WHAT TO DO WHEN THE GYM IS CROWDED

When your workout time becomes EVERYONE’S workout time...I know the feeling. Walking into the gym and seeing everybody you know swarming in. Quite frankly, it makes you want to turn around and head straight for the exit, BUT WAIT. I have some solutions for you.

Usually, the squat racks seem to always be in use at school gyms on our most needed leg days–the same goes for machines, weights, or cardio. That being said, my recommendation is trying an all dumbbell workout, or even grabbing a preloaded bar, and getting those muscles working!

Here is a quick, all dumbbell workout I do when it's my lighter leg day and the gym is super crowded:

Dumbbell Deadlift (can also be done with a preloaded bar)

1.  Grab 2 moderately heavy-heavy dumbbells and hold them to your sides.

2. Slowly bring the dumbbells down in front of your legs, but not too far away from them. 

3. Stick your butt out to feel the stretch in your hamstrings, as you slowly bring the dumbbells down to your ankles. Remember to keep your neck straight.

4. Bring up the dumbbells and squeeze your butt at the top, but do not overextend, as in, do not let your back arch beyond your butt.

Recommendation: 4 sets of 12-15 reps

Static Lunges

1. Grab 2 dumbbells that are heavy in weight weight, you got this!

2. Hold them to your sides, bring one leg out, and bend that knee at 90 degrees (do not let your knee go past your toe!)

3.  Stand back up pushing off through the heel of the leg that is being extended, do not push off with your back foot.

4. Repeat using the other knee.

(You can also throw in bicep curls when you lunge forward!)

Recommendation: 3 sets of 10-12 reps each leg

Side Lunge to Upright Row

1. Grab dumbbells that you can work upper and lower body with—remember don’t be scared to challenge yourself! You got this!

2. Starting with the right foot, outstretch that leg to your side. Try to touch the dumbbells to the ground if you can but remember to keep your chest up. Move slowly to acquire the full range of motion.

3. Bring that leg back in and flow into an upright row, holding the two dumbbells in front of you at your hips drag them up like a zipper, elbows towards your ears, palms in.

4. Bring them back down and repeat #2 with the other leg.

Recommendation: 3 sets of 10-12 reps each leg

Goblet Squat

1. The use of two steppers/benches, one foot on each, allows you to get a deeper squat here but is not necessary. Bring the dumbbell up to your chest, cradling it with your two palms at the top of the dumbbell (in a way that the insides of your wrist are facing inwards and just about touching each other).

2. Squat down, drop that butt, and feel the burn.

3. Squeeze at the top.

4. You can add pulses towards the end of your set to get that extra burn we all love to hate. :)

Recommendation: 4 sets of 12-15

Good Mornings

1. Place a preloaded bar on your shoulders.

2. Think of your hips as a hinge. While not looking up, keeping a neutral neck-  bend at the hips to feel a powerful stretch in your hamstrings.

3. This is not just a straight down movement - ensure a mind to muscle connection by slowly bending at the hips, stick your butt slightly out, while bending at the knees. It is supposed to be a movement similar to dumbbell deadlifts.

4. Bring the weight back up and squeeze your glutes.

*If there are no preloaded bars use a weighted a plate and hold it at your waist in front of you.

Recommendation: 4 sets of 12-15

Mainly leg-focused, these workouts will give you a good burn without having to move around the gym or use a squat rack. Remember that the sets/reps/weight are all recommendations entirely up to you- but don’t doubt your abilities!  Remember to keep a relaxed neck, never straining it by looking up. Good luck and feel that booty burn!