Call me crazy but working legs is my favorite! I am on team “leg day, every day.” While I might give my trainer the side eye when she tells me it’s time for pull ups, I will never hesitate to do a squat, lunge or deadlift. I stayed at the gym after training one of my clients this morning to get my own workout done and put together a killer cardio, glute and core workout that I am excited to share with you today.
This workout kicks off with a row interval. Rowing is such an effective way to quickly to get the whole body warm and while increasing the heart rate. Rowing is probably my least favorite thing in the gym to do (for reals) so anytime I add it to my own workout it really challenges me. Ask me to run treadmill intervals and I’ll do it all day. Ask me to row for two and a half minutes and I’m on the floor.
After the row there’s awesome glute and core work with kettlebell deadlift variations. The core work continues with push ups and crunches on the BOSU. I like doing push ups on the BOSU due to the unstable surface and extra challenge that provides for the core. I threw the BOSU crunches in as active rest before you hit the rower again.
Let’s talk some more about how much you should be feeling your core in the deadlift variations…A LOT! They are a core training exercise in addition to doing amazing things for the hamstrings and glutes. This entire workout should exhaust your core (and your glutes will be singing a song after all those deadlifts).
I am going to post a video with movement demonstrations below but here are my notes on each exercise:
- Rowing – posture is everything on the row. Resist the urge to hunch forward and round the shoulders as you row. Keep a straight spine and a lifted chest as you drive through the legs and pull the handles in towards the low ribs. Read more about row technique here.
- Suitcase Deadlifts – stand with your feet right under the hips. Holding two kettlebells by your sides (or dumbbells if you do not have kettlebells), start by driving your hips back and then bending at the knees as you lower the kettlebells down towards the mid-shin or ankles. You’ll want to stop lowering at the point that form breaks down. You should be able to maintain a straight spine with no rounding of the upper or lower back. To come back up, drive through the heels, engage the glutes and hamstrings and rise to stand. You should be engaging abdominals in both the lowering and lifting phase of this exercise. Keep your gaze neutral throughout and avoid straining the neck by looking up as you lower.
- Kettlebell Romanian Deadlifts – stand with your feet right under the hips or a tiny bit wider. Hold one heavy kettlebell in front of you using both hands. Begin to lower by hinging at the hips and bringing the kettlebell down towards mid-shin or to the floor. Stop at the point where form breaks down. To come back up, drive through the heels, engage the glutes and hamstrings and rise to stand. In your KB Romanian Deadlift there will only be a slight bend in the knees, much less than the suitcase variation. I like a soft knee here and do not recommend a stiff-leg variation for this particular workout. Abs engaged throughout. Keep your gaze neutral throughout and avoid straining the neck by looking up as you lower.
- BOSU Pushups – flip the BOSU over so the ball side is down. Hold both handles and come to a plank position, knees or toes. Bend at the elbows and lower the chest down towards the flat part of the BOSU until you’ve reached a 90 degree bend in the elbows. Push back up by engaging the chest. Keep your neck long and gaze to the top of the BOSU. Avoid the tendency to look back at the feet. And like I tell ALL of my yoga students and clients, FORM OVER GOING ON THE TOES! If you try to do these on the toes but can barely bend your elbows or start to feel strain in neck, shoulders or back, drop to the knees and focus on getting full range of motion there.
- BOSU Crunches – Place the BOSU with ball side up. Position yourself on the BOSU so that shoulder blades are draped over the ball and middle back is in the center of the ball. Crunch up just above parallel and lower back down.
Here is my demo video:
Let me say it again…form and safe movement over pushing heavier weight and taking harder variations. Move well friends!
Happy sweating and let me know if you try the workout or if you have questions!
If you had to pick would you workout lower or upper body?
Tell me your feelings about the rower. 🙂