This workout is mainly a variety of squat exercises, but I threw some other random moves in there as well to switch it up and give your quads a break! For the squat exercises I use a barbell (40-50 lbs) or my sandbag. If you don’t have access to either, you can do these exercises holding dumbbells – or you can simply do them without any weight at all and you will still get a good workout in.
Do 2 sets of the circuit, resting no longer than 30 seconds between exercises and 2 minutes between sets. Moving from one exercise to the next is a good way to keep your heart rate up. I a couple random exercises to give your legs a little rest.
Squat Pulses (12 reps) – Stand with the barbell/sandbag on your shoulders, feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down, and pulse 3 times before coming back up to standing (1 rep). Lower and repeat. The pulse is a very short movement.
Low Step Backs (20 reps) – Start in the same position as the previous exercise, but stand with your feet slightly closer together. Lower into a squat and hold as you step one leg back behind you and then back forward (still squatting). Repeat, alternating legs while maintaining a low squatting position. Be sure that your knees don’t bend forward past your toes. Do not do a back lunge with stepping back, just simply step back as far as you can.
Half Burpee + Upright Row (10 reps) – This is an exercise to keep your heart rate up. Start with your barbell/sandbag on the ground. Lower down and place your hands either on the ground or on your weight (depending on how stable it is), and jump your feet back to plank. (Note: If your barbell or weights aren’t stable enough for you to jump back to plank without rolling, then simply place your hands on the ground behind it. ) Jump your feet forward and stand pulling the weight up to under your chin into an upright row (1 rep). Lower the weight down to the ground and repeat. Try to do these somewhat quickly.
Side Lunge + Jump Squat (20 reps) – Place the barbell/sandbag on shoulders. Squat down and do a jump squat. Land in a squat and lunge out to the right, remaining low. Come back to squat – jump squat then repeat alternating sides. Stay low throughout. I guess it’s more of a side step, since your’re already lowered down into the “lunge” – just straighten the opposite leg. Again, you can do this without weights.
V-Ab Splitters (10 reps) -This is a 2-part move. Lie on your back, arms and legs extended. Do a V-up, raising your legs and shoulders and torso up so that you’re reaching towards your toes and your body make a V Shape (see pic). Lower, then come up again by lifting your legs open into a V and crunching up bringing your arms between your legs. (1 rep). Lower and repeat. If the first part of the move is too difficult, do a toe touch crunch instead – raise your legs above your hips and reach for your toes.
Bulgarian Split Squat (10 reps/leg) – I saved the best/worst for last 🙂 Place barbell/sandbag on your shoulders. Prop your left foot onto a bench or step behind you, and plant your right foot on the floor into a wide split stance. Lower straight down, keeping your front leg linear and your spine rigid. Come down until your back knee hovers above the floor, and then push back up to starting position. Complete all reps and then switch sides. If you are new to this exercise, try it first without weight. It requires balance as well as strength!
Are your legs burning yet?? Try for 1 more set! Unless you’re done….then good job!