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The wall squat is a great way to remove momentum from your squats, concentrating the exercise on your quads and glutes.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, or slightly wider, with your toes slightly pointing outwards. You back should be towards a wall. Make sure your spine is in a straight, neutral position.
- Your feet should be placed a foot or two in front of a wall (so that at the bottom of your squat, your knees are directly above your feet).
- Lean backwards against the wall. Squeeze your leg and core muscles as you lower your body downwards. Lower yourself until your thighs are horizontal to the floor. Hold for 2-3 seconds.
- Continue to squeeze your leg and core muscles are you raise yourself up again. This is one rep.
This is a great power variation of the squat. You still lower yourself down slowly, but explode upwards from the bottom of the squat. As you land, try to slow your momentum so you’re working your muscles on the way down as well.
An essential move to grow big glutes!
- Lie flat on your back with your arms at your side.
- Bend your knees and place your heels on the floor.
- Squeeze your glutes to lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders are all aligned. Hold for 2-3 seconds at the top.
- Slowly release back down until your hips are on the floor. This is one rep.
Plie Squat Calf Raises
A plie foot placement method can be used for a number of different exercises, as it helps to work the different muscles of the calves.
The calf muscles have a multitude of movements and as such you should aim to perform calf raises in a both a normal – plie and inverted exercise format.
Point your toes out to the side at about 45 degrees, smoothly raise your heels off the ground, holding in the upper phase for 2 – 3 seconds, prior to returning your heels towards the ground.
Focus on keeping your foot straight throughout the movement, avoid any twisting movements.
This method can be used to work either one foot – both feet – or even a combination of one foot normal (facing forward) one foot Plie.
Stretch and Warm Up before you commence any exercise and aim to finish with some good stretching to let your body and mind recover.
Swimmers are a great way to work your whole body whilst giving your lower back a workout.
- Lie on your stomach and squeeze your glutes as hard as you can, raising both legs off the ground.
- Reach forwards with your arms, keeping your palms facing downwards a few inches above the ground.
- Lift your alternate arm and leg up into the air, squeezing all of the muscles from your shoulders down to your glutes. This is one rep.
- Repeat with the other arm rapidly.
High knees give you the benefit of sprinting without the space requirements. They’re simple to do, just sprint on the spot, driving your knees and your hands upwards alternatively.
A great variation on the forward lunge that will help hit additional small muscle groups.
This is performed in a very similar way to a standard lunge.
- Stand with your feet hip width apart. Place your hands on your hips.
- Step backwards with one leg, lowering down on the other until your knee touches (or almost touches) the floor. Your front foot should be directly below your knee.
- Push back off of your back foot and raise up to your initial position. This is one rep.
- Repeat with the other leg.
- Stand with your hands behind your head, and squat down keeping your torso upright and your head up. This will be your starting position.
- Jump forward several feet, avoiding jumping unnecessarily high. As your feet contact the ground, absorb the impact through your legs, and jump again.
- Repeat this action 5-10 times.
Bodyweight Pistol Squats
The pistol squat is the king of lower body, bodyweight exercises. It’s very difficult to master, but amazing at building leg strength and size without weights. Plus, it’s a great party trick!
- Stand on one leg, getting you balance and making sure your weight is through your heel. Put your arms out straight in front of you, and raising your other leg so your knee is bent. Your raised leg will form a counterbalance to give you stability.
- Really squeeze your core and the leg you’re standing on. Slowly bend the leg lowering your torso downwards. Take it slow.
- At the lowest, your butt should be an inch or two off the ground and your other leg should be extended out straight in front of you.
- Squeeze your leg again, slowly raising your body upwards again. This is one rep (congratulations)!
- Repeat on the other leg.
Plank Glute Kickback
To mix in some glute exercises with your abs, as well as upping the difficulty, try some glute kickbacks.
- Whilst in a standard plank position, tense your glutes one at a time, raising your leg slowly and holding for 2-3 seconds at the top.
- As you’re resting on one less limb, the plank will become more difficult to hold also.
- Repeating once with each leg is one rep for this exercise.