4 Lower-Body Exercise Moves to Master

4 Lower-Body Exercise Moves to Master

by Sue Jones
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Say hello to today’s New Year’s Challenge workout, full of four lower-body exercise moves for you to master. We know that it’s not always easy to carve out time to work out—and that sometimes, well, you just don’t feel like working out. But you have been showing up, and here you are for another round. That’s no easy feat! 

What better way to celebrate than with your first dedicated leg day of the challenge? Building lower-body strength is important, since it helps you do everything from lift heavier to run faster to simply doing everyday tasks a little easier. Here, we’ll introduce you to exercises that’ll really help make that happen.

In any complete lower-body exercise, you’ll want to hit these movement patterns: a squat variation (in this case, the goblet squat), a hip hinge variation (the Romanian deadlift), a bridge variation (the glute bridge), and hip abduction (the monster walk.) It’s also really important to introduce single-leg movements too, so you can identify and work to correct any muscle imbalances. In this routine we do that with the reverse lunge. These movement patterns are the building blocks to a strong body that can carry you through each and every day, as you perform tasks that seem simple—such as walking or lifting a heavy box off the floor—but behind the scenes are actually complex actions. You’ll work at mastering these basic variations in this routine, which we’ll build upon as the challenge progresses.

One simple note we just want to put out there as you come into your third strength-training workout of the challenge: You probably notice that the workouts on the strength days feel different than the ones on the cardio days, in that you may not feel as out of breath or sweaty on your weightlifting days. That’s perfectly normal! In fact, you shouldn’t be “chasing the sweat” when you’re strength training, since rest is super important to allow your muscles to come back fresh enough for multiple sets to keep lifting those weights. Remember, the goal of today’s workout is to build strength, not work on your cardio fitness—that’ll come again in a few days!

Now, who’s ready for leg day?

The workout below is for day 7 of the SELF New Year’s Challenge. Check out the full four-week workout program right here. Or go to the workout calendar here. If you’d like to sign up to receive daily emails for this challenge, you can do that here. (edited) 

WORKOUT DIRECTIONS

Aim for 8–12 reps of each exercise. Rest for up to 30 seconds between exercises. Rest 1–2 minutes after each round. Complete 2–5 rounds total.

EXERCISES

  • Romanian Deadlift
  • Goblet Squat
  • Glute Bridge
  • Reverse Lunge

BONUS MOVE

After your last circuit, try the bonus move for 60 seconds.

  • Lateral Monster Walk

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