It’s time to get your rear in gear for the fall! If you really want to take things up a notch in your lower body training, then we’ve got an explosive lower body workout that will get the job done. To help you achieve this goal, we enlisted the help of fitness model, personal trainer and Figure competitor Michele Levesque-Presciano.
The exercises in this workout are explosive, which will help to tone while building strength and power. “It also makes you use your fast-twitch muscles,” said Michele. “Most of us, when at the gym, we work out our slow-twitch muscles, and activating those fast-twitch muscles will make you faster and quicker. So I think it’s important to work both of them if you want to be a well-rounded athlete.”
Ready to get strong and sculpted? Let’s go!
Walking Squats Using Cable for Resistance
Set up the cable machine waist high and hold the attachment with your arms extended in front. Keep your chest up and drop to a squat position. While staying in the squat position, make small steps backward and forward.
Michele’s Tip: “Keep your core tight and don’t lean forward. If the weight drags you forward, it might be too heavy. Make sure your posture is straight and focus on your glutes and legs.”
Cable Knee Raises
Attach the ankle cuff to one ankle, and stand facing away from the cable machine. Step forward with the leg that is not in the ankle cuff. Raise knee with ankle cuff as pictured, and then lower your leg until hip and knee is extended. Bring your knee up as fast has you can and slowly bring it back to your initial position. Repeat.
Michele’s Tip: “I get better results when I do an explosive movement on this exercise. Make sure you also have good control over this exercise, especially when you bring your knee up. Engaging your core will help with your balance.”
Extend your knees and hips, pushing the platform away. Return to starting position and repeat.
Michele’s Tip: “You can use a slow tempo on leg press to challenge yourself, with a pause at the bottom. Count five seconds on your way down, pause for three seconds and count five on your way up. This will build your endurance and muscle resistance.”
Crossover Step-Ups on Bench
Position a platform or bench next to you that is about knee height. Step up on the bench as pictured, and then place your other leg on other side, before pushing back up to bench. Repeat, side to side. Over and back is one rep.
Michele’s Tip: “Use different heights for the bench. Start with a low bench and work your way with a higher bench. Try to go as low has you can and explode up, working your fast-twitch muscles.”
Pistol Squats Holding Kettlebell
Squat down by flexing the knee and sitting back with the hips, holding the kettlebell as pictured, and slowly stand back up. This is an advanced move, so you can substitute with regular squats if you prefer.
Michele’s Tip: “This is a tough one! Hold yourself against a wall to make sure you keep control of your movement, and be explosive.”
Start with your feet a little closer than shoulder-width apart, and toes facing forward in a deep squat position. Jump up and when you come back down, land back into a squat. Repeat.
Band Squat Walk
Place a resistance band above your ankles as pictured, standing about shoulder-width apart. Start in a half squat position, with knees bent and hips slightly pushed back. Look straight ahead and aim to keep your torso as upright as possible while you step forward with one leg and then the other, while still in the half squat position, and keep moving forward. Repeat 10 steps on each side for one set.
Michele’s Tip: “This can be as easy or tough as you want it to be— it just depends on the type of band you use and your walking stance. Putting your arms in front of you will help with balance and movement control.”
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Michele Levesque-Presciano is sponsored by Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals