How to do a Foot Elevated Split Squat

The basic split squat is a variation of the basic squat that uses a single leg. That’s why they are sometimes known as single leg squats, and they are great for making your squats more beneficial.

The split squat is often done as a powerlifting technique, combining the squat movement with some weights, like a dumbbell or barbell. It does not have to include the weight component, though. 

There are a number of ways to do split squats, and we want to focus on one particular variation in this article- the rear foot elevated split squat.

If you are doing this exercise with weights, the risk of injury is higher, so make sure you get your form down properly and you are doing the exercise in the way it should be done.

You should definitely practice the single leg squat motions before adding any weight, just to minimize your risk of injury. 

What Is a Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat 

A split squat forces you to adopt an asymmetrical stance and place one foot forward and the other foot behind. The rear foot elevated split squat raises the back foot, placing further weight on the front foot.

The advantage is that the front foot then has to do more work. You need to exert harder and therefore burn more calories. 

It’s a great way to get more out of an exercise without having to switch over to an entirely different exercise. This is also a powerful way to put more of your body into the workout and experience greater gains. It lets you focus on a single leg in a way that helps with uneven muscle building issues.

How to Do Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat

The key to making this exercise work for you and to incorporate it into your workout is to find a comfortable way to elevate that rear foot. Most athletes will use a bench, but you can use a box, a crate, or anything else that will support the weight of your rear foot. 

You want to elevate it to a height that is about six inches off the ground. You can elevate it higher than that, but you need to choose a height that is comfortable for you.

It may be tempting to just use whatever is handy and work with that, but you can injure yourself if you are straining your rear foot too much by elevating it too high or elevating it in a way that isn’t comfortable. Your own height will help determine the height the foot support should be as well.

Taller people will need to elevate their feet further from the floor for maximum benefits. 

You can do this exercise with a split squat roller, which can be a standalone piece of equipment or an attachment to a larger rack. You can also use a bench and adjust the size to your height or elevate your front foot to get the right stance for this exercise.  

The key is to put the weight and the exertion on that front leg, making it do the work of pushing your body up. 

Your starting position should be in a stride position, or a lunge position. Your back foot should be elevated and resting on a hard surface, like a box or bench. 

From there, bend your front knee and descend into a lunge. Keep going down until your thigh is in a line that is parallel to the floor. The toes of your front leg should be further forward than your front knee, if you are doing the lunge correctly. 

Make your knee and hip extend to push yourself back to the starting position. That’s one rear foot elevated split squat, and you can repeat as needed for your reps. Then, switch over to the other leg. 

The position of your arms during this exercise will depend on what kind of split you are doing. They can hang down past your side or you can hold a barbell or dumbbell in your hands. We will show you how to do this exercise with weights next. 

What Is a Barbell Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat?

If you are using a barbell with this exercise, then you should use one that has no weight on it. You will be placing the barbell behind your head, and a weighted barbell could easily slip and damage your neck in this position. So, you should leave the weight off. 

You can do the rear foot elevated split squat as normal with the rest of your body as we showed you above, but when adding a barbell to the maneuver, you want to make sure your hands are in the right position.

Hold the barbell behind your head, pressed against the top back of your shoulders. Your palms should be facing forward while grasping the bar, and your hands should be at about an even level with your neck. Keep the barbell in that position during all of your reps, giving yourself a rest as needed. 

What Muscles Are Used in a Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat?

As we mentioned, this version of the squat is designed to focus on your front leg. It can really cause some intense burning in the muscles there, activating your quads, hamstrings, calves, and adductors.

These are great exercises for building leg strength, but be sure that you alternate legs after each set so that there is not a muscle imbalance. 

By elevating the rear foot, you are not really using more muscles, but you are increasing the force requirements for your muscles, asking more of them so that you see greater gains. 

This is a good mobility and agility exercise, as it helps to keep you limber and works on stretching the muscles and improving your range of motion. You may find it challenging at first, but that is kind of the point. After a while, it won’t be so strenuous. 

It works your core as well, especially if you add the barbell or some dumbbells to the workout for extra gains. Your main focus with this exercise is definitely the lower and upper legs, but the entire body can benefit.

Tips for Maximizing Gains with the Rear Elevated Split Squat

This exercise can give you powerful gains in a short amount of time, but be careful about overdoing it. If you go too hard too quickly, you will wear yourself out prematurely and not be able to finish your reps or the rest of your workout.   

Make sure your rear foot is able to stay in place without feeling too strained or uncomfortable. It should not be slipping as you do the exercise, and you should watch out that you don’t put undue pressure on the rear ankle.

If you cannot get a comfortable position, try stepping closer to the foot support or further away from it.  

You can get more from the split by going further down into it. Try this until you start  to feel the burning in your leg muscle, but be careful about coming back out of the dip too quickly.

Adding weight can be a great way to make the exercise more effective, but only do what you can handle. Start with smaller weights and work your way up, and be careful about the added weight throwing you off balance. 

Women Planking in Gym

Plank with Arm Raise – How Effective Is It?

You can build your core effectively using planks and the various modifications of that exercise. If you want to improve your endurance and have better balance, then incorporate planks into your exercise regimen. 

One particular plank modification that is worth trying is the plank with arm raise, and we will show you how to do that in this article. We’ll also cover some essential information about these exercises so that you can maximize your benefit and minimize your risks. 

What Is a Plank?

The plank is an exercise that has become very popular in recent years, since we now know that it burns more calories than most other core exercises.

Planks are strengthening exercises that work on large muscles groups all throughout the body, providing enormous benefits and helping you achieve your short-term and long-term fitness goals.  

A plank can be as simple as holding your body off the floor with your palms and toes, extending your arms fully so that the elbows are locked. Then, you can just hold that position for a few seconds and rest. 

There are multiple positions you can do planks in, like resting on your elbows and forearms. You can also hold the plank for longer or shorter, depending on your strength, endurance, and exercise target.

You may do several planks in a single set or just do one and then go back to other exercises in your routine. 

What Is a Plank with Arm Raise?

You can do a variation of the plank that increases the difficulty and requires you to raise one arm while planking. It’s a great way to take your planking to the next level and to target some of the muscles that are not being targeted by the basic plank.

Every variation on the plank should either strengthen muscles that get overlooked or give you a more interesting way to plank to break up some of the monotony, and the arm raise plank is good at doing both. Because it is more challenging than a normal plank, you definitely won’t be bored. 

How to Do a Plank with Arm Raise

  1. To do this version of the plank, you want to start off in the basic plank position. This is essentially a pushup starting position where your arms are locked below you, with your palms supporting you on the floor. Your shoulders and back make a straight, inclined line down to your legs, which are also straight. Your feet are supporting you at their end, keeping the lower end of your body off the floor but closer to it than the upper end of your body.
  2. From that position, put your weight down on your forearms, making sure they point straight ahead.  
  3. You can face straight ahead as you do this and should try to keep your neck straight as well.
  4. Once you are in this starting position, you can then do a plank with arm raise. Just raise one arm while keeping the other one on the floor. The raised arm should be extended out in front of you and be raised to shoulder height.
  5. Hold it there for the count of two and then bring it back down to the starting position, with your upper body weight resting on your elbows and forearms.
  6. Then, you can alternate, raising the other arm while holding yourself up with the arm that is on the floor. 

Make sure that you do not rotate your body as you do this exercise. That hurts your form and will affect some of the benefits of the plank. 

How Long Should You Plank with Arm Raise for?

The typical plank is held for 30 seconds to a minute. If you hold the plank for longer than that, your gains will be minimal, but the exertion will be much worse.

You maximize your benefits by cutting off the plank somewhere in that 30-second window. 

You should hold your arm up for about two seconds when you do the plank with arm raise. This allows you to do several reps in a single set before you need to rest. 

Try starting with 5-10 reps per side to begin with. You can increase from there later on if you want to, once you feel more comfortable. Because you are being active with this plank, you can hold it for longer than a normal plank and continue to reap decent benefits from it. 

What Muscles Does a Plank with Arm Raise Work?

As we mentioned earlier, the plank with arm raise is designed as a core exercise. So, it will work core muscles like your abs and obliques, building up core strength for you. The plank and all of its variations are good exercises to start with to build up enough strength to be able to do pushups.  

Since you are raising your arm for this modification, you will be working the shoulder and back muscles. 

There is some benefit to your lower body as well, but this is primarily an upper body exercise. 

Plank with Lateral Arm Raise

Now for a variation of a variation- you can do a lateral arm raise with your plank, and this will change things up a bit.

You should do this one from the pushup position, where you have your arms locked underneath you and your palms supporting your upper body, and then your toes keeping the lower body off the floor.

From there, raise one arm to the side, lifting your arm at a 45-degree angle to the body. Then, bring it back down to the starting position and alternate to the other arm.

You can do this exercise with resistance bands to make your workout even more effective. 

Side Plank with Arm Raise 

The side plank can be even more challenging than the regular plank.

You will need to support yourself on one elbow while your body is positioned sideways. You support the lower body with the side of your foot and keep your two feet pressed together.

From this position, raise the upper arm straight in the air, hold it for a two-count, and then let it back down to rest on your side.

You can do 10-15 reps of this and then switch over to the other side and the other arm can get the same exercise. 

Plank with Alternating Arm and Leg Raise

There is one more variation we want to share with you, and this one tries to incorporate as much of the body as possible into a traditional plank.

  1. You should start out in the pushup position, also called a raised plank position.
  2. Your arms should be locked straight down underneath you, with palms supporting on the floor.
  3. Your toes should be supporting your lower body, and you want to keep the line of your shoulders, back and legs as straight as possible.
  4. Then, raise your right arm in front of you and your right leg behind you as high as you can comfortably.
  5. Hold them there for a two-count and then bring them back to the starting position.
  6. Alternate to the left side next, and then continue alternating until you have completed your set. 

Planks require strength and balance, and if you struggle with the basic plank, you may not be ready for these variations just yet. Keep in mind that your body should be straight as much as possible while doing these kinds of planks, if you want to get the most benefits from the exercise. 

Plank with Leg Raises

How to do A Plank with Leg Raises & The Benefits

Planking exercises help to build up core strength and stability. They allow you to test your endurance as well, since you can hold a plank for as long as you like.

The plank is such a popular exercise these days because of how versatile it is. There are tons of different modifications you can try, including the side plank leg raise.

What Is a Side Plank Leg Raise?

This is a variation that you do while on your side. You will be moving one leg up and down for this exercise, holding yourself in place and straining your body a bit to develop better strength and endurance.

If you are bored of regular planks and are looking for something different that might challenge you or work some other muscles, then the side plan leg raise could be worth adding to your workout regimen. 

How to Do a Side Plank Leg Raise

We will walk you through this exercise step by step so you can feel confident trying it for yourself.

If you still aren’t sure about how to pull it off after you read our guide, then we suggest searching up a video on the exercise so that you have a better idea of how it is supposed to be done. 

  1. Start by lying down on the floor, preferably on a mat for your comfort.
  2. Then, prop yourself up on your elbow. Let’s start with the left elbow for this example.
  3. In this position, you want to lift your hips and extend your legs out fully, forming a straight line from your shoulders to your toes.
  4. Place either your right or left elbow on the floor, lift your hips, and extend both legs. The hard part comes next, as you will need to balance on your bottom foot (the left one here) and raise your right leg. The leg should be raised a bit higher than the level of your hip.
  5. Hold that for a moment and then let your leg come back down slowly.
  6. You can then turn over and prop yourself up on your right elbow and repeat the exercise for that side, raising your left leg.

Typically, you would do 15 to 20 lifts for each leg for a single rep. You can hold the lift for longer to extend the plank and work on your balance and strengthening. 

How to Do Side Plank with Arm Raise

You can do a variation of this exercise by raising your arm as you do it. So, if you are propping yourself up with your left elbow and arm, then you can raise the right arm high into the air as you left your leg.

It’s best to keep the arm raised the entire time you are doing the leg lifts. Otherwise, you could easily lose your balance. Your raised arm should be as straight and as fully extended as you can make it, with your fingers splayed.

Keeping the arm raised like this will actually improve your balance, and you are less likely to fall over as you do the side plank leg raises. 

What Muscles Do Side Plank Leg Raises Work?

This is a great strengthening exercise that improves both balance and endurance. It works a wide range of muscles and can help to build strong support in key areas so that you are less prone to injury when working out or doing a wide range of tasks.

The plank is designed to work your core muscles, particularly the abs, and they are some of the best ab strengthening exercises you can find.

They do more than just build your abs, though, as the side plank leg raise strengthens your back, quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings and even the shoulders. 

You will need to use your upper body for support and stability, so this leg plank works that part of the body as well. The further you stretch your leg as you raise it, the more of a workout your hamstrings are going to get. You can choose the level of benefit this exercise provides.

Just be careful about overdoing it at first. You need to ease into new exercises, as you could easily pull a muscle or otherwise injure yourself. 

What are the Side Plank with Leg Raise Benefits

If you add this exercise to your workout regimen regularly, you should notice an improvement in your overall body strength. It can strengthen your upper and lower body, building up a strong core that can handle a wide range of intense exercises.

This move also tones your body, burning fat and developing muscles for a strong, lean look. 

Because of the balance required to hold yourself in place for any kind of plank, these exercises are definitely good for improving balance.

If you have trouble standing on one foot, being coordinated, or holding a plank, then the side plank leg raise exercise can boost your skill and improve your ability to stabilize yourself and keep your balance. 

The benefit of plank with arm raise are even better. This exercise helps you to become more limber and to improve overall endurance. The side plank with arm raise works best when you keep your legs flexed.

If you do several reps of this type of plank, you will feel your core activate and the muscles there will really get a workout. Side planks can set your obliques on fire, pushing those muscles farther than they have been before and giving you incredible gains.

If you are hoping to get a sculpted, strong-looking core, then the side plank arm and leg raise will get you there quickly. 

Pilates Side Plank with Leg Raise

You can incorporate this exercise into your Pilates routine as well. The core strength exercises of Pilates are a natural fit for the side plank leg raise.

Make sure you limber up first and stretch before you get into your routine, but feel free to make these plank modifications a regular part of your Pilates workout. 

You can use Pilates for weight loss and see results that are every bit as impressive as if you were doing straight cardio.

Exercises like the side plank are important for working muscles all over your body and improving your body’s ability to support powerful muscle growth and handle intense workout sessions. 

Woman Using Tool to Give Facial

What Is an Enzyme Facial?

If you’re interested in getting a more youthful appearance and turning back the clock on your skin, you may have looked at a few different options.

You might have been researching what the best way is to get rid of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. Maybe you have looked up a few different kinds of facials and have come across the enzyme facial.

This is a relatively new type of chemical peel treatment that’s used to beautify and de-age your skin. Because it’s so new and not as well known as other types of chemical peels and facial treatments, there are a lot of questions people have about enzyme facials.

Most people don’t even know what they are, and if you’re in the same boat, you’ve come to the right place to learn all about this really incredible facial rejuvenation process.

What Is an Enzyme?

Scientifically speaking, enzymes are substances that living organisms produce to cause a chemical reaction. They are the catalyst or the trigger for that reaction.

So, when enzymes are applied to organic matter, they typically create some kind of reaction. Usually, these reactions are biologically beneficial.

You may be concerned about what enzymes do and if you should be using them on your skin. Are they safe and are there any side effects you should be worried about? The answer to that really depends on what kind of enzymes are used and how they are used.

All sorts of living organisms produce enzymes, ranging from people to animals to even fruits and vegetables. They’re created naturally, and when used properly, they can offer some benefits.

What Is Enzyme Therapy?

The enzyme facial goes by a few different names, with some treatment centers offering their own unique take on the process and their own name for it. So, what is an enzyme facial exactly?

Keep in mind that the enzyme therapy process could be different for each treatment facility that offers this service, but we will cover what the process usually entails.

It starts with an examination, and the skincare personnel at the treatment facility/spa will take a look at your skin and determine what kind of enzyme treatment might be best for it. Then, your skin is cleansed, and dirt, oil, and makeup or all cleaned off so that there’s a fresh, blank slate for the enzyme therapy to work on.

After your skin is clean, the therapist may shine a bright light on your skin to look for age spots, redness, rashes, pigmentation problems, and other issues that need to be addressed.

This tells the therapist what level of enzyme treatment needs to be used, as there are different types to choose from based on how severe the problem is.

At that point, the enzyme peel is applied to the face. It will rest there for a while, and you’ll probably have to close your eyes and mouth while the peal is doing its work. The peel is similar to an exfoliating face mask.

The enzyme facial should take around 40 minutes to dry, creating a solid mask over your face. Then, the therapist will use a facial cleanse to soften the mask. Your face will then be dried off as the mask is removed.

The cleansing process to fully remove the mask may take several attempts, depending on how thick the mask is.

Because an enzyme facial can be a little rough on your skin and may cause irritation after the initial application and removal, the therapist may use soothing lotion on your skin afterwards. This helps prevent irritation and allows your skin to feel refreshed.

How Long Is an Enzyme Facial?

The process to have enzyme therapy done on your face will vary from one treatment facility to another. However, the application of the enzymes and how long it takes them to dry will usually be anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes.

There may be some prep work needed before then for cleaning your face and then a little time needed to clean off the mask and soothe your skin once the enzyme treatment is done. All this can take up to an hour and a half, though it could be much faster.

What Are the Benefits of an Enzyme Facial?

Enzyme facials are excellent at exfoliating your skin, sloughing off the dead skin cells and making it easy for new skin cells to grow.

They also diminish the appearance of age spots, redness, hyperpigmentation, and other skin blemishes.

Like any chemical peel, an enzyme facial peel back the outer layers of skin cells and exposes the younger, fresher looking layers beneath. They’re also quite gentle on the skin, so they shouldn’t be as rough on your skin as other types of chemical peels.

If you’re wanting to diminish the signs of aging and have a more youthful and vibrant looking skin, an enzyme facial is an excellent option.

Other than minor skin irritation, there are no real side effects to worry about, and it’s considered a very safe way to treat your skin.

How Much Does an Enzyme Facial Cost?

So, the enzyme facial sounds like a good idea and it offers a lot of benefits, but what is it going to cost you?

It’s the kind of skin treatment that is best to have done professionally, but that’s a lot more expensive than doing it at home.

There are enzyme facial at-home kits available, and these can be as inexpensive as $15 for a single treatment. If you’re going the professional route, however, you may be paying anywhere from $100 to $200 per treatment.

The advantage to having the enzyme facial done professionally is that you probably get some really nice facial pampering and you can be sure that the treatment is done the right way.

It’s up to you, though, and you may find decent results with an at-home enzyme facial kit.