Slow Head to Toe is a great way to hit every muscle group from head to toe, while dragging out each repetition to go to a 4 count-1 count-4 count tempo. In less than 20 minutes, you can truly get the entire body to work in synergy while performing these long tempo repetitions. For the full expression of each exercise, it is essential to contract the muscles at the top of the exercise before lowering the weights and releasing tension off the muscles. The slow tempo will recruit more muscle fibers and assist with a more endurance or aerobic workout vs. a more ballistic program such as HIIT (high intensity interval training) where repetitions are done quickly, working more the anaerobic system.
Perform as many repetitions of each exercise for one minute each. If two sides are being worked independently (unilaterally), then you can split the minute into 30 seconds, or you can do each side for 1 minute each. Your choice.
Minimal equipment is necessary. A mat, dumbbells, a medium band, a 3lb soft medicine ball and a smile.
This workout can be done anywhere; outside, inside, and in tight quarters for your convenience.
Find the Chill Out station on Pandora, or any slow rhythmic beats to sustain focus, breath and consistency of flow for your Slow Head to Toe workout.
Start out in an erect standing posture and slowly lift your heels off the ground onto your tippy toes. Push the ground away from you with your toes as you lift through the chest, while pulling your navel in towards your spine. Think of an upward energy through the crown of your head while grounding through your toes. With control, roll through the balls of your feet and rock back into the heels flexing the toes in towards the shins, focusing on balance. Avoid hyperextension of your knees by slightly bending them as you rock back onto your heels. This exercise works to contract and lengthen the calves all in one move. Repeat.
With your feet wider than hip distance apart, turn your toes slightly out. Keep your chest lifted the whole repetition with your belly tight. When lowering towards the ground, be sure to open up the hips and angle the knees over the ankles on the lowering part of the exercise. Keep an upward energy in the chest with your neck in alignment with your upper back. Hold the squat at the bottom for a count before pushing up slowly back to a standing position. Repeat.
Alternating Lunges with Reach
I personally love stability training which works on your ability to transfer weight from leg to leg. Not only will this work on your balance, but it will certainly call on every muscle fiber in the lower extremity as this particular exercise requires a lot of stabilization and strength, all in one movement. Start off with your feet together and slowly step the left leg straight back, taking your left hand across the body to touch your right toes. Slowly bring that back leg into starting position with your feet together and then switch sides, bringing your right leg back and reaching towards your left toes with your right hand.
Lateral Step Out with Band
Put the band around your legs, right above your ankles. Starting with your feet hip distanced apart and an erect posture, step out with your right leg first for 4 counts, placing the foot out into a side lunge, pushing past the resistance of the band. Be sure to shift the right hip out, so that your right knee is tracking in line with the right toes. Keep the back leg straight and strong. Then, slowly bring your right leg back to hip distance apart, keeping tension on the band. Alternate between sides.