Leg Day Workout: Sprints + Bodyweight Exercises

Try this leg day workout next time you want a lower body burn. You'll mix sprints with bodyweight exercises.
This post was made in partnership with Finish Line. All opinions—as always!—are my own. I appreciate your support of the brands that make this blog possible. 🙂
I can’t name another running shoe that is as consistently praised as the adidas UltraBOOST (in the blogging world, anyway). And after years and years of hearing people rave about them, I finally got to give these sneakers a try as part of Finish Line’s Shoes So Fresh campaign. Honestly, they really do live up to the hype. So. Comfortable.

You know when you get new workout clothes and the prospect of wearing them gets you excited to break a sweat? Well for the first time in over a year (since the 2016 Boston Marathon, to be exact), I’m starting to get the itch to run another race with my new fresh kicks. So before we get to the leg day workout below, do you guys have any recommendations for a fun late fall 10k or half marathon?? I want in!

Finish Line activewear outfit Finish Line activewear outfitFinish Line activewear outfit

In addition to the UltraBOOSTs, I’m wearing Nike’s Sportswear Essential Crop Tank, both from my friends at Finish Line. My wardrobe resembles that of Wednesday Adams (black, black, dark black, faded black, jet black, more black) so throwing on a jean jacket walking to and from a workout helps add a bit more of a summertime feel to the getup.

Leg Day Workout – Sprints + Bodyweight Training

This is a great workout to take outside but you could easily do it in a gym using a treadmill as well. You’ll run .25 mile (400 meters) as fast as you can and then complete 10 reps of three bodyweight leg exercises. You’ll repeat that four times.

#AD This leg workout mixes sprints with bodyweight exercises. Perfect for doing outside or at the gym! Wearing @finishline @finishlinewomen #ShoesSoFresh #WeAreMore #FNLstyle

 

Exercise Descriptions

Side Lunge to Side Kick (each side) | From a standing position, lunge to the right, stepping your right foot out wide to the side and bending the knee, sliding your hips down and back (left leg stays straight). Push off your right foot to stand on the left foot as you kick your right leg up and out to the side. Return back down in a side lunge. That’s one rep. Do 10 reps to the right and then repeat on the left.

Jump Squat – Jump Tuck Combo | Squat down low and then jump straight up in the air. Land back in a squat and then do a jump tuck, jumping up as you bring your knees up towards your chest. That’s one rep.

Sumo Squat with Heel Raise at Bottom | Start standing with feet wide apart and toes turned outward. Keeping your knees tracking in the same direction as your toes, squat down. At the bottom of your squat, lift your heels, coming to the balls of your feet. Lower your heels and stand. That’s one rep.

Try this leg day workout next time you want a lower body burn. You'll mix sprints with bodyweight exercises.

WEARING | Women’s adidas UltraBOOST Running Shoes & Women’s Nike Sportswear Essential Crop Tank c/o Finish Line

photos by Nick Cosky

Workout (and Everyday) Playlists to Follow on Spotify (+Giveaway)

Workout (and everyday) playlists to follow on Spotify

WEARING | Reebok zip-up, Varley bra (sold out in black, print version here) & Adidas hat all c/o asos

I go through phases with music sources. I used to be a diehard SoundCloud user, but I feel like Spotify has seriously stepped up its remix game so that’s what I’ve been using for music lately. I don’t have time to spend hours going down the rabbit hole of music suggestions (when I taught spin I could spend an entire DAY doing this), so instead I find new music by following fellow fitness instructors and Spotify’s curated playlists.

For myself, I organize my music into a handful of large playlists to which I continuously add music each week. So the following playlists of mine have music in them from over the past several years. As you scroll down, you get the newest stuff. And if you choose to follow them, you’ll always be seeing new songs added that fit the general genre.

Workout Music for Teaching at Btone

The songs on this playlist are upbeat but not too intense. Some Top 40, but mostly remixes and dance music that falls shy of the stuff you’d hear at a nightclub to (hopefully) appeal to a wider range of clients.

My Personal Workout Music

This one has more nightclub-y stuff (not all though). The turned-up version of my teaching workout music. Not all the songs are EDM and dance music, but most of it is as that’s my favorite for my own workouts.

Music to Play at the Studio before Class Starts

Songs on here are upbeat but a bit more chill than what I’d play during class. Some throwbacks, Top 40, mellow(ish) dance and even alternative songs thrown in. This is what I play in the studio as clients arrive and in between classes.

Cool Down Songs

Chill, mellow music to play while stretching after class.

Everyday Music for Workout, Running Errands, Long Car Rides, Etc.

There’s a lot of overlap between this playlist and my Before Class playlist. I listen to this one on shuffle almost every day.


Again, the first songs you’re going to see in those embedded playlists were added years ago. The newer stuff get populated at the bottom. 🙂 Now speaking of working out …

I’m giving away a workout with Shaun T!

If you live in the Connecticut area, I’ve got an awesome giveaway for you over on Instagram! This Sunday, Shaun T (you probably know him from his Insanity workouts) will be at Mohegan Sun for a “ShaunTervention” that includes not just an hour-long workout but Q&A and chance to meet and take photos with Shaun T. Full event details HERE.

Enter to win by leaving a comment on my latest Instagram post, embedded below. Your comment is just your favorite emoji (easy!) and then follow @SamsoniteUSA (they’re generously providing the ticket) and you’re entered. Because of the location barrier, there won’t be too many entries so your chance of winning is a lot better!

If you’re hesitant because the giveaway is only for one ticket and you don’t want to go alone, fear not. I’ll be there! We can arrange to meet up beforehand and workout together. Winner will be contacted tonight.

Foam Rolling for Runners

Love to run? Keep your body injury-free with foam rolling for runners.

This post is sponsored by HoMedics® as part of the #NotGonnaStop campaign. All opinions–as always!–are my own. I appreciate your support of the brands that make this blog possible!

In a recent Instagram post, I talked about how I pretty much completely stopped running after crossing the finish line of the Boston Marathon last April. I had ZERO desire to go for even short runs so … I didn’t. There are so many other ways to get a quality cardio workout in so why force running? I instead turned to spin, boxing, bootcamp and HIIT workouts for a sweat and for the last year have probably only gone for a handful of runs, none of which were longer than four or five miles.

Maybe it’s the warm weather creeping in or the fact that it’s marathon weekend in Boston, but it’s only just recently that I’ve started to get the itch to run again. And like with most activities you haven’t done in a while, the first couple long(er) runs left me super sore last week (my calves!!).

Foam rolling is important for mobility and injury prevention, and I’m never more vigilant about doing it than when I’m running regularly. With perfect timing, I was recently sent a package of HoMedics® Sports Recovery Massagers (available on Target.com!) and have been putting them to good use.

Love to run? Keep your body injury-free with foam rolling for runners.What you won’t be able to see in these pictures is that all the HoMedics® Sports Recovery Massagers include vibration for a deeper, more effective, more hurts-so-good massage. I especially like using the vibrating option when I’m pinpointing a knot. I’ll roll over the muscle first and when I hit a sweet spot, turn on the vibration and press firmly on it for 20-30 seconds.

Everyone can benefit from foam rolling, but with the running spark reignited in me and the Boston Marathon on Monday, let’s go over some muscles to focus on in particular if you’re a runner.

Foam Rolling for Runners

The following muscles are the ones I show the most love with the foam roller when I’m running frequently. Every body is different and we’re all working with different muscle imbalances, injuries and workout regimens so think of this as a general guide, not an exact foam rolling prescription for you individually. Especially if you’re injured, check with a doctor or PT before whipping out the foam rollerit can makes things worse to roll directly on an injury.

You’ll want to spend at least 1-2 minutes on each muscle, slowly rolling up and down, stopping when you hit a sweet spot (knot). Apply pressure to those knots for 20-30 seconds before continuing the larger rolling motions.

I’m using the HoMedics® Gladiator™ Vibration Foam Roller in the below pictures which has battery-operated vibration for an even deeper massage. There are three vibration intensities to choose from and I usually stay on the lowest one while doing the big rolling and then the highest for pinpointing knots. The roller also has multiple foam textures on its surface so you get a variety of sensations. It also has a hidden compartment so that you can store your keys, ear buds, etc. if you’re bringing it to the gym.

Love to run? Keep your body injury-free with foam rolling for runners.

Quads | Unless my quads are particularly tight, I typically roll one leg at a time so to increase the pressure. As pictured at the start of this post, I’ll also sometimes use The HoMedics® Vertex Vibration Stick Roller which has six spinning rollers and is of a harder material than the HoMedics® Gladiator™ Vibration Foam Roller. I roll up and down the center; up and down at a slight angle to the right; up and down at a slight angle to the left.

Adductors | When rolling out the adductors, place the foam roller lengthwise alongside you and come into a half frog position. 

Calves | With the other muscles, foam rolling is a hurts-so-good feeling. With my calves, it’s full on torture. A long time ago I blogged about my experience getting a runner’s assessment and the trainer working on me actually called over her colleague to watch what was happening with my calves because it was literally as if she were rolling over marbles. Oy vey. When I’m holding on a knot (which is every centimeter), I’ll do so with my foot flexed and then with it pointed to really try to work it loose.

Glutes | I’ll cross my leg over the knee to better hit the piriformis (sometimes I feel like a ball is more effective), but when I do the glute max and med, I usually like having the leg out straight.

TFL / IT Band | When it comes to the IT Band, you need to think about foam rolling the muscles to which it attaches. I usually start with my glutes and TFL and then gradually make my way down towards the tibia. As I roll down the IT Band, I don’t roll directly on my outer thigh, but rather lean my body forward at an angle so it’s more the outer/front thigh area.

Love to run? Keep your body injury-free with foam rolling for runners.

Last but not least—that’s an understatement, actually. Last and BEST, the feet. I could massage my feet all day. The HoMedics® Atlas Vibration Acu-Node Massager offers a gentle vibration and its acu-node texture delivers pinpointed pressure that my arches love.

All these HoMedics® Sports Recovery Massagers and more are available at Target.com, HoMedics.com and in-store at Rite Aid.

Love to run? Keep your body injury-free with foam rolling for runners.

What’s the most painful (in a “good” way) muscle/muscle group for you to foam roll? Anyone like me and say calves?!