By Eva Meier, Contributing blogger
This season, spice up your workout with a little PSL - and no we don’t mean Pumpkin Spice Lattes. We’re talking about Planks, Squats, and Lunges!
Training your lower body and core are important part of every health and fitness regimen. Your core muscles are the backbone of every movement you do, while your legs carry the weight of your body fighting against gravity. Don’t you think they deserve a squat or two?
These exercises are great because you can increase or decrease the intensity depending on your mood.
Want to make it a really spicy workout? Push the pace and perform each exercise for 30 seconds x 4 rounds with 30 seconds of rest in between each round. Every time you do squats and lunges, try to beat the amount of reps you did from the round before.
Maybe slow and steady is more your style. Try each exercise for 60 seconds x 3 rounds. Either way, your legs and core will thank you for it.
Planks are the epitome of core training. Strengthen your abdominals, your back, and your arms with this simple hold. You can do this movement on your hands, your forearms, or even your knees if you need a modification.
Make sure you keep your hips in line with your shoulders, and not let them sag to the floor or pop up towards the sky. You can imagine that you have a pole running down your back that touches the back of your head and your tailbone. This will help you maintain good form and increase core engagement.
Squats are a great movement to build stronger legs, glutes, and hips. The standard squat is done with your feet slightly wider than your hips and you toes slightly externally rotated. But you can always switch it up by taking a wider stance (aptly named “sumo-squats), or even try a single-leg variation.
Make sure your weight is evenly distributed between your right and left leg, and your heels stay on the floor. Reach your arms out forward, pull your shoulders back, and keep your chest facing forward. Bend your knees until they make a 90 degree angle, and then press yourself back to standing.
Pro tip: If you’re struggling to keep your heels on the ground, try holding a light weight out in front of you. The weight will act as a counterbalance, and allow you to shift back onto your heels.
Lunges are a fun, dynamic way to train legs. They’re a great exercise to strengthen your thighs and glutes, while also challenging your balance. You can do these as alternating lunges (changing legs each step), or isolate one side for an entre round and then switch.
Step one foot forward and bend your knee so that it stays in line with your ankle. Let your back knee lower to the ground, until it’s about 2-3 inches off the floor. Make sure your core stays tight to keep you balanced and upright. Push through your front leg and bring your body back to standing. Repeat on the same side or alternate to the other leg.
And there you have it! A simple and effective leg and core workout to take you through PSL season!