Squats and more squats

Monday night power pump is one of my favorite classes. Mostly because it challenges me to find new ways to work the same muscle groups each week to keep participants guessing. Throughout class we touch every muscle group – some more than others – especially when it comes to squatting. It was a packed class and it didn’t take long for our muscles to get warmed up.

Equipment: step, stability ball, heavy and medium body bars (reference, I use 27# for legs and 18# for arms), heavy and medium dumbells, and an ab mat.

Here’s what we did tonight:

  1. Warm up – brief stretching, arm circles, squats with the stability ball {Hold the ball in your extended arms, squat down dropping the ball down in front, come up from the squat reaching your arms with the ball in hand above your head}
  2. Inner|Outer thighs – Stability ball side lunges; place the stability ball to your side, propping one leg up on the ball. Squat down, pushing your propped up leg and the ball further out to the side. Come back up, straightening your base leg. Repeat for verse and chorus, then switch legs. Make sure your base leg’s toes and knee are pointing forward and that your knee is not going over your toes when you squat
  3. Thighs|Glutes – squats, squats with a pulse at the bottom of the squat, squat kicks. Squat down, and as you come back up kick your right leg out front. Repeat alternating legs.
  4. Thighs|Glutes – front lunges, bring one leg in front of the other, bringing your back knee down to hover the floor, pause, then bring it back up. Repeat for verse and chorus. Switch front legs, repeat for verse and chorus. Curtsey lunges, begin standing with feet shoulder width distance apart. Step your right leg behind your left, lunge down bring your back knee to hover the floor, then bring your right leg back up to the starting stance. Repeat with the opposite leg. {Squeeze your thighs and glutes as you lunge down.}
  5. Core – ball crunches, find a push up position with the ball between your knees and your feet (the closer to your feet, the more difficult the exercise). Crunch your knees into your chest, rolling the ball in with your legs. Push up through your shoulders, and engage your core so as to not let your back begin to arch. Arm and leg lifts – bring the ball underneath your lower abs. Lift your right arm out in front and extend your left leg behind, and hold for a couple of seconds. Switch sides.
  6. Biceps|Shoulders – body bar bicep curls to body bar shoulder press. Rotate grip to where your wrists are facing outward for the shoulder press.
  7. Legs|Back – Dead lifts and dead rows. For dead lifts, hold the bar in front of you with a shoulder width distance grip. Hinge at the hips, keeping your shoulders back and back straight, lowering until you feel a slight pull in your upper hamstring and lower back, bring your body back to standing. Dead rows, hinge half way down, keeping your shoulders back and back straight, bring the bar in toward your body, keeping your elbows close to your body as you squeeze your shoulder blades together, then release.
  8. Shoulders – upward rows and shoulder press. Standing with the body bar in a grip that is shoulder width distance apart, bring the bar up to below your chin, keeping your elbows above your wrists, then drop the bar back to where you started. Repeat.
  9. Core – russian twists, bicycle crunches
  10. Chest – chest press, chest fly. Laying on your step, begin with your arms at 90 degree angles, pressing your weights up toward the ceiling straightening your arms and pressing your weights together, release back to start. For chest fly, bring your weights above your chest with arms extended and your wrists facing each other. Drop the weights out to the side, then bring them back to above your chest.
  11. Thighs|Glutes – 2 count squats, elevated leg squats (left one heel off the floor, squat, change legs.)
  12. Triceps – One leg tricep extensions, come down to one knee, extend the opposite arm behind you, hinging only at the elbow. Curl the weight in toward your shoulder, only moving below the elbow. Repeat. Switch sides. Step tricep dips.
  13. Hamstrings – bridges – lifts, leg extensions, leg presses. Starting on your back, bend your legs, bringing your feet in front of your butt, and press your hips up in the air. Lift one leg straight up in the air, keeping your hips up. Lower the leg to hover the heel above the floor, bring it back up. Repeat. Switch legs. Beginning with a leg extended upright, drop your hips to hover over the floor, press your hips back up. Switch legs, repeat.
  14. Planks

Here’s tonight’s playlist. I’m working on video demos of specific exercises. Let me know if there are specific examples you’d like to see. Don’t forget to stretch – your thighs will thank you!

squat meme

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