Kayla Itsines proudly embraces change. The SWEAT co-founder and trainer is always looking for ways to improve her world-famous workout platform, whether that means renaming her infamous “Bikini Body Guides” to be more body-positive or creating new inclusive programs such as lower-body strength workouts that welcome people of all ages and fitness levels.
For her latest evolution, Itsines decided to upgrade her gym-based program, High-Intensity Strength with Kayla, to offer fans who might be heading back to the gym space post-COVID pandemic to really get back in action with a strategy in place.
Available exclusively on the SWEAT app beginning July 12, the program will offer 12 weeks of new programming designed to replace the current content on the app. The new High-Intensity Sweat with Kayla will feature a combination of high-intensity strength moves geared towards increasing fitness and building strength to further empower women to train in the gym with confidence.
Each of the weekly workouts takes roughly 30-45 minutes to complete. Three of them focus on either upper body, lower body, or full-body respectively, and there’s an optional full-body cardio workout every week, as well. While this program is not best suited for beginners, Itsines does offer four optional beginner-friendly weeks for anyone looking to just get their feet wet.
Similar to the OG program, the revamped version will also rely on gym equipment, so this isn’t the best program for you if you don’t have a fully stocked home gym a la The Rock’s Iron Paradise. That said, the program includes exercises that utilise larger gym equipment as well as smaller tools such as dumbbells, and some exercises require nothing at all.
High-Intensity Sweat with Kayla incorporates circuits with both supersets and trisets. The reps-based supersets challenge you by using progressive overload, which essentially means gradually increasing weight (or intensity or tempo) to build strength. The trisets are time-based, but also challenge you to steadily increase the workload via reps or weights.
Get a taste of Itsines’ new High-Intensity Sweat with Kayla program with this exclusive 15-minute lower-body workout. This express session targets your quads, hamstrings, and glutes through a combination of compound strength movements and isolated endurance exercises.
Following the blueprint of her program, this workout is split into a superset and triset with the goal of improving both strength and stamina in these large, lower-body muscle groups. The best part? You don’t need gym access for this workout. All you need is a kettlebell, a yoga mat, and some space to move around freely. No kettlebell? Just swap it out for one heavy dumbbell.
Keep in mind that the below routine doesn’t include a specified warm-up or cool-down, but Istines recommends getting a few movements in ahead of the workout to increase your range of motion and reduce injury. For a warm-up, aim for three to five minutes of moderate-intensity cardio, such as jogging in place or jumping rope, to help rev up your heart rate and warm up your muscles. She also recommends doing some dynamic stretches — such as leg swings and torso twists.
Similarly, following your session, Itsines suggests doing a three to five-minute cool-down, which could include going for a short walk to slowly bring your heart rate back down to a resting state or practising static stretching by holding a single position for at least 20 seconds. This will increase your flexibility and range of motion and also help protect you against cramping and lingering soreness.
Kayla Itsines’ 15-Minute Express Lower-Body Workout
How it works: The workout is broken up into a superset and triset. Perform each exercise in the superset for the allotted number of reps, three times through. Rest for 30 seconds, then move on to the triset. Perform each exercise in the triset for the allotted time, three times through.
What you’ll need: a yoga mat and a kettlebell
A. Holding the bell portion of a kettlebell with both hands, stand tall with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
B. Inhale. Keeping back straight, squat down until tops of thighs are parallel to the floor.
C. Exhale. Push through heels, extend hips and knees, and return to starting position.
Repeat 10 reps.
A. Holding the bell portion of a kettlebell with both hands in front of chest, step right foot back into a split stance, keeping feet hip-width apart.
B. Inhale. Slowly lower down in a lunge, bending both knees to a 90-degree angle. Your back knee should hover just above the floor. Maintain an upright chest and spine.
C. Exhale and slowly return to standing.
Repeat 16 reps; 8 per side.
A. Begin standing shoulder-width apart holding the handle of a kettlebell in front of you.
B. Inhale. Keeping spine neutral and squeezing shoulder blades, bend knees, and send hips back.
C. Lower kettlebell in front of shins, keeping it close to the body. Once it passes the knees, do not allow hips to sink further.
D. At the bottom of the movement, maintain a neutral spine and drive through heels to fully extend hips and knees, squeezing glutes at the top to come to standing.
Repeat for 40 seconds.
A. Start on all fours with knees below hips, and hands below shoulders. Maintain a neutral spine.
B. Inhale. Exhale and draw right knee toward chest.
C. Release and extend leg straight back and up until it’s in line with the spine. The toe should be pointed, glute squeezed.
D. Inhale bend right knee and lower leg to starting position without resting knee on the mat.
Repeat for 40 seconds; 20 seconds per side.
A. Lie flat on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor hip-width apart. Place the kettlebell on the pelvic bone and tuck hips to maintain a neutral spine.
B. Inhale, press heels into the floor, and lift hips high without arching lower back, keeping the tailbone tucked. The body should form one straight line from neck to knees.
C. Inhale and lower hips back to the floor slowly with control.
Repeat for 40 seconds.
This story first appeared on www.shape.com
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