Today's exercise session will be the Lower Body Blast. This session is not for the faint of heart, nor is it for those who are allergic to lactic acid buildup. This session will build up those quadriceps (thigh) muscles. Lets get busy and get the sweat flowing.During this PT session, you have to make sure that you stretch well beforehand. If you don't, you may pull, tear or injure your hamstrings, muscles, ligaments or tendons. You need to stretch your thigh and hamstring muscles for a good ten minutes before you start. After stretching, you can begin the workout.

All of these exercises will be conducted at the single count cadence, twice the normal Marine Corps four count cadence. The first exercise in the lower body blast is BOOT BEATERS. All this consists of is a deep squat. What you will do is place your feet shoulder width apart and with your hands at your sides, squat down until your thighs are at least parallel with the deck. Oops, sorry about that, slipping into the Marine Corps jargon again. I mean, parallel with the ground. Then slap your ankles (as if you're slapping your boots) and rise back up to the standing position. You will conduct fifteen (15) repetitions. This should give you a good warm up.

Next, you will do fifteen (15) MONKEY PLUCKERS. We sometimes use another term, however, monkey pluckers will do just fine. To conduct a monkey plucker, you need to bend over and grad your ankles. Again, your feet may be shoulder width apart to help with your balance. Holding your ankles, you will lower your buttocks almost until your rear end touches the back of your ankles or calves. Then, you will raise your rear end up until your legs are straight again, all the while, holding your ankles.

Next, you will perform fifteen (15) STAR JUMPS. To perform a star jump, all you do is squat down and jump as high as you can in the air, throwing your hands and feet out to your sides to mimic a star. You will jump into the air 15 times. By this time you should have a good amount of blood flowing through your legs. Take a two-minute break and then do three (3) sets of 50-meter sprints. This will give you a total of 150 meters that you've sprinted. Take about a 30 second rest in between sprints. After this, take another two-minute break. Believe me, you'll need it. Next you'll repeat the three exercises, with the exception that you'll move up to twenty (20) repetitions of each. That's 20 BOOT BEATERS, 20 MONKEY PLUCKERS and 20 STAR JUMPS. Then, you'll repeat the sprint portion of the exercise.

Finally, you'll cool down by performing 15 side straddle hops (jumping jacks) and walking 200 meters. This will be accompanied by a ten minute cool down stretching session afterwards. This stretching session is extremely important in reducing the potential for injury. For those who feel they're in tip top shape, you can do the traditional Marine Corps four-counts for all of the exercises, although, I don't recommend that at first. Believe me, perform this session a few times, and you'll feel your legs getting stronger and more powerful.

That's it for this issue of Semper Fitness. I can't wait until I see you next issue where we'll discuss how to get started when you've been out of the physical fitness loop for a long time. Until then, stay pumped, stay motivated and oo-rah!

Semper Fi!