Fitness

Fitness Friday – High Lunge + Lower Abs

Good morning, and happy Fitness Friday. For today’s post, I’m sharing another of my favorite yoga poses, as well as a quick lower ab move that is sure to leave you sore in all the right ways.

There is a reason a standard lunge is widely used in sports and fitness. Lunges strengthen both your hips and booty, but can be hard on your knees. The high lunge (also known as Crescent Pose) activates the same muscles groups as a standard lunge, while also adding extension, length and challenging your balance.

Start with a widened stance so that your feet are hip-width apart. Remember to stay aware in in control of your breath. Place your hands on your hips, and step your left foot forward 2–3 feet. The size of your step may vary depending on your size and flexibility, but be generous to start—you can always adjust later if you feel any strain. Bend your left knee to a 90-degree angle with your knee directly above your heel. Press into the ball of your right foot as you lift your right heel off the ground. Internally rotate your right leg by turning your back hip forward and drawing your right knee down and in. This will help keep your hips square to the front of the mat, which is crucial to maintaining a deep stretch in the hips and hip flexors. Keep the weight of your left leg grounded in the heel. You should feel your gluteals warming up a bit in the back of your front leg. When you feel the burn, you know you’re doing it right!

Repeat the same movement with your right leg forward.

Keep your chest and hands reaching high, and gaze towards your raised hand(s).

“Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.” Isaiah 60:1

Now for a little extra bonus. Straight leg raises are simple and effective at activating and strengthening your lower core muscles.

Here is a quick how-to video:

Lie on a mat on the floor, face up, legs extended and toes pointed. Place your hands underneath your lower back or on your sides. Keep your back flat against the floor, and your pelvis anchored to the ground. Begin to raise your legs toward the ceiling, pressing your thighs together and keeping the legs straight. Lift until your hips are fully flexed and you can’t go any higher with straight legs, then lower back down and repeat. Slow and controlled movements are the most effective. Keep your breathing steady, in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Happy Friday, babes!