Here we go with the 12th day of The Fitolution and you have choices to make.
Thursdays are cardio days. Make sure it’s at least 30 minutes of cardio. Always make sure to warm-up properly.
Disclosure: Improper technique will result in excessive recruitment (use) of the lumber extensors (low back muscles). Stabilize your low back throughout the exercise and use a lighter resistance if you are unable to control movement in the low back.
Always consult your GP before starting a new exercise.
Have a leg curl machine? That makes it . . .
Don’t have a machine. No worries there are so many variations to choose from with equipment or just body weight.
Lying Prone Leg Curl
Muscle Group (s): Butt, Hip
3 sets of 12 reps
Starting Position: Lie prone (on your stomach) on a mat and attach a cuff (cable or band resistance) to one ankle with the anchor or resistance point away from your body. Lie with feet hip-width apart. Gently contract your abdominal / core muscles (“bracing”) to stiffen your torso and stabilize your spine. Keep your ankle lightly dorsi-flexed (toes pointed towards your shinbone) throughout the exercise.
Curling Movement: Exhale and curl (bend) your knee, bringing your heel towards your buttock without moving your thigh (the top of your thigh remains on the mat), lifting your hips off the mat or arching your low back.
Continue bending your knee until your heels near, or touch your buttock, or you reach the limits of your comfort level. The point where you notice your hips or low-back beginning to move indicates that you have reached the limits of movement in your joint.
Downward Movement: Inhale and slowly return your leg back to your starting position.
Exercise Variation: The intensity of this exercise can be increased by (1) increasing your range of motion by moving your heel closer to your buttock or (2) increasing the resistance in the cable / band.
There is often a tendency to hike the hips upwards or extend the low back (increasing the low back arch) during this exercise. By engaging (lightly contracting) your abdominal muscles, this will help prevent hip hiking and low back hyper-extension.
Why am I showing you this again?
Repetition is the mother of skill.
Here’s what you need to know… 5 new reasons to train on one leg. <more>
- Explosive unilateral exercises have been shown to improve Rate of Force Production (RFD) and contribute to overall power output.
- High-load eccentric or negative training is one of the most powerfully effective ways to pack on muscle.
- Single-leg exercises are valuable since you can use one leg for the eccentric (lowering) portion and two legs for the concentric (lifting) portion.
- Single-leg training can increase hamstring length, which has benefits for activities like sprinting.
- Single-leg exercises are great for metabolic conditioning.
- It takes twice as long to train each leg individually. That means at least twice the metabolic cost.
Challenge Day #13 tomorrow. In the meantime, questions . . . I’m only one click away.