Step 1: Start seated with your back supported by the side of a flat bench and your knees bent in front of you. Your feet should be planted in a good position to lift the barbell.
Step 2: Place the barbell on your hips and support with your hands.
Step 3: In one motion, thrust the barbell upwards with your hips.
Step 4: Return backside to floor and repeat
Step 5: Start with light weight and built yourself up to heavier weight
Step 6: Complete 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps
A barbell squat is a push-type, compound exercise which works primarily your quadriceps, but also trains your glutes, hamstrings, and calves, as well as muscles in your lower back.
- Stand with feet shoulder width apart and toes facing in front of you. Place the barbell on your shoulders, below the trapezius muscles (NOT on your neck!).
- Keeping your back flat, slowly lower your body, bending at the knees and the hips. Stop when your legs form a 90 degree angle. Do not let your knees go forwards past your toes.
- Slowly push through your heels to return to the starting position, contracting the thigh muscles. You should aim to do 3-4 sets hitting around 10 or 12 reps.
Step 1: Begin in a power rack with a box at the appropriate height behind you. Typically, you would aim for a box height that brings you to a parallel squat, but you can train higher or lower if desired
Step 2: Begin by stepping under the bar and placing it across the back of the shoulders. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and rotate your elbows forward, attempting to bend the bar across your shoulders. Remove the bar from the rack, creating a tight arch in your lower back, and step back into position. Place your feet wider for more emphasis on the back, glutes, adductors, and hamstrings, or closer together for more quad development. Keep your head facing forward
Step 3: With your back, shoulders, and core tight, push your knees and butt out and you begin your descent. Sit back with your hips until you are seated on the box. Ideally, your shins should be perpendicular to the ground. Pause when you reach the box, and relax the hip flexors. Never bounce off of a box.
Step 4: Keeping the weight on your heels and pushing your feet and knees out, drive upward off of the box as you lead the movement with your head. Continue upward, maintaining tightness head to toe
Step 5: Start off with light weight and build your self up to heavier weight
Step 6: Complete 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps
Bulgarian split squats work the glute muscles as well as the upper leg muscles. The target muscle is the quadriceps with the gluteus maximus, soleus and adductor magnus working to assist.
- Position yourself into a staggered stance with the rear foot elevated and front foot forward
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand, letting them hang at the sides. This will be your starting position
- Begin by descending, flexing your knee and hip to lower your body down. Maintain good posture throughout the movement. Keep the front knee in line with the foot as you perform the exercise.
- At the bottom of the movement, drive through the heel to extend the knee and hip to return to the starting position. You should aim to do 3-4 sets hitting around 10 or 12 reps for each leg
Step 1: Attach ankle strap to a low pulley, then attach it to your other ankle bone (leg furthest away from cable)
Step 2: Stand so that you are facing perpendicular to the resistance and place the hand closet to the cable machine on the machine hand rest
Step 3: Stand far enough from the machine to ensure tension on the cable and keep your posture aligned
Step 4: Slowly and with control abduct the hip, moving the outer leg laterally away from your body
Step 5: Push your leg away from the midline of your body as far as possible, until your hip position can no longer be maintained or is beginning to be compromised
Step 6: Pause, slowly lower the leg, then repeat.
Step 7: Complete 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps on each leg
Step 1: Attach ankle strap to a low cable pulley, then attach it to one of your ankles
Step 2: Support yourself by facing the pulley, standing approximately two feet away, and grabbing hold of the pulley frame
Step 3: Holding your abs tight, bend your knees slightly and then contract your glutes as you bring the cuffed leg straight back behind you as high as you can
Step 4: Pause momentarily while you squeeze your glutes and then return your leg slowly to the starting position
Step 5: Repeat for a full set and then switch sides
Step 6: Complete 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps
Step 1: Grab a dumbbell in each hand and hold them at side of body with arms straight.
Step 2: Step forward until front leg thigh is parallel with the ground and back leg knee is 1-2 inches from the ground.
Step 3: Step back to return to starting position and repeat movement with other leg to complete the repetition.
Step 4: Find a place where you can lunge down and back. If this is your first time doing lunges, try lunging down half way and back. Then build yourself up to lunging down to a further point.
MINI BAND HIP BRIDGE
Place mini band just above knees. Lie face-up with knees bent, feet hip-width apart, and arms resting at sides. Press into the heels of feet to lift hips up, squeezing your glutes and forming a straight line from knees to head. Slowly lower hips back down. Repeat.
MINI BAND ONE LEG HIP BRIDGE
Remain in the hip bridge position, lifting one leg so your knees are still next to each other. Squeezing your glutes and engaging your abs, lift and lower your hips while leg remains extended. Repeat for 10-12 reps then switch legs.
MINI BAND SIDE LYING LEG RAISE
Lie on one side with a mini band just above your knees. The arm closer to the floor should be bent to a 90 degree angle, to support your head or place your arm all the way out on the floor and rest your head on your arm (as pictured). Your other arm should be brought across your midsection, elbow bent at 90 degrees and palm planted firmly on floor. Contract your abs and lift your top leg up to the ceiling, keeping your hips stacked. Maintain tension on the band at all times. Pause 1-2 seconds before bringing the leg back down. Continue for 10-12 reps and switch sides.
MINI BAND SQUAT
Start with a mini band positioned just above your knees and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Push your hips back and bend your knees to lower your body as far as you can, driving your knees outward against the band's resistance. Pause, then slowly push back up to the starting position.
The Romanian deadlift is a very effective and great muscle building exercise which works both on your lower back muscles, but more significantly and primary used muscles when it comes to this exercise, are your hamstrings.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a barbell at thigh level. Your hands should be about shoulder-width apart.
- Keeping your back straight, bend at your waist and sit your hips back to lower the bar.
- Keep the bar close to your shins and lower as far as your flexibility allows.
- Forcefully contract your glutes to extend at your hips and stand up. You should aim to do 3-4 sets hitting around 10 or 12 reps.
Step 1: Adjust the machine lever to fit your height and sit on the machine with your back against the back support pad.
Step 2: Place the back of lower leg on top of padded lever (just a few inches under the calves) and secure the lap pad against your thighs, just above the knees. Then grasp the side handles on the machine as you point your toes straight (or you can also use any of the other two stances) and ensure that the legs are fully straight right in front of you. This will be your starting position.
Step 3: As you exhale, pull the machine lever as far as possible to the back of your thighs by flexing at the knees. Keep your torso stationary at all times. Hold the contracted position for a second.
Step 4: Slowly return to the starting position as you breathe in.
Step 5: Repeat for 3-4 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
Caution: Do not use so much weight on the exercise that you are swinging and jerking as you can risk both lower back injury and also a hamstring tear.
The single-leg dumbbell deadlift is a full body, multi-joint movement that helps increases total body strength, more specifically in the hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and shoulders. Performing the exercise on one leg also ensures muscular balance on both sides of the body while actively engaging the core.
Step 1: Stand tall with a dumbbell in each hand and palms facing toward your thighs.
Step 2: Lift one leg off the ground while keeping a slight bend in your supporting leg. This is your starting position.
Step 3: Lean forward at your hips while simultaneously raising your free leg backwards.
Step 4: Keeping the dumbbells close to your shins, lower the weights until your back and free leg become almost parallel with the ground.
Step 5: Pause and reverse the movement back to the starting position.
Step 6: Repeat for 3-4 sets of 10-12 repetitions
The stationary lunge works several muscle groups at once. The targeted muscles include the glutes in your hips and butt along with the hamstrings and quadriceps in your thighs. The calf muscles in your lower legs, your abdominal muscles and your back muscles act as stabilizers during this exercise. Lunges also help your body burn calories for weight loss.
- While holding dumbells to your sides, stand tall with your feet hip distance apart then take a large step backward with one foot. This is your start position.
- Lower the back knee to a 90 degree angle so both knees are bent then press up to start position and repeat. You should aim to do 3-4 sets hitting around 10 or 12 reps for each leg
Step 1: Stand next to a flat bench with a dumbbell in one hand.
Step 2: Lunge back with your leg that’s closest to the bench
Step 3: Bring your leg back up and step up sideways onto the bench
Step 4: Step down from the bench to return to the starting position then repeat
Step 5: Complete 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps on each side'
Step-ups primarily work your quadriceps, the muscles in the front of your thighs, and involve both your knee and hip joints. However, other muscles involved include your glutes, calves and hamstrings, which assist in the movement.
- Grab a barbell and put it on your shoulders or a pair of dumbbells of the same weight and keep your palms facing inwards towards your legs. Don't go too heavy on the weight if it's your first time trying this exercise.
- Put your right foot up on a weight bench or platform. Then step up on it by extending your hip and right knee. Try and breathe out during this movement and remember to keep your back straight as you step up.
- Go ahead and step back down with your left leg and then return to the initial starting position. That is one set complete, for the next one simply repeat the exercise but start with your left leg instead.
- You should aim to do 3-4 sets hitting around 10 or 12 reps for each leg. Don't forget to take a little 45-60 second breather between each set as you'll probably need it.
Looking for more great exercises? Check out the LivRite Fitness exercise library.
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