Sean’s Lower Body Moves of the Week
by Sean Neff
Put those legs to work with some of these great burners!
With this more free-flowing version of the standard squat, you create much less pressure for the knees and hips while upping the natural heat of your body with its cardiovascular aspects. From a standing position slowly lower yourself into a squatting position as you inhale. Keep your back vertically straight, your weight in your heels and your knees no further forward than your toes. Bring your arms straight down to your sides until you reach a parallel line to the floor with your glutes. At this point thrust your arms forward and use the inertia from this to help boost you back into a standing position as you exhale. Begin with twenty to twenty-five repetitions and challenge yourself to add more each time out.
Jumps also take up very little space. Begin from a standing position with your knees bent slightly begin to jump utilizing the spring from your feet and calf muscles alone. With very little bending from the knees, you will feel the burn in your calves especially as you up the number of repetitions. As soon as the burn feels pretty intense add five to ten more repetitions before going into “rocket jumps” in which you add a deeper squat to the mix before takeoff. Using the same basic form from the Hindu squats above build up the energy needed to jump as high as you can at the top of the motion. It won’t take long for the energy reserves in your quadriceps muscles to begin to wane so try to get an extra three to five repetitions in once your legs start to lose confidence and feel like jelly.
In the final part of this triumvirate, we’ll set you up in a squat position with your back stabilized by a wall. The wall will keep your back straight as you allow the squat to go no further than a ninety-degree angle at the knees. Tighten your core muscles for stability and begin a challenging countdown (for your specific fitness level) in your mind. If the move becomes too intense and you need to come out of it momentarily slowly move your back up the wall for a few seconds before moving back down into the seated chair position to finish off your count.