Expected time: 15 minutes + Running time
- Equipment: Shoes and a safe, preferably paved surface to run on
Running is a great exercise that increases stamina and promotes heart health. I personally recommend running a distance within the range of 1.5-3 miles. Of course, if comfortable or desired, you can always run more. If you are just beginning to run, start on the lower end of this range, and as you advance and grow accustomed to running, add more distance. Try to keep the intensity up, which may require you to run/jog at a quick pace, depending on distance and current fitness level.
- Equipment: Relatively level surface
Following a run and a short break, lunges are a great follow up exercise. Running is a good exercise that, outside of sprinting, does not really include a wide range of motion, since the thighs and knees generally do not move very much laterally. Lunges compensate for this by requiring you to use a much wider range of motion. Lunges are also a different sort of exercise that work out your legs differently than jogging does. To perform a lunge, begin by standing up straight with your hands in one of three positions: behind your head, in front of you (as if you are running), or by your side. Next, take a larger than normal step forward and bend your legs, so that the knee of the leg behind you just about touches the ground. Afterwards, use your legs to push yourself back up to a standing position while bringing your back foot up next to your front foot. Repeat this process, but this time, put the original back foot out in front instead. I consider this whole process as 2 lunges (one lunge per leg). Aim to perform around 3 sets of 20-30 lunges.
- Equipment: Just yourself
Lastly, the jumping squat roughly completes and concludes this lower body workout. This exercise will build some explosive power that jogging and lunges do not cover. To perform this exercise, simply start in a squatting position. Remember to keep your back straight and body upright (not slouched over). Next, just jump up as high and as quickly as powerful. When landing, be sure to bend your knees to absorb the impact. Also, do your best to control your fall, so that you do not “bounce” upon reaching the resting squat position. I recommend anywhere from 20-30 repetitions of the exercise per set. Perform 2-3 sets.
~Written by James Wu