Lower body workouts are key to building up core strength, muscle power and speed. This workout will get you primed for all the upcoming winter activities you enjoy.
Maintain careful form and posture throughout to ensure you’re maximizing the exercise and not doing damage to your support muscles and tendons.
Prep your legs with some of these warm-up options:
- 2 minutes of skipping
- Single-leg bridges x 10/side with 2 sec pause at top
- Lateral lunge x 5/side
- Inch worms x 5
- 90/90 stretch x 5/side with 2 sec pause on each side
- Sumo squats x 10
- Walking lunges x 10/leg
- Single-leg Roman deadlifts x 10/leg (no weight)
1. Skier Landmine
3 sets x 10-12 reps per leg
- Advanced: Set up barbell with a ‘landmine’ attachment or corner of a wall or two heavy plates side-by-side on the ground with barbell in the middle.
- Ensure barbell is secure. If using a Bosu, make sure floor is not slippery before beginning exercise.
- Position Bosu at the end of the bar.
- Start by clutching barbell close to chest and place outside leg on the side of the Bosu with inside leg in air. Remember to engage core.
- Perform a squat: bum back, sink into a single-leg squat. Inside leg should go back (reverse pistol squat).
- Clutch barbell tightly, drive heel into the Bosu. Repeat.
- Intermediate: Stand on flat, stable ground.
2. Suitcase Deadlift
3 sets x 8-10 reps per side
- Intermediate: Take an athletic stance: feet hip-width apart, holding a heavy kettlebell or dumbbell on one side only.
- Engage core, keep shoulders back and level and lead by pushing hips back (not bending knees forward).
- Challenge yourself by bending deeper while maintaining proper form and keeping weight in the heels.
- At the bottom of the movement, push heels into floor and return to starting position, squeezing glutes at top.
- TIP: It’s key to keep shoulders level throughout. Significantly overloading one side with heavy weight allows you to focus on core engagement.
- Beginner: Use light weight.
- Advanced: Use barbell to add stability and grip strength challenge.
3. Hip Thrust on Bench
3 sets x 8-10 reps
- Advanced: Set up in a traditional bridge position, shoulders on bench, feet just in front of you. Legs should be at 90 degrees at top of movement forming a table top.
- Place barbell at hip level. Use pad around bar for comfort, if necessary.
- Fully engage core, drive heels into ground and raise hips parallel with the floor. Pause and squeeze glutes at top.
- Lower back down to starting position.*Do NOT relax core muscles, especially at the bottom.
- Beginner: No weight – add longer pause at top of movement.
- Intermediate: Use plate or lighter dumbbell on hip.
4. Elevated Bulgarian Split-Squat
3 sets x 8-10 reps per leg
- Advanced: Start in a split-squat stance with back leg on a bench, with top of the foot (laces) down.
- Place front foot on a platform or plate (10-15 cm high).
- Holding dumbbells at side, engage core with shoulders back and level, sink down as deep as possible.
- Pause for a moment at bottom then drive front heel into ground, returning to starting position.
- Keep front knee lined up slightly outside big toe with most of your weight on the front heel (don’t lean back onto back foot).
- Beginner: Perform movement with both feet on ground.
- Intermediate: If mobility restricts depth, keep front leg on ground.
5. Pistol Squat
3 sets x 8-10 reps per leg
- Advanced: Start with weight on one leg, core engaged, shoulders back and level.
- Push bum back, sink down into squat, trying to get thighs below parallel to the floor, hold weight in heels.
- Drive heels into ground, returning to start position.
- Ensure knee is positioned slightly outside of big toe and maintain proper posture at all times with heel down.
- Beginner: Use a box/bench around the height of your movement range to help properly perform the movement.
- Intermediate: Elevate the heel of the leg on ground using a plate.