of variations you can do? You can switch it up so you don’t get bored, but also so you target different muscle groups. Knowing variations also helps if you are lacking certain equipment.

Types Of SquatsPhoto Credit: Malingering via Compfight cc

Barbell Back Squat

barbell-squat

This is the most known. I love barbell back squats. It does take some practice though, so make sure if it’s your first time trying it you ask a personal trainer at your gym for help. You also don’t need to squat all the way down. Go as low as you can while keeping good form. If you can’t get down to 90 degrees, work on mobility and flexibility (usually in the hips). You can also place weight plates underneath your heels to help you squat down a bit lower.

Dumbbell Squat

Dumbbell Squats

This is a great alternative to the barbell squat if you don’t have a barbell or if you don’t feel comfortable trying it yet. Where you want to place the dumbbells depends on you. You can have them like this photo does, or you can rest them on your shoulders. I actually prefer the latter.

Sumo Squat

sumoYou can do this with a dumbbell or with a barbell. This type of squat will target a few different muscles as well, such as the adductors (inner thighs), and place a bit more emphasis on your glutes.

Barbell Front Squat

Front-Squats

You may have seen another variation of this, where elbows are out in front and the bar is in your hands, but I think this one is a bit easier for most people. With the other pose, you need a good amount of wrist flexibility. For this one, just make sure to place the bar on the meaty part of your front shoulders. The first few times you may get a bruise there – I have before!

Also, if you have a tough time getting low with back squats, try front squats! The way the bar is placed in the front allows you to have a bit more hip/lower back mobility, and have the ability to squat a bit lower. Again, if it’s your first time doing this, have a trainer assist you.

Overhead Squat

overhead-squat

I would only suggest this variation if you have good shoulder mobility. This exercise will challenge your whole body, as a lot of core strength is involved to balance the barbell over your head! This lift is a bit trickier, so please have a trainer with you the first time to give you the proper cues! One thing to remember always is to keep your core tight.

Goblet Squat

goblet-squat

You can do this with either a dumbbell or a kettlebell. Make sure to keep the dumbbell or kettlebell tucked right into your chest. As always, don’t lower yourself past where you’re able to. Your back should never be rounded with any of these squats. I like doing these when I’m going to do some higher reps of squats, and I love doing low reps of barbell back squats to work on my strength.

Bulgarian Split Squats

Split-Squat

These don’t look traditional squats, but they are still an amazing lower body workout. These will really target your glutes and quads. If these are too challenging for you, do traditional split squats (both feet on the floor). Don’t worry about adding weight at first. Try them bodyweight and go from there (since it can be tricky to balance at first).

General Tips

  • Keep your core tight during the whole exercise.
  • Think chest up, shoulders back. This will help you have good form and not round your back.
  • Grip the bar or dumbbells hard, and as one of my favorite trainers, Tony Gentilcore says, “melt the bar in your hands.”
  • Don’t force it. Don’t go lower than you’re comfortable.
  • Sit back into your heels when squatting. Go down slow, then drive it up with power.

Which of these squat variations do you do on a regular basis? Which ones haven’t you tried?

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02-17-2014

Top Glute Exercises

Ever look at a word for too long and then it just looks weird? That’s how I feel about “Glute” right now :-P

I posted a new video to my YouTube channel today! How To: Weighted Hip Raises.

Hip raises/hip thrusts are a great way to target your glutes and hamstrings. You can do them bodyweight or with weights. I usually do bodyweight hip raises as a warm-up before lifting. I do 10 hip raises, then 5 single leg hip raises on each side.

If you want more of a challenge, that’s where this video comes in. Adding weight will help you feel the burn, and tone your butt and hamstrings ;)

Here are a few of my other favorite butt toning exercises – you will definitely feel it the day after doing these!

Dumbbell Deadlift

Walking Lunges

Kettlebell Squats

Leg Press

If I were to combine these into a workout, I’d suggest the following:

3-4 sets, 12-15 reps of each exercise

Kettlebell squat

Dumbbell deadlift

Leg press

Weighted hip-raise

Walking lunges

Let me know if you try out the hip raises or this lower body workout!

Which of these do you regularly incorporate into your routine?

Which do you want to try?

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01-10-2014

Sculpt That Butt!

Want to feel the burn to start the weekend off? Try out this leg workout I made for ya!

You will definitely feel the burn in your quads and glutes. I suggest 3-5 sets through with a 1 min break in between, but do more or less depending on how you feel/how long you want your workout to be, or add in some abs at the end to make it longer.

You can do this with no equipment, or add weight to make it even more challenging.

butt workout

Let me know if you try it out!

What are your favorite lower body exercises? Recently, I’ve been loving the leg press :)

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08-15-2013

Track Workout & A Tempo Run

This week is week 7 of NYC Marathon training. I actually thought it was week 6 until I looked at my training calendar and couldn’t believe I’m already halfway through week 7!

On Monday, I had a track workout which was pretty tough.

My mom and I needed to do a 1 mile warm up, 8×600 meters with 400 meter jog, and 1 mile cooldown. We needed to run the 600′s in 5K pace. The first 2-3 were okay…it was a little hard but we kept pace. The last half was rough. By the last 2 reps I was a few seconds off pace. It’s ok though, I know we will improve with time.

Yesterday, we had our 5 mile tempo run again (with 1 mile warm up and cool down). It was actually a little easier than last week! I felt great during last week’s run but felt even better this time. The 5 miles flew by and I accidentally went faster than goal marathon pace…oops. Each mile I tried to slow down a bit but I kept running a bit faster. Is that bad?

Afterwards we did 3 sets of bench step-ups and single leg hip raises. We haven’t lifted in a few weeks so I want to get back into it, even if it’s bodyweight stuff after runs.

Training has been going good so far. Tomorrow is our first double digit run! I can’t believe we are almost half way through training, but I’m okay with that…I just want Nov. 3 to get here.

 

How do you push yourself through tough workouts, especially when you want to quit? Sometimes it’s so hard!

 

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