Strong Legs (for wannabe!)

This is a Body Sculpting pattern from www.turnstep.com. (pattern 7506)

This is leg toning done with a step bench (4"-8" depending on the height and thigh length of the individual).

The step is vertical. The bpms are about 134-138; most moves are done half-time.

Set I

Begin on top of the step. Take the right leg way back, knee down, knee up, return to the step (8). Cue that the left leg should do the work, the right leg is for balance, and also gets a chance to stretch. Then take the right leg to the right side, legs no more then shoulder width apart, toes facing front, and squat, return to the step (8). Then alternate the moves, one rear lunge alternating with one squat (16). Repeat with the left leg traveling, the right leg working.

These can be clustered in many ways, e.g. four rear lunges, four squats, then four alternate sets. They can also be done with 3-6 pound weights held on the thighs... for lunges, both weights on the step thigh, for squats, one weight on each thigh.

Set II

Begin to the left of the step. Walk forward right/left/right/left x4 and back x4 repeat twice (16), ending up beside the step. This is just a little break, and may be omitted. Squat slowly back and forth across the step (half-time); right foot on step while in a squat (1-2) left foot comes up on step beside it and body stands tall (3-4) right leg down to right side of the step into a squat (5-6) and left leg comes down beside it (7-8). A squat is maintained for the whole time, except when both feet are on the step, (beats 3-4). Repeat, squatting across the step to the left (16). Repeat the squats an odd number of times, so you end up on the right side of the step, e.g 7 squats (56) and two ham curls (8). Then repeat the whole thing, beginning with 4 steps forward left/right/left/right etc.

More advanced classes can do 15 squats with weights held on the thighs.

Set III

Plies! And plenty of 'em! These are knee-friendly and it is easy for the participant to control the intensity for their comfort zone. Make sure you cue to tuck the buttocks under when coming up... squeeze the glutes on the way up, and of course, abs are tucked tight throughout.

Stand with legs comfortably apart, toes turned out 45-50 degrees from forward. Begin with a four count plie down, and four counts up, x8 sets. Then go down for two, up for two, x8 sets. Then plie down (2) come up with left leg straight, foot flexed, and right knee bent (2) plie down again (2) and come up with right leg straight, foot flexed, left knee bent (2). Repeat x8 sets. Then do this normal time, so the whole move is 4 counts x8 sets. Finally, One last plie, down for eight counts, up for eight counts. Cue "let's show these thighs who's boss of them!"

More advanced participants can hold weights on their thighs for these.

Set IV

Stand to the left of the step, right foot on step and left foot on the floor directly next to it, toes in a line and facing front. Squat down and up x8, then down for a count of 7 and up x3 sets.

Then move into plie position, but the right toes are on the step and left foot is on the floor; this position gives the left leg most of the work. Plie down and up x 8, then down and hold for a count of 7 and up x3 sets.

Repeat the squats and plies on the right side of the step. Once again, weights may be held on the thighs for these.

It is hard to find squat and lunge patterns that don't aggravate old knee injuries; I find that this combination changes legs often enough that even my tricky knee can handle it. We must always urge our clients to do what feels best for them; there are days I use weights with these moves, and days I don't, and I always suggest that clients take a break now and then or stop and march in place if they have twinges from a problem joint.



Added by Forsythia at 11:54 AM on Thursday, July 20, 2000 EDT. Add to favorites (view favorites)
From: Upstate New York (USA)
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