Lower-Body Bodyweight Exercises That Aren't Squats or Lunges

Lower-body exercises have a way of growing stale or feeling the same workout after workout—especially when they are bodyweight exercises

Lower-Body Bodyweight Exercises That Aren't Squats or Lunges

Lower-body exercises have a way of growing stale or feeling the same workout after workout—especially when they are bodyweight exercises (read: squats, lunges, squats, lunges on repeat). This *could* be why you're not seeing results. (More evidence: Why Your Butt Looks the Same No Matter How Many Squats You Do)

Fortunately, there are plenty of lower-body bodyweight exercises that'll change up the way you sweat and help you see results, stat. (These lower-body exercises trainers want you to add to your routine can help, too.)

Ready to get started? You can do these targeted, lower-body bodyweight exercises anytime, anywhere. They'll leave your muscles with that feels-so-good burn, keep your metabolism revved, *and* keep boredom at bay (and can you really say that about those basic squats and lunges?). Related: Learn How to Properly Engage Your Glutes During These Key Exercises

 

How it works: Up to four days per week, perform these lower-body bodyweight exercises individually or as a circuit (do each exercise back to back with little to no rest in between up to 3 times in a row) after a cardio session or within your existing lower-body workout.

Total Time: up to 30 minutes

You will need: Mat

1. Standing Rainbow

A

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Stand on right leg, left leg extended out to the side slightly in front of body (aim to the front corner of the room), foot flexed, with hands behind head.

B.

Open leg out to the side and in line with hip, lifting leg slightly higher as it opens. Bring leg behind body (aiming to the back corner of the room) without letting foot touch the floor, then lift and open side to return to the starting position. (Imagine tracing a rainbow shape with heel.) Do all reps on the right, and then repeat on opposite side to complete the set.

Sets:

3

Reps:

25

2. Single-Leg Deadlift Extension

A

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Stand on right leg with knee slightly bent, left leg extended behind hip with toes lightly tapped on the floor, both hands behind head. Keeping weight in right foot and spine naturally straight, hinge forward from hips and lower chest until parallel to the floor.

B.

Maintaining a flat back, raise torso back upright, lifting left leg higher behind hip, balancing on right foot (shoulders should be over hips). Lower left toes and hinge forward to repeat. Do all reps on the right, and then repeat on opposite side to complete the set.

Sets:

3

Reps:

25

3. Side-Lying Power Kick

A

B

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Lie on right side, with right elbow bent under shoulder, lifting ribcage away from the floor with hips stacked and knees bent at 90 degrees in front of hips. Extend top leg straight in front of hip, foot flexed.

B.

Bend knee into chest, then press out through heel to extend leg straight (imagine pushing something away from body with heel). Do all reps on the right side, and then repeat on opposite side to complete the set.

Sets:

3

Reps:

25

4. Kneeling Rear Attitude

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From an all fours position, bend elbows to the floor below shoulders and clasp hands together. Bend left knee behind right, curling left heel in closer to body, pointing toes.

B.

Lift left leg up behind hip as knee turns out to the side into a rear attitude position (avoid shifting hips side to side during the exercise). Bend left knee back behind right. Do all reps on the first side, and then repeat on other leg to complete the set.

Sets:

3

Reps:

25

5. Heel Bridge

A

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Lie faceup with knees bent and feet flexed so that just heels remain on the ground, arms down by sides. Engage abs and lift hips off the floor. Slowly lower tailbone to the floor and lightly tap down before lifting back up into bridge.

Sets:

3

Reps:

25

6. Frog

A

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Lie facedown with knees bent and open to sides, feet flexed, and heels pressed together. Bend elbows and stack hands so that you can rest forehead on top. Keeping heels touching, squeeze glutes and lift thighs off the floor. Lower back to the starting position; repeat.

Sets:

3

Reps:

25

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