Carve your buns, quads, and hamstrings (plus a little bit of core) with this killer lower-body circuit courtesy of trainer Joni Ortiz.
Power through the exercises quickly using your own bodyweight, or take it at a slower, harder pace by adding a set of dumbbells into the mix.
Model/Trainer: Joni Ortiz // Photography: James Patrick
This lower-body circuit is great for strengthening and toning your lower body and, considering some of the largest muscles of the body can be found in your legs, you get the added bonus of serious calorie burn.
Complete 15 repetitions of each exercise with good form before moving on to the next exercise. Complete each exercise back-to-back with no rest in-between to ensure your heart rate is kept high. At the end of the circuit, rest for 30 seconds (advanced) to 1 minute (beginner), before starting the circuit again. Four rounds.
Stand holding your dumbbells by your side (if you have them) and step forward, lowering your back knee down to the ground and keeping your front knee in alignment with your ankle. Push through your heel back into standing position. Repeat for 15 reps, alternating legs.
Good morning – squat Rotation
Start in a standing position. Move into a good-morning with a slight bend in your knees, hinging at the hip and with your back straight. From here, sit back into a squat (hold this for a couple of seconds) and then move back into a good morning. Return to a standing position. This is one rep. Repeat for 15 reps, moving at a moderate to quick pace.
Start in a standing position, holding dumbbells at your sides. Shift weight onto one leg, lower dumbbells down, keeping a slight bend in the stationary leg, while kicking alternate leg back. Upon rising, push through the heel and squeeze your glute muscle for two seconds before lowering back down. Repeat.
Bench step-ups with kickback
Stand facing a bench. Step up with your right foot and kick your left leg back at the highest point of the movement, squeezing your glute. Step back down to the ground and repeat with your opposite leg. Alternate legs until you have completed 15 reps.
Begin in plank position, holding dumbbells. Bring your right knee towards your right elbow with a slight squeeze in your oblique, before returning back to plank position. Repeat on your left side and alternate sides until you have completed 15 reps.
Stand facing the bench. Squat down and jump up onto the bench into a squatted position. Think ‘light knees’ – you should not be banging into the bench with force, as this puts undue pressure on your joints. Step back down to the ground and repeat until you have completed 15 reps.
Get into a squat position with knees wide. Kick feet out without raising your upper body, before moving back down into the squat position. Repeat for 15 reps. This exercise should be completed quickly for best results.
Single-leg variation (lunge – kickback)
In standing position, shift weight to one leg, move into single leg lunge and, upon rising, kick alternate leg back. Move back into standing position before completing the same movement on the opposite leg. Alternate legs until 15 reps are complete. Remember to move quickly through the movement.