Do straight sets of each of these exercises, resting only long enough to catch your breath, then go right into the next set. Use a moderately heavy weight if you’re trying to maintain and chisel or a heavy weight if you’re trying to build and define.
DUMBBELL SUMO SQUAT
Set-up: Stand with your legs double shoulderwidth apart, legs turned out from your hips. Hold a
dumbbell with both hands in front of you, arms straight, and draw your shoulders back.
Action: Bend your knees, tracking them over your toes as you lower into a deep squat. When your hip crease breaks parallel, rise back to the start and squeeze your glutes at the top.
Tip: Draw your shoulders down and back to help keep your weight centred and your heels on the
BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT
Set-up: Hold a set of dumbbells at your sides and stand several feet away from a flat bench with your back to the bench. Extend one leg behind you, placing it laces down on top of the bench, and centre your weight between your feet.
Action: Lower until your hip is even with or slightly below your front knee and your rear knee almost
touches the floor. Reverse the move and rise to the start. Do all reps on one side before switching.
Tip: Don’t pitch forward with your upper body; stand up tall and straight to best work your glutes.
STABILITY-BALL WALL SQUAT
Set-up: Place a stability ball between a wall and your midback and step your feet forward about a
foot so you can see your toes in front of your knees if you look down. Hold a set of dumbbells at your sides and stand tall so your torso is vertical.
Action: Bend your knees and roll the ball down the wall, descending until your thighs are parallel
to the floor. Reverse the move and rise to the start, squeezing your glutes at the top.
Tip: Your torso should stay upright the entire time. If you find you’re leaning forward, try moving the ball down a bit more between the wall and your back at the start.
BENCH-ASSISTED SISSY SQUAT
Set-up: Stand next to an upright bench and grasp it with your nearest hand. Shift your hips forward while keeping your back straight and rise up off your heels slightly. Your body should make a straight line from your knees to your head.
Action: Maintain this straight line as you bend your knees and lower them toward the floor in front of you slowly, levering on the balls of your feet until your shins are about parallel to the floor. Reverse the move and rise back to the start.
Tip: The only thing moving for this exercise should be your knees, bending and flexing like they
would in a leg extension machine.
Set-up: Stand with your feet hip width apart, toes turned out about 10 degrees.
Action: Lower into a deep squat where your hip crease comes below your knees, and reach your arms forward. Explode up out of that squat and leap into the air as high as you can, throwing your arms backward and generating as much upward force as you can. Land softly and repeat right away.
Tip: Think of yourself as a spring, coiling and exploding with each repetition. Try to string
the reps together evenly, and remember to breathe.
SWITCH LUNGE + AIR-SQUAT BONUS
Set-up: Stand with your feet in a wide split stance with your arms reaching straight forward from your shoulders.
Action: Bend your knees and lower into a deep lunge, keeping your forward knee over your toes and your torso erect. Explode out of that deepest point, leaping into the air and switching lead legs at your apex. Land with your opposite leg forward and go immediately into the next repetition.
Tip: This move is pretty aerobic, so remember to breathe and rest enough so that you’re fully
recovered before starting your next set.