I always feel great after a workout.

Sure, it may have a direct correlation with the amount of coconut rum I’ve consumed the day before, but I usually feel fabulous.

Feeling great during a workout? Now that’s a different story.

In my 10+ years of strength training, there have only been a handful of times that I have felt incredible, so-incredible-that-I-could-fly, during a workout. I’m not talking about feeling good, or even great. I’m talking about those days where you feel as if you could compete in a Strongman competition, minus the spandex, 80’s tank top and tree trunk thighs.

Well, at least the tank. I think I’ve got the spandex and stumpy thighs in the bag.

Last Thursday, I was flying high after a superb leg workout.

The thing is, I am not sure what I did differently to cause this fabulous feeling mid-workout. Perhaps it was as simple as the stars being aligned?

There are a few key points that ensure a great workout for me:

Consistent Sleep. Not just one or two 8-hour-nights. I need consistent, good-night sleeps. Being well-rested makes a world of difference.

Consistent Eats. Again, not just one day or even one week of balanced meals. Give me a few weeks of balanced meals, and I know I will rock my workouts.

Comfort. My clothes and shoes much be comfortable, but even more so than that, the temperature must be cool. Mr. How Sweet will tell you – I hate being hot.

Music. Make is upbeat. I’m good to go.

I’m still not quite sure what it was that morning, except that everything magically came together at the right time. My workouts since have been great – but normal. Nothing out of the ordinary and nothing to write home about.

I wanted to share the excellent leg workout with you.

Good luck walking the next day.

Feeling Fabulous Leg Workout

15 minute cardio warm-up

4 sets of 12 lean lunges on each leg

4 sets of 20 alternating side lunges with a tap on the floor

4 sets of 12 stiff-legged deadlifts

4 sets of 12 angled, single-leg, leg presses on each leg

4 sets of 12 leg extensions

10 minute cardio cool-down

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28 Responses to “Fitness Kick Start: Feeling Fabulous Leg Workout.”

  1. #
    Nicole @ Making Good Choices — May 17, 2010 @ 4:58 pm

    I’m going to start crying now from the pain of the morning after this workout. I am such a cheat on legs, for some reason I’ve always hated working them out. I need to try this…. bathing suit season is coming so I better do it! :)


  2. #
    Bethany @ More Fruit Please — May 17, 2010 @ 5:04 pm

    Wow, I think my legs are already quivering just reading that workout! I definitely stick to just cardio for my leg workout and should really try stepping it up. I agree with you on the fact that it takes several factors to contribute to a good workout. Sleep and eats being my two most important ones since they have a direct impact on my attitude before the workout!


  3. #
    Lisa @ bakebikeblog — May 17, 2010 @ 5:06 pm

    What a fantastic workout! I need to get back into strength training!!


  4. #
    Eunice — May 17, 2010 @ 5:14 pm

    The side lunges always kill me! I agree that consistently good sleep can make a world of difference in my workouts. A good night’s sleep can make ANYTHING better, really. Ahh.. i love sleep. :)


  5. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — May 17, 2010 @ 6:06 pm

    i can’t wait for the day that i can do leg workouts again, this sounds like it’d kick my butt in a good way!


  6. #
    Low — May 17, 2010 @ 6:31 pm

    Great workout! I haven’t been sleeping well lately and it’s definitely messing up my game. Blah.


  7. #
    Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) — May 17, 2010 @ 6:47 pm

    Nice workout, and good luck walking is right :)

    The 8 hrs of sleep thing. Well, don’t ever have a baby. From the moment you’re pregnant, you can’t sleep. Then the baby wakes you up. The toddler screams your name. And as they age, you stay up b/c you want them to be in their room and not on the prowl! Seriously girl, i avg 5.5-6 hrs a nite and I used to be an 8 hrs all the way, sometimes 9! kinda girl.

    Love you!


  8. #
    janetha — May 17, 2010 @ 6:48 pm

    i like that you are posting more fitness posts lately!


  9. #
    Ashley — May 17, 2010 @ 7:34 pm

    Ohhh goodness..I haven’t done a real leg workout in foreverrrrr…hehe


  10. #
    One Healthy Apple — May 17, 2010 @ 8:23 pm

    Love this post! I am also loving all the fitness posts lately- they are so helpful!


  11. #
    genesis — May 17, 2010 @ 8:54 pm

    i like the leg workouts but because im such a visual person, is there a way to add some pics so i know exactly what to do?


  12. #
    Wei-Wei — May 17, 2010 @ 10:58 pm

    I agree with genesis. Photos of your gorgeous self exercising, please? :D


  13. #
    Naomi (onefitfoodie) — May 18, 2010 @ 3:09 am

    love it and so true about the sleep! I NEED my 8 hours to get a ROCKIN workout, I justdont get those people who are ‘fine with 4 hours of sleep’ WHAT?!! I would collapse at work, let alone think abotu acutally working out?! not for me!

    great leg workout!!


  14. #
    Teri [a foodie stays fit] — May 18, 2010 @ 5:30 am

    that’s such a great feeling when your workout is amazing. What are lean lunges?


    • Jessica — May 18th, 2010 @ 5:37 am

      Lean lunges will make your butt cheeks be on fi-yah!

      Start in a stationary lunge position: 1 leg forward, 1 back, with the back foot up on your toe. Make sure your front knee is in line with your front toe. You can do a few stationary lunges just to get the feel.

      The fun part: Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Bend at the waist keeping your posture. Your back should be totally flat, not rounded at all, so make sure to keep your shoulders back. Perform the lunge with your legs exactly like you would normally – your upper body should not move, but still be bent over. The dumbbells should be on either side of your front leg, and almost move up and down when you are lunging as if they are on a ‘track.’

      Hard to explain, easy to show. I will try and get a pic!


  15. #
    MelissaNibbles — May 18, 2010 @ 5:48 am

    Awesome workout girl! What do you mean by “tap on the floor” though? Thanks!


  16. #
    DessertForTwo — May 18, 2010 @ 6:36 am

    I think you’re right–people underestimate the importance of getting enough sleep. It not only gives you enough energy for incredible work-outs like these, but I’ve read it helps with weight control too.


  17. #
    april — May 18, 2010 @ 9:51 am

    I’m a sleep advocate for sure! I get 8-9 hours of sleep every single night. I get up at the same time each morning and go to bed at the same time- it keeps me balanced!

    When you say angled, what does that mean? LOL


  18. #
    Allie (Protein Girl) — May 18, 2010 @ 10:01 am

    So no Bikram for you if you hate being hot. Well, you ARE hot but perhaps not what you meant. ;)

    There comes a point during each “good” workout session that I feel like:
    a) quitting and never looking back
    b) vomiting
    c) taking up a different hobby, like glazing pottery

    Your leg session looks “good”.


    • Jessica — May 18th, 2010 @ 10:27 am

      LOL you crack me up. :)

      I actually don’t mind Bikram, it’s more like when I’m doing cardio and there is no A/C.


  19. #
    Therese — May 18, 2010 @ 10:22 am

    Balanced eating is KEY for my workouts. I don’t care how consistent I have been with hitting the iron, if I have had too many chocolates and too many bottles of wine my workouts are sucky. Eating clean (most of the time) is so important.


  20. #
    Erica — May 18, 2010 @ 3:01 pm

    That leg workout looks like a killer! Love that you posted about this though. I need to tone up my legs before summer hits!


  21. #
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — May 18, 2010 @ 7:24 pm

    Great tips on getting in a good workout. I have been having trouble finding inspiration lately, but I think your notes about sleep and balanced meals may help. I need to work on taking care of my self a bit more :)


  22. #
    Heather — May 21, 2010 @ 6:42 am

    never thought about this until now, but there is a rare time that i am feeling AWESOME during a run.

    after a run – i am flying with joy and feeling fabulous – but during…it is rare.

    so, add that to my long list of reasons WHY i run.
    to feel good afterwards.


    • Heather — May 21st, 2010 @ 6:43 am

      and to eat things like this gigantic cranberry walnut muffin that just appeared on my desk. HEAVEN.



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