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Split Squats – You’re going to feel this tomorrow!

April 12, 2010

When I wake up, two things immediately cross my mind:

  1. What’s on my menu for the day
  2. How much and when to workout  

The answer to #2 is heavily influenced by my response to #1.   For instance, if I have dinner plans and know I’ll be chowing down, then I make a point to head to the gym for an intense workout.   If my fridge is stocked with healthy food and I’m locked up in my condo working for the day, then a brisk walk will do.  So my degree of physical activity is purely dictated by my anticipated consumption of food. 

I admit that my appetite is unstoppable – I eat more than the average female, and put most men to shame.  Sadly, I’ve even been asked to participate in a hot dog eating contest.  I guess I’ll take that as a compliment?   

Truth is, I work out so I can eat anything I want (almost).  This was my rationale for dragging myself to the gym 7 days a week for an hour plus.   Then I got into one of my exercise ruts and  I decided to give myself a break.  I’m now down to 5 days (give or take) and thankfully I didn’t balloon in the process.    Bonus:  I have more free time, my appetite is subdued and I’m eating less (closer to a normal person).   The calories in/calories out equation is still balanced.  

Yesterday morning I pressed ‘snooze’ one too  many times and only had 30 minutes to squeeze in some exercise before work.   This called for one of my secret weapons – an efficient high intensity workout. 

Here it is:

  • Elliptical –   warm up 5 minutes followed by bursts of 1 minute sprints (or harder resistance) and 1 minute cool downs.  Alternate these 2 motions for ~10 minutes.
  • Split squat jumps  – 3 sets of 10 repetitions.  Jump with left leg + jump with right leg = 1 rep.  Here’s how you do them (just go a faster pace once you get comfortable).
  • Push ups – 3 sets of 15 repetitions.  Alternate sets with “Split Squat Jumps” to break it up.

Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with leg workouts – they are incredibly challenging (hate doing them) but also one of the most effective workouts (love the results).   Split squat jumps – an example of plyometrics – take it to another level.   Plyometrics are high-intensity exercises for speed and strength, primarily for athletes.  They typically involve explosive movements like jumping. 

WARNING:  Your heart WILL be pumping like crazy and you WILL feel it the next day.   It’s amazing what a few jumps can do.   If you’re going to try these, make sure you read the safety tips.  

Go ahead…try these at home and tell me how you feel the next day:)

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