Olympic Speedskater Allison Baver's Lower-Body Workout
Tighten and tone your core, hips, thighs, and glutes with this one routine.
We don't all need superhuman legs like Olympic speedskater Allison Baver, but we can all gain something from her lower-body training plan. When she's not on the ice, Baver (along with more than half of all U.S. speedskaters) uses inline skating to strengthen and tone her whole body with minimal impact to the joints.
Try this Rollerblade Leg and Glute Buster developed by Baver to tighten and tone your core, hips, thighs, and glutes. If you really want to kick up the intensity, take it outside and perform each move on inline skates!
This exercise targets your calves and shins, but your quads, hamstrings, and glutes are all engaged.
How to do it: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Without pitching your upper body forward, bend your knees about 45-degrees. Maintain this position as you rise up onto the balls of your feet and lower back down, moving only your ankles. Continue this movement for 30 seconds.
Variations: Angle your knees in or out to really target your inner/outer calf muscles.
It looks easy, but this one move works your legs, glutes, lower and upper back, shoulders, and hip flexors.
How to do it: Start with feet shoulder-width apart and a 45-degree bend in your knees. Extend one leg out to the side, keeping toes forward and knees bent the entire time. Bring your leg back in and repeat to the other side. Pump your arms as if you were skating and continue alternating legs until you complete 20 reps.
Legs lifts work your ab/adductors and hips, while engaging the muscles in your legs and butt.
How to do it: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes facing forward. Push your hips back as if sitting in a chair and lower into a half-squat (45-degree bend in your knees). From this position, extend your left leg out to the side, lift it off the ground, and return it to the starting position. Repeat with the opposite leg. Alternate sides until you complete 20 reps.
Variation: Try extending your leg to the back instead of to the side.
Squats target your quadriceps, but they also activate your core and just about every other muscle in your lower body, including your glutes, hamstrings, and calves.
How to do it: Stand on your left leg with your hands on your hips. Extend your right leg in front of you, bend your left knee and slowly lower your body until your left knee is at a 45-degree angle. Pause, then push yourself up. Perform 10 reps on your left leg and then switch to the other side.
This is another great move for strengthening almost every muscle in your lower body, including your quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, and calves.
How to do it: Step forward with your left leg and slowly lower your body until your front knee is bent about 90 degrees. Pause, then push yourself back to the starting position as quickly as you can and repeat with the other leg. After you perform one front squat on each leg, step backward to perform a reverse lunge on each leg. Continue alternating until you perform 10 forward and 10 backward lunges on each leg.
Make it harder: Lunge back, and then add a jump to transition onto the other leg. raising your knee up high in mid-air.
This exercise targets the muscles in your low back, hips, glutes, and hamstrings.
How to do it: Stand with your hands on your hips and knees slightly bent (about 45 degrees). Without changing the bend in your knees, bend at your hips and lower your torso until it's almost parallel to the floor. Pause, then raise your torso back to the starting position. Repeat until you complete 20 reps.
BONUS: 30-Minute Interval Cardio Workout on Skates
1. Warm up for 10 minutes by skating at a fast pace with 3 easy, 10-second bursts of speed.
2. Alternate between 35 seconds of complete rest and 25 seconds of skating as fast as you can. Repeat this 35/25 pattern 20 times total.
3. Cool down with 10 minutes of easy skating.