My Favourite Lower Body Exercises

So despite starting the year with a promise of monthly fitness update posts, that literally only happened in January. Oops, my bad.

I’m a little bit ashamed to say I’ve yo-yo’d a bit this year. I started the year on a high, but various aspects of life have been challenging my fitness journey and this has led to inconsistencies and going backwards at times, and while I’m a little bit annoyed about this, there’s nothing I can do looking back on it so all I can do is move forward.

My gym recently went through a big refurb, and while it never looked back in the first place, it looks so much better now! We have new equipment, new areas and a new pink wall that I’m particularly fond of, and the update has done wonders for my motivation.

If you read my new fitness plan back in May, you might have seen that summer is the time when I tend to focus more on my legs as I’m not running as much (and hate running during summer heat), and these are some of my favourite workouts for my lower body at the moment:

Plyo Box Jumps

The most popular new piece of kit in the gym is our new PlyoSoft boxes, and while I’d always considered them to be torture before I’d actually used them, but now I’m obsessed! I start off on a 45cm, the quickly moved up to 60cm and now I’m on 75cm and I’m aiming for 90cm by the end of August. Its a great bodyweight-only workout and I’m already seeing results!

Bosu ball squats

Because squatting isn’t tricky enough at the best of times, I’ve now taken to doing them on top of a bosu ball.. While this might not seem too different to squatting on solid ground, you’ll be amazed at how many more muscles you get working while you’re trying to maintain your stability!

Donkey kicks

While it may seem very cliche gym-girl, I love donkey kicks, and all the different variations of them. I have a little donkey kick routine that’s my go-to on days when I’m focusing on lower body, and I will do it over and over until the backs of my legs are screaming just cos for some reason I really seem to enjoy it..

Wall sits

Wall sits are probably the easiest possible exercise for your legs ever, and its amazing how much you feel the burn afterwards. If my legs aren’t already knackered, I’ll try and get in a few minutes of a wall sit at the end of a workout just to push myself right to the end – and then probably fall down the stairs out of the gym.

Swiss ball leg raises

These are killer for both abs and legs! Gripping a Swiss ball between your knees/calves, then raising your legs straight up and down while lying on the floor; I’ll tell you now its a killer!

What are your go-to leg moves in the gym?

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Glass Slipper Camp – Tiana HIIT

Hey Glass Slipper campers, are you ready for another workout?!

This month we’re gonna mix things up a little bit with a HIIT workout, so get ready to dig a little deeper because this month its all about Tiana!

So what is HIIT?

It stands for High Intensity Inverval Training, and the basic idea is that you give it everything you’ve got for a set length of time, then rest for a short space, then go again. Push, rest, push, rest; you get the picture. The best way to keep to your timings on this is to download an interval timer app on your phone, and set it to beep at each changeover.

The best part about this workout is it requires no equipment whatsoever, so find yourself some space and let’s get going! I recommend starting off doing each exercise for 20 seconds, and taking a 10 second rest between each exercise. If this is quite comfortable, push yourself to 30 seconds on, 10/15 seconds off, and try and get in as many rounds as you can!

This workout is designed to focus on your legs, so be sure to stretch well once you’re done!

Burpee jumps

While I often consider burpees to be torture, they are a great exercise for working your whole body and getting your heart pumping!

Frog Hops

To get the full effect, keep your body low and stick your butt right out as you hop in and out. (Apologies for my weak left knee!)

Frog Jumps

Like with the frog hops, try and keep low and movements small. Focus on just tapping the floor with your fingers each time, but keep your chest and head up.

Lateral frog jumps

Imagine you’re hopping from lilypad to lilypad. Really push up from each jump to drive sideways, and be sure to land on both feet at the same time.

Squat jumps

Finish off the set with a round of power jumps! Squat low and push up hard, little frog princess!

Congratulations princesses, you’ve just earned yourself a discount code! Buy either the Glass Slipper Camp or KettleBelle tank top, and get the second for just £5! Shop here, and just use ‘FITPRINCESS’ at the checkout!

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Glass Slipper Camp – Merida

I love how much you guys are loving the Glass Slipper Camp series! Its so satisfying knowing that something I put a lot of work into and had a lot of fun creating is really being appreciated, so thank you all!

This month we’re gonna be shooting for our own hands in honour of our favourite fiery redhead princess, that’s right, its Merida month and we’re focusing on strong arms!

You can do these exercises with weights, or they all work really well with a resistance band! I recommend starting with 3 sets of 10-15 reps, but see how you get on and do whatever you feel comfortable with!

Pull the Bow

Load up your bow, aim and pull that arrow back! Keep your chest up and tuck your hips forward to keep the core engaged.

Bicep Curls

Work those upper arms and build strength in those bear-ceps!

Quiver Pulls

Get ready to reload! Be sure to support your weight-bearing arm with the other.

Shoulder Press

Show how much stronger you are than those pesky clan first-borns, and be sure to touch the sky as you push up!

Tricep Kickbacks

Feet together, knees bent and butt out! Push those weights back and be sure to control them on the way back.

Now you’ve toned up your arms, will you be changing your fate?

PLUS this month comes with another discount code! Using ‘FATE30’ to save 30% on all orders at The Happiest Fitness Co  – valid until June 30th!

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My New Fitness Routine

I mean, I couldn’t stay at Muscle Beach forever..

In line with my post from Sunday, I’ve gotta get back on track with my fitness training. Having only just recovered from the jet lag, this morning was my first day back at the gym since before holiday, and although I did spend my holiday running a 10K and a half marathon, I’m definitely feeling the slump from a lack of workouts recently!

Now I’m a firm believer that the term ‘bikini body’ is a load of bull, and it really does grind my gears when health and fitness companies try to use the summer as a way to shame people into thinking they should be slimmer, but while my motivation has nothing to do with that, I do want to up my training heading into the summer months, for myself, my body confidence and no other reason.

Running

Personally, I hate running during the summer. I live on the beach and you’d think that would be perfect for running during the summer but I cannot stand it; it’s busy and the sun is glaring down and there’s no shade plus kids and dogs and bikes are everywhere. No thanks.

I also don’t do any big races during the summer, primarily due to heat, so I don’t have to worry about training too much, but I do want to maintain my consistency, so I’ll be aiming to do at least two runs a week – preferably a 5K and a 10K, just to keep myself moving and on form. I don’t see the point in pushing myself too much as I’m too prone to injury!

Gym

The gym is probably where I feel my most confident when it comes to fitness. I’ve seen such amazing progression that I don’t feel at all ashamed to say that I’m proud of myself, and I’m not stopping here. I’ll be aiming to visit at least 3-4 days a week, mixing both weight and strength training with some cardio options like spinning and rowing.

Given that I’m reining back my run training, I can get away with doing more leg training, as when I’m preparing for races I’m very cautious about what lower body work that I do, so I’ll definitely be stepping up with squats and lunges galore. My main focus has always really been upper body, especially my arms, and that will still be a big focus for me, but I also really enjoy finding more functional moves and workouts to get my whole body engaged!

Home Workouts

Where most people would probably have an area rug on their bedroom floor, I have my yoga mat rolled out at all times. I try not to waste precious gym time doing exercises that I can easily do at home, so evenings are the times that I generally do more calisthetics. I have both the Tone It Up and Blogilates apps on my phone, so I’m aiming to stick to the TIU daily moves every day, as well as one video by either K&K or one of my Blogilates faves.

I’m also hoping to fit some more yoga into my routine, both for strength and flexibility as well as time for meditation and relaxation, and praying I can master that forearm stand!

Fun Fitness

On top of everyday exercise, I’m hoping to squeeze a lot more fun into the summer months – Swimming, long adventurous walks, high ropes, trampolining, anything that’s a little bit different and a whole lotta fun really! If I’m enjoying myself and I’m being active then even better, right?

Do you mix up your fitness routine when summer comes?

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Glass Slipper Camp – Mulan

As voted by you, this month’s installment of Glass Slipper Camp features our favourite warrior princess, Mulan!

Are you ready to get down to business?!

This is a great workout do at home home as you don’t need any equipment! Try starting out with 3 sets of 15-20 reps.

Sumo Squats

Defeat those buns with this wide squat that also works your inner thighs.

Lunge Kickbacks

This variation on a classic lunge gets your stability muscles working and also activates your glutes as you kick backwards.

Knee Chop

As well as stretching your legs, this doubles as an ab-crunch!

Glute Kickbacks

Try to keep your upper body still and focus on keeping your glutes tight as you lift your leg back. Push your hands together to work your arms at the same time

Squat Kicks

Another twist on a classic! Squat nice and low, then keep your leg straight as you kick it up, working those stability muscles and the sides of your core.

Did this workout make a man out of you? Well reward yourself with 40% off all orders over £15 from The Happiest Fitness Co using ‘MULANCAMP’ at the checkout – valid until the end of May!

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Glass Slipper Camp – Rapunzel

Its time for another installment of Glass Slipper camp, yay!

I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone’s support for the first post, making it one of my most viewed posts of the year already – I’m just so happy you guys are loving this series as much as I am!

This week’s princess inspiration is my personal favourite – the lost princess herself – Rapunzel, and it ties in to The Happiest Fitness Co’s new collection which is available for pre-order now here!

Right, frying pans at the ready! I used a weighted medicine ball for this, but you can use whatever equipment you fancy (including frying pans), or none at all. If you want to work without a weight, I’d recommend 5 sets of 20 reps, or 3 sets of 15 with a weight – but see how you feel!

Toe Touches

7am, the usual morning line up.. Kick off this workout with a stretch that works your whole body!

Overhead Frying Pan Extension

Get those arms strong to protect yourself against any ruffians and thugs. Engage your core by pushing your hips forward and tucking in your bum, and try and get a full arm extension as you push back up.

Frying Pan Swipes

Keep your hips facing forward, and use your upper body to swing that ball (or pan!) from side to side. Keep your chest up and your arms locked out for maximum effect.

Lift the Lantern

Lock your arms out and lift that lantern up to the sky, working your back, butt and core at the same time

Crowning the Lost Princess

Finish your first round by making yourself a workout queen! Try to keep your elbows forward, and slow down the movement for maximum effect.

BEST WORKOUT EVER!

Love the Who Knew raglan from THFC? Its available for just £17.50 until the 31st – don’t miss out, pre order here!

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My Post Workout Routine

When it comes to workouts and the gym, I think everyone has their own little routines for how stuff should be done, whether its what day you do legs, or what order you do your weight circuit in, it starts to become ingrained into us.

I think that when you’re working so hard on your fitness, its important to remember to look after yourself in other ways – your skin, your body and also your general happiness, and I’ve developed a bit of a routine for what I like to do after I’ve just smashed a session to relax and rejuvenate myself so I’m ready to take on the rest of the day.

1. Stretch in the shower

Probably one of the weirdest parts of my shower habits, but while I’ve still got my muscles warm, I tend to get some more stretching done under the hot water, and if I’ve been on a long run, I’ll do this in the bath too.

2. Moisturise my face

I can’t pretend I’m one of those girls in the gym who never sweats. I’m a workout til I’m bright pink and got a drip of sweat on the mat kinda gal 90% of the time, and I find that its my face more than anywhere else that really dries out as a result. I use either Nivea Soft Cream or Nivea Sensitive Day Cream and sometimes go for two applications depending on how my skin is feeling.

3. Deodorise!

As soon as I’m showered and feeling fresh, I’ve gotta make sure I’m gonna keep feeling fresh for the rest of the day! I’ve recently been using Soft & Gentle 0% Aluminium*, which is not only great for sensitive skin, but I also love the fact that its vegan and cruelty free, which is a huge selling point for me, and the cans are a great size for fitting into my gym bag.

4. Clean and comfy socks

I normally walk home from the gym, so this is a treat I’ll save for when I get home, but I love putting on a fresh pair of super comfortable socks. Right now, my favourite pair for this is my Brad Feet socks* from Chatty Feet because they are so soft as well as wonderfully whimsical!

5. A fresh dusting

Once I’m dry, nothing tops off that fresh feeling more than a sprinkling of dusting powder! Lush Fairy Dust is my absolute favourite because I adore and smell and the sparkliness!

Do you have a post-workout care routine?

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*these products were sent to me for review. All opinions are my own