Strength MATTers: Legs and Core #1

A man smiling with a graphic that says strength matters with Dr. Matt

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of them, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products and services I love and use on a regular basis.

Welcome to Strength MATTers! I thought I’d try something new on the blog by sharing my weekly strength workout.

Why Strength MATTers? My husband, Matt, is a triathlete and sports medicine doctor. Before he started swim, bike, and run, he loved doing F45 workouts: high-intensity interval training that includes weight and resistance with dynamic movement. Suffice to say, he knows every exercise under the sun, so when it’s time for strength night, he plans our workouts!

Scroll to the bottom for Strength MATTers: Legs + Core #1

The three sports of triathlon (swim, bike, and run) primarily take place in the sagittal plane, where the body moves forward and backwards. When we swim freestyle, the motion of our arms and legs propel us forward. When we ride a bike, our legs push down and pull up with each pedal stroke. When we run, our legs move forward and backwards with each step. 

But, triathletes rarely exercise in the frontal plane, side-to-side motion, or the transverse plane, rotational motion. As a result, we often have underdeveloped muscles that can contribute to weakness, which can lead to injury. 

But it’s more than that. By incorporating multi-plane, dynamic movement, we can increase strength and improve performance. 

“Purposeful strength training is missing from most triathlete’s programs and- once introduced- produces the fastest and most significant improvements in run speed off the bike.”- Craig Alexander

So you’re probably thinking, “Ok, I get it. Strength is great, but how am I supposed to fit it into an already packed schedule that’s filled with swim, bike, and run workouts?”

Honestly, it’s hard. We rarely have time to make it to the gym, so we’ve started doing strength work at home. We set up a circuit in our living room, crank up the music, and workout while we’re waiting for dinner to come out of the oven. 

You don’t need a fancy gym, just a few key pieces of equipment. 

Our Home Gym Equipment:

So, since Matt is great at planning our strength workouts, I thought I’d share a few on the blog. Disclaimer: Matt is a doctor, but he’s not your doctor, and despite our love for triathlons, we’re not coaches either. It probably goes without saying, but before you take on a new fitness routine, it’s a good idea to consult with your own healthcare professional or coach.

We’re just sharing what we do in hopes that it might give you a few fun exercises to try!

Strength MATTers: Legs + Core #1

Click here to watch a video of our workout.

The way we structure our strength workouts is 3 sets of 3 exercises (9 exercises in total) and we do each set twice. It takes about 30 minutes. We try to incorporate a few different types of movement into each set, like one for core and one for legs, ect. 

  1. Speed Skaters– Hop from side to side, pushing off and landing on a single leg, while the other leg swings behind you. 12-15 reps
  2. Partner Toe Tap– Lie on your back facing away from your partner and grab their wrists overhead. Engage your core and lift your legs up to tap your toes together above your head. 10-12 reps
  3. Push up OR Bicep Curl– It’s hard for me to maintain good form for push ups, so I use the push up assist. 10-15 reps
  4. Repeat set
  1. Medicine Ball Pass– Face your partner with feet together. With arms overhead, engage the core. Do a crunch so you can pass the medicine ball back and forth. 10 reps
  2. Single Leg Deadlift– Balance on one leg while holding a weight. Hinge at the hips and let the weight slide down the front of your standing leg while keeping your back flat. 12-15 reps
  3. Superman– Lie on your stomach with arms overhead and legs outstretched. Engage the core and lift your arms and legs simultaneously off the ground a few inches and hold. A variation includes pulling your elbows back towards your feet at the top of the hold. 10 reps
  4. Repeat set
  1. Kettlebell swing– Start in a squat position and swing a kettlebell through your legs in a figure 8. Watch the knees! 10-12 reps
  2. Kettlebell squat– While holding a kettlebell in front of your chest, do a squat. At the bottom of the squat, push the kettlebell out away from you and pull back in. Then stand back up. 10-12 reps 
  3. Lunge Hop– Lunge backwards on one leg. Come back up and once you get to the top of the lunge, hop off your standing leg. Then, lunge back down again. 10-12 reps
  4. Repeat set

If you’re new here, I post on the blog on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Be sure to follow @bblife234 and @thetriplethreatlife on Instagram to find out when they’re live.