Whether you’re on a mission for increased muscular leg strength, toned hamstrings, or to grow those ‘quadzillas’, your pins won’t know what’s hit them with these effective lower body exercises.

Full Squat

Before you underestimate this circuit staple, this is more than your standard parallel squat, as the exercise requires your butt to go lower than 90 degrees – remember if you want that ‘bubble butt’ then you need to go deep. Most famous for toning your cheeks, the gluteus maximus is one of the largest muscles in the body. Besides its effects on your hind, further health benefits include relief from back pain helping to correct posture, and strengthened ligaments (resulting in fewer injuries). Perform the exercise by following the squat movement all the way through lower than your knees to as low as you can go, raise without fully extending your legs and repeat.

60 seconds on, 20 second rest, 3 rounds.

Barbell Front Lunge

This functional exercise is mainly known for strengthening the quads, however it also engages the hamstrings and glutes. Lunges are one of the most effective lower-body exercises, making it suitably placed next to the squat. When performing this exercise engage your core muscles, back, and abdominals, keeping your body upright and balanced. In a controlled movement step forward and lower yourself straight down with your pelvis flexed forward and

60 seconds on, 20 second rest, 3 rounds.

Tyre Flips

A fun addition to any circuit session. Form is paramount with this exercise, so ensure when lifting the tyre your back is kept straight, with your legs bent as you would performing a squat. Most gym tyres have handles to enable you to take a strong grip. Once you have a strong grip perform the exercise by taking the strain through your legs and with explosive force lift the tyre pushing over as soon as it’s on its side. Active the quads more by pushing with the balls of your feet or engage the glutes more by pushing through the heels.

60 seconds on, 20 second rest, 3 rounds.

Box Squat Jump

This plyometric exercise is great for activating your fast-twitch muscle fibres and setting light to fat, however if you’re overweight take on this exercise with a little caution, due to the added stress on your knees. You can adjust the height of the box based on your mobility and fitness level.

60 seconds on, 20 second rest, 3 rounds.

Dumbbell Farmers Walk

Don’t underestimate loaded carries for fat loss, as the exercise is great for a strengthened core. To perform the exercise ensure you don’t crane your neck, keep your shoulders tight as possible, keep your back and pelvis aligned throughout, and grip the dumbbells hard to increase the tension in your core muscles.

Sets of 1 – 2 minutes at a time, rest 20 seconds, 3 rounds.

Bulgarian Split Squat

Grab 2 x high weight dumbbells and stand facing away from a bench. Extend one leg back and place the top of foot on the bench. Squat down by flexing the knee and hip of front leg until knee of rear leg is almost in contact with the floor. Return to the original standing position by extending hip and knee of the foreword leg and repeat.

60 seconds on, switch leg after 30 seconds, 20 second rest, 3 rounds.  

Goblet Squat

Perform this exercise by holding a high weight kettlebell against the middle of your chest. While keeping your weight on your heels push your hips back and towards the floor. Ensure your hips move before your knees bend. Keep your chest up. Initiate the second part of the move by driving your hips forward and return to the start position.

60 seconds on, 20 seconds rest, 3 rounds.

Alternating Kettlebell Swing

This exercise has been shown to improve fitness and help lose fat as much as running without the joint stress that comes with pounding the pavement. To perform the exercise grab a high weight kettlebell 16kg+. Moving hand to hand allows you to swing more continuously and for longer which is great for fat loss.

60 seconds on, 20 second rest, 3 rounds. 


Written by Physical Training Instructor @PTI_Thompson

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