Toning the Lower Body

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,211
    Fitness Expert Jonathan Reff discusses toning the lower body.

    Jonathan Reff

    Jonathan Reff is personal training director at Somafit, an upscale fitness studio and spa, as well as owner of Jonathan Reff Personal Training. Through Jonathan Reff Personal Training, Jonathan brings personal training and gym design to your home.

    Jonathan has been personal training in New York and the Washington D.C. area for over ten years. Jonathan holds certificatons from N.A.S.M. (National Academy of Sports Medicine) as well as A.C.E. (American Council on Exercise). In addition, Jonathan holds a second degree black belt in Olympic Taekwondo, a martial art in which he was nationally ranked at one point. Jonathan has worked with elite level to novice in both fitness and Olympic Taekwondo.

    Jonathan believes a healthy lifestlye is achieved through a healthy and happy mind and body.

    Please enjoy this video and feel free to contact Jonathan with any questions.

    Hi again, Jonathan here. We are at SomaFit in Washington D.

    C. learning about how to lose weight through exercise and diet. We are now beginning the weight training portion specifically the weight training for our lower body or the portion of how to tone and strengthen the legs and muscles of our lower body. We are going to start with a very basic squat. We are going to position our feet a little wider than hip width apart and feet should be perfectly parallel to each other.

    Now, for those of us who are just beginning a workout routine or just getting back into exercising, when you start a squat you want to position yourself in front of a bench or something very steady there. You are going to actually, physically sit down onto it. So again, I am going to sit down as I breathe in my negative emotion being the downward motion as I breathe in and as I exhale my positive. So again, breathing in and I can look at my abdomen to exhaling and standing up. Starting this way is excellent because it keeps the biomechanics of the exercise or the position of your legs in perfect alignment and it s almost impossible to get something wrong here.

    So, the kind of things you want to watch out for when doing a squat or the positions of your knee. Your knee, each knee should be directly over its course binding foot and should not leave that position, meaning it should not go forward by any means nor should it bow out or keep in. We want it directly over there of course, binding feet and that the knees stay exactly where they were when we started. Exhaling and pressing up, breathing in and exhaling. As far as my alignment of my spine is concerned it s again neutral and long.

    So, I am going to now, move on to a more advanced squat. I am going to go grab some dumbbells and move this bench out of the way. I have added as well some extra weight in the way of 220 pound dumbbells. Now, this is not necessary, you could do squats free standing without weight, but for my intentions, I am going to just use this to make this a little more challenging for myself.

    So, with my arms on my side, shoulders relaxed, my posture is nice and long and tall. I am going to go ahead and just like I sat down onto the bench, take my hips behind me to down to approximately 90 degree and then exhale and press my body up. So again, we are going name both directions, a negative and a positive. So, I am breathing in on the negative, exhaling on the positive. Breathing in, exhaling and because I have added this extra weight, I am really getting a good burn through my hamstrings, the back of my leg and my quadriceps, the front of my legs as well as my back side, it feels really good.

    As we take a side angle, again you can notice that my spine is as straight as I can make it and my chest is out and I am really sticking my backside behind me as if I were sitting into a chair and then pressing and stepping out of it. So, from the squat, I am going to then show you one other exercise, which I will put the dumbbells down for. Now, lunge, vary the positioning of your legs from that of a squat and now, we are going to actually step forward. So, I am stepping forward with one foot, long enough so that both legs are stretched out, they are in line with each other but staggered a foot s length in between. I am going to bend both knees straight to the floor at a 90 degree angle. By no means should my back knee touch the floor.

    Then I am going to exhale, press up and step my foot in and then alternate to the other side. So, I am breathing in, exhaling, breathing in, exhaling, same breathing as a squat. You will notice that my spine is nice and tall, just like I were doing a squat and again I am stepping in, going down, stepping up and going back. Alternating legs again provides me with just enough instability to allow me to work my core just down my charter. You can vary the pace to make it more challenging. As long as again those knees must stay over their feet or at least the front knee, very, very important. Great, so, we as far as lower body is concerned we have done squats. We did squats with some added weight, free standing and we did some alternating lunges. We are going to now move onto the upper body. I will see you guys there.