How quickly 4th of July will come and go. Nevertheless, it is always a time filled with barbecues, beaches, cookouts, parades, and lots of fun getting together with friends and family. But before that (and maybe after too) you may want to get in a power packed workout. So I have created just the one for you! Get those legs lean and strong with these moves!
It’s a leg workout, but the rest of the body will reap benefits too. This high calorie burning workout will be sure to energize you and use those explosive quick twitch anaerobic muscle fibers. In fact, this type of training brings me back to my youth, when I was an elite level competitive gymnast. One summer I was selected to go to a training camp and work with one of the top Eastern European coaches. These countries have produced so many of the top Olympians like Nadia Comaneci, Ekaterina Szabo, Daniela Silivas, and Svetlana Boginskaya just to name a few. So like my Eastern European counterparts, we trained using plyometrics, rebounding, and jumping to condition the body.
In this “firecracker” of a workout, I have selected some of my favorites exercises that you can do as well. I have broken down each of the exercises with pictures or you can check out my YOUTUBE Channel and watch a fun video of these that I put together.
I always like to start with a bit of a warm up to get the lower half moving. Begin with High Knee Runs. Lift the knee at least to hip level so the quadricep, top of the leg, is parallel to the ground. You may try these for 60 seconds, or depending on your distance 4-6 passes of this movement.
The Heel Kick is a used also as a warm up movement giving a slight stretch in the quad on each kick. The heel of the foot will lift up to gently tap the booty and quickly return to the ground. Do these for the same distance as you do the high knees.
We often do forward movements and sideways, but not as often backwards, which is why I definitely like to include the Backwards Run. You will notice a significant difference in your speed in this direction. Use the same form as you would running forwards, by swinging your arms in opposition and staying light on the feet. You will be pushing off the toes in this movement but if you are not on solid ground you may need to keep it a bit slower. (I had to as I was running on a gravel trail.) Try 4-6 passes of this as well. You may even alternate two runs of each and rotate through the above three movements three times for a warm up.
The Long Jump done consecutively is going to get that heart rate elevated. Begin with an arm swing back and jumping as far as you can with your arms above the head. When you land, quickly let the arms swing down towards the start position behind you, and then immediately go into the next long jump. Here you are covering distance in a short period of time. You may first try 10 jumps in a row, and then turn around and repeat that back to your starting point. Try 1-3 sets of these.
The Moving Side Squat Jump will be a slower movement, but a BIG exercise. Moving in a sideways direction, both the arms and legs will continue to lift you in the air. Begin with the legs about two to three feet apart and toes slightly turned out. Hands all start down by your sides. Do a deep squat then spring up jumping into the air raising your arms and bringing your feet together. Moving towards the right you will land on your left foot first and then go into that deep squat again. Repeat these movements continuously. Continue this for 8-12 sideways jumps.
This next exercise is one of my favorites and certainly takes me back to my gymnastics days. The One Leg Run was a doosey! And as I was actually practicing this for the video, it STILL IS a doosey! HA! This one you are going to use the exact same arm movements as you would if you were running on the two legs. You will only have contact with the one foot. Step onto the right foot and swing your left knee up to the front jumping forward off the right. It will propel you forward and as you are moving forward your left leg will push back, like you had contact with the ground. As soon as the foot lands it will explode off the ground and your knee swings front. This is a quick twitch rebounding motion that takes practice to get into that “rhythm” to keep you advancing forward. Try 10-15 runs (foot contacts) on each leg for one set, and aim for 2-5 sets.
Lastly, I am the first to admit I personally am not a distance runner, but I have always liked to run fast. Sometimes I liked to pretend I was Olympian Flo-Jo running lightening fast, plus she always had the greatest running outfits! Ha – yes I have an active imagination. 🙂 So to finish off this firecracker set of exercises we are going to do Sprint work. Aim for distance and speed, which you should keep the same for the first few sprints. Then turn up the speed and keeping the distance the same. You may try 20 yard dashes working your way up to 40 yards. Try 5-10 sprints, and you may find doing these alone is quite a workout.
Remember to take a few minutes after your workout to do some leg stretches, especially for your quads and hamstrings. A standing quad stretch and even bend over to touch the toes hamstrings stretch are two really important stretches to do at the end of a workout like this.
Be sure to leave a comment below and let me know how you workout goes!
For more fitness fun join me in my Living Fit Now Online Coaching or the Living Fit Now Phone Coaching. Both are great options to work with me, even if you don’t live in my city. We can set up a complimentary consultation to see which program will fit you best.
I do respond to all of the comments and answer your questions too!
I would be HONORED if you would consider doing any/all just ’cause you’re so darn fabulously sweet 🙂