As a national level bikini competitor, I am always looking for new ways to work out when I am on the road. Sometimes, I do not have the time to get to an actual gym, but that does not mean that I cannot workout. With this series, I will be giving you some of my favorite workout tips and moves I use when I am traveling or getting ready to hit the stage.
The beauty of this series is that you can do these workouts anywhere and with anything! So now you have no excuse. Don’t have a box? You may use a storage bin! No dumbbells? How about a water jug! It is up to you to get creative.
Part 1 of Your No Excuses Workout is hitting your legs. These workout tips will target glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings. It is up to you to determine the number of repetitions and the amount of weights to use. Might look simple on paper, but holy cow! If you keep the intensity up, this can double as a good cardio workout. I was sweating bullets after the first exercise! Since I am working on tightening up my legs, I did a high amount of repetitions to fatigue my muscles.
Want to get your legs ready for the hot summer weather? Then these workout tips are for YOU!
These were the exercises, weights and repetitions I completed.
- 4×30 Walking Lunges with #20 Dumbbell
- 4×25 Wide Stance Squats #35 Dumbbell
- 4×15 (each leg) Steps up with Glute Squeeze #10 Dumbbell per arm
- 4×15 (each leg) Glute Lift #20 Dumbbell
- 4×20 Pop Squats
If you are just starting out, 4×10 repetitions for each exercise is a good place to begin. Take 30-45 seconds of rest in between each set. Remember weight is always optional. You can modify any of these movements so that you can complete the movement with proper form.
Before you begin make sure you grab your favorite flavor of Celsius and drink it on the way to the gym. Once you get to the gym make sure you warm up for 5-10 min before beginning.
Below is a description, break down, and modification of all of the moves. You can do them at home, outside, or at the gym!
1. Walking Lunges with Dumbbell (Glutes Quadriceps Hip Flexors Hamstrings) Start with your right leg forward left leg back in a lunge stance. Keep your front knee behind your toes and the majority of your weight on the front heel. Push off the ground with your front heel and step your left leg forward past the right. Keep your chest up back is nice and tall. This is great for stability as well. I like to find a straight path in the gym and knock out as many repetitions as I can without having to stop or run into something.
Modification: Bring feet together in between each step to gather your balance. Weight is optional.
2. Wide Stance Squats (Glutes and Quads)
Start with feet in a wide stance. Weight on your heels toes pointed out just a bit. Keep your chest up back straight and drop your hips down. Try to get your thighs as close to parallel with the ground as possible. Hold in the bottom position for one second and drive through your heels to the top. I try not to lock my legs out at the top because it makes my muscles stay contracted for a longer period of time. It really makes my quads burn!
Modification: Lock legs and flex quads for one second at the top. This will allow for a rest period. Only drop down as far as you feel comfortable while maintaining proper form.
3. Steps up with Glute Squeeze (Glutes Quads Hamstrings Hip Flexors)
I like to use a two foot box or bench to do these. Start with your right leg on the box. Keep your knee behind your toes. Arms are relaxed and down by your side. With your chest up and back straight drive through your right heel and lift your left leg off of the ground. Hold at the top for one second. You can add a glute kick back (extending the leg back and squeezing your glutes) with your left leg at the top. Relax and control your body on the way down. Try to move as fast as possible while keeping your balance barely touch the ground. Then explode back up to the top. Since you are working on one foot your legs are working hard to stabilize your body.
Modification: Use a smaller step and no weight. You can also lean on a wall for added stability. In this demonstration I used a storage box. If you are traveling you can use the desk chair in the hotel. Get creative!
4. Dumbbell Glute Lift (Glutes and Hamstrings)
Have to thank my trainer Casey for this one! It really isolates the glute muscle. Place a dumbbell behind your knee and squeeze it tight so it does not fall. Place your hands directly under your shoulders and maintain a "neutral spine". Meaning you do not want your back to curve too far up or down. Keep your back flat as a table. Start with your leg slightly raised and then lift your foot toward the ceiling. Maintain a tight core and keep your back flat. Focus on using your glute to lift the weight. You should not be throwing your back into it at all only moving at the hip joint.
Modification- Try using no weight or lighter dumbbell until you become comfortable with the movement.
5. Pop Squats (Plyometric/Jump training. Quads Glutes Calves and Hamstrings)
Start with feet directly underneath you legs slightly bent. Jump up and land in a squat position dropping glutes low and keeping knees open. Try not to let them buckle inward. Then jump back into starting position standing up with legs underneath you. Should be done at a fast pace. Feel the burn!
Modification: You can step out to both sides squat then step back into beginning position. This removes the jumping and is easier on your knees. You can also add some weight to make it a little more intense.
Make sure to rest in between the sets so that you do not burn out too quickly. This should be done at a fast pace. Once you finish you can do 25 min of cardio of your choice. Make sure you keep your intensity up! The higher the intensity the less amount of time you have to work when compared to working at a moderate pace.
As always you should consult with your medical doctor before beginning any workout routine. Exercise must be accompanied with a healthy diet in order to see the best results! I hope you find these workout tips helpful! “It is intense but it works.”
Take Care and Stay Fit
Angeles Burke is a group fitness instructor national level bikini competitor and Celsius sponsored athlete. She has a Master’s degree in Communication Studies and enjoys sharing her passion for health and fitness with others. She hopes to inspire and motivate those who want to know more about living an active and healthy life. You can connect with Angeles on Twitter on Facebook or her WordPress blog.
" national level bikini competitor