Brrrr… It’s been chilly pretty much everywhere! And I’ll be the first to admit that climbing out of bed and getting started on cold mornings is tough.
But there is no better way to warm up and get the blood flowing than hitting your workout.
Our move today is a side lunge. This move can be done with extra weight (handweights) for added resistance or all on its own. This exercise will be working your whole lower body with an emphasis on the inner thighs. It is a crossover move — kind of mixing a squat and a lunge together — giving you options to target hard to reach areas.
Begin this exercise by standing in a wide stance. With your toes pointed forward, hold your chest high and engage your abdominals. If you choose to have added resistance, hold your hand weights either tucked into your chest or placed on each hip. If you chose the no resistance route, either tuck your arms into your chest or place your fists on each hip as well.
Once you are in position and feel sturdy, you are ready to start moving.
Holding your upper body tall and strong, proceed to bend in one knee. As you start bending in that knee, focus on pushing your rear end toward the back, as if you are trying to sit into a chair. This will be very similar to a single leg squat.
All the while your opposite leg will stay planted firmly on the floor, and simply extend while you keep it in a straighter position. This is the lunging side of the move.
Stay mindful of upright body positioning, and keeping the abdominals engaged throughout the whole move for extra power. At your lowest position, focus on keeping your bent knee somewhat behind your toe.
When you are ready to return to the top, start pushing back up with that bent leg, and really focus on the inner thigh of your straight leg to pull your body back upward to the starting position.
Now, reverse your move, and repeat everything on the opposite side. Continue this side lunging exercise for at least 10 repetitions. At this point, you can take a small break then repeat for at least two or three more sets.
This is a great move to add on to any lower body routine, giving you all the great benefits of lunging and squatting, but just making a directional change.
Keep this exercise somewhat shallow for a few repetitions, so you can determine a good range of motion for your ability.
Now, get out there and warm up!
Marlo Alleva, a group fitness coordinator at Fontaine-Gill YMCA, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article originally appeared on The Ledger: Emphasis on inner thighs