Squat With Lateral Leg Raise
This is a great dynamic movement to hit multiple muscle groups.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand, cleaned up to shoulder height. Perform a standard squat, lowering yourself to an inch or two above the ground.
- Squeeze your glutes and hamstrings to send your torso upwards. As you’re almost standing straight again, lift up one leg to the side, squeezing your glutes, core and hip abductors.
- Hold your leg at the top for 1-2 seconds before slowly lowering it down again. This is one rep.
- Repeat for the other leg.
Flutter kicks are a simple way to give your hip flexors, lower abs and quads a workout.
- Lie flat on your back on the floor or on a bench.
- Lift both feet an inch or two in the air.
- Tense your lower abs to raise one leg.
- Alternate between raising each leg, lowering them to 1-2 inches above the ground. A flutter kick with both legs counts as one rep.
One Leg Crossover Jumps
- Simply hop up and down on one leg. Land on the toes and not the heels, and perform in a rhythmic fashion.
- Perform all prescribed reps on one side, then on the other. This counts as one set.
Squat Dumbbell Oblique Raises
This is a great dynamic movement to hit your whole body whilst working to tone your arms.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of you. Place your feet shoulder width apart and squat down. This is your starting position.
- Tense your glutes to explode up, using some of that momentum to raise the two dumbbells over your head in front of you. As you do this, twist to the side by tensing your obliques (side abs).
- Slowly reverse the motion, bringing your hands back down and squatting into the start position ready to do the same on the opposite side. This is one rep.
Dumbbell Step Ups
Step ups are a great easy way to strengthen your quads and glutes.
- Find an elevated platform, bench or chair. Place one foot on the platform, making sure it is secure and firmly placed flat. Hold a dumbbell in each hand for added resistance.
- Squeeze your quads in the raised leg to lift your body up and onto the platform.
- Slowly release and lower yourself back down. This is one rep.
- Repeat for the other leg.
Standing Calf Raises
A plie foot placement method can be used for a number of different exercises, as it helps to work the different muscles of the calves.
The calf muscles have a multitude of movements and as such you should aim to perform calf raises in a both a normal – plie and inverted exercise format.
Point your toes out to the side at about 45 degrees, smoothly raise your heels off the ground, holding in the upper phase for 2 – 3 seconds, prior to returning your heels towards the ground.
Focus on keeping your foot straight throughout the movement, avoid any twisting movements.
This method can be used to work either one foot – both feet – or even a combination of one foot normal (facing forward) one foot Plie.
Stretch and Warm Up before you commence any exercise and aim to finish with some good stretching to let your body and mind recover.
Plank Reach Through
- Get into a push up position, with your hands on the floor below your shoulders, and your feet spaced slightly apart. Keep your spine in a neutral position.
- Reach one arm out in front of you, tensing your core for stability.
- Slowly tense your core and reach your arm under you, raising your hips at the same time as you tense your core.
- Touch your opposite knee with your hand.
- Return your arm to its initial position. This is one rep. Repeat on the other side.
Bodyweight Pistol Squats
The pistol squat is the king of lower body, bodyweight exercises. It’s very difficult to master, but amazing at building leg strength and size without weights. Plus, it’s a great party trick!
- Stand on one leg, getting you balance and making sure your weight is through your heel. Put your arms out straight in front of you, and raising your other leg so your knee is bent. Your raised leg will form a counterbalance to give you stability.
- Really squeeze your core and the leg you’re standing on. Slowly bend the leg lowering your torso downwards. Take it slow.
- At the lowest, your butt should be an inch or two off the ground and your other leg should be extended out straight in front of you.
- Squeeze your leg again, slowly raising your body upwards again. This is one rep (congratulations)!
- Repeat on the other leg.
One Leg Cable Kickback
The cable kickback similar to a glute raise, but allows you to finely control the resistance.
- Adjust the cable machine so that it is on the bottom peg. Attach the ankle cuff to it and wrap the cuff around your ankle.
- Place your other leg forward towards the machine, you may want to press your toes against it. Have a slight bend in this leg.
- Place your arms against the pillar for stability.
- Straighten your other leg and slowly move it back. If you feel this in your lower back, you’re lifting your leg too high. Squeeze your glutes at the top for 2-3 seconds.
- Slowly lower your leg back down. This is one rep.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Stand with your hands behind your head, and squat down keeping your torso upright and your head up. This will be your starting position.
- Jump forward several feet, avoiding jumping unnecessarily high. As your feet contact the ground, absorb the impact through your legs, and jump again.
- Repeat this action 5-10 times.