You're 100 reps away from feeling the best hurt-so-good, can-barely-sit-on-the-toilet lower body soreness. Before you moan and groan, give this circuit your all-in effort a few times a week and you'll start to notice a difference in strength, shape and overall lower-body power. Plus, you know you love the quivering, tight muscles, because that's a sure-fire sign that you just worked your booty off.
Grab a mat, a set of light and heavy dumbbells and some pump-you-up tunes. (We've got a bootylicious playlist totally fit for the occasion.)
1. Squat Jumps: 20 reps
Stand with feet slightly outside your shoulders and drop the hips back and down. Send your arms straight out in front of you to keep your chest lifted, and keep your knees behind your toes. This is the start position.
Push through your heels to drive out of the squat, using your arms for momentum. Land softly and quietly with bent knees. Once you land, go right back into your next jump and complete 20 reps. To modify, slow your pace to keep proper form.
Challenge: After 10 squat jumps, add 5 pulses while you're deep in the squat position for the remaining 10 reps. The pulsing provides an intensified lower-body burn while maintaining focus on the large muscle groups: glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves and even your core.
2. Donkey Kick Planks: 20 reps (10 on each side)
Start in forearm plank position. Bend your right knee, flex your foot (foot parallel to floor) and press your foot up toward the ceiling. Be sure to keep your pelvis and hips straight by lifting with your glutes, not your lower back. Keep your gaze in front.
Lower your right knee slightly and repeat this movement. Be sure your hips don't sag or your butt doesn't rise above torso level. Complete 10 reps on this side; repeat same movement for 10 reps on other side.
Challenge: Add a light weight (2-3 pounds) behind your knee to intensify the movement.
3. Deadlifts: 20 reps
Because the deadlift engages major muscle groups (back, glutes and legs) and works both the upper and lower body, we recommend making deadlifts a staple in your routine.
Begin by standing with feet shoulder-width apart with an overhand grip on a set of heavy dumbbells. Hold the dumbbells at arm's length in front of your thighs.
Brace your core, and without changing the bend in your knees, bend at your hips until your torso is almost parallel to the floor. Pause, and then in a controlled motion, shoot your hips forward while squeezing your glutes tightly to return to the start position. Complete 20 reps while maintaining proper form.
Challenge: If you're well versed in the deadlift department, challenge yourself by trying a Lunge to Single Leg Deadlift.
4. Kneeling Resistance Band Kickbacks: 20 reps (10 on each side)
Kickbacks and leg lifts are two of Kourtney Kardashian's best weapons for keeping her glutes toned. "Leg lifts and kick backs are very straightforward, can be done anywhere and are really effective in toning your glutes and quads," she shared on her website.
Start by kneeling on all fours, hands shoulder-width apart and knees hip-width apart. Hold your resistance band handles under your hands and wrap the end around your foot.
Slowly kick back your lower left foot, squeezing your glutes so that your leg is straight. Hold for a 2-count, return to starting position and repeat for 10 total reps on this side. Repeat movement on the other side for 10 more reps.
Challenge: After 10 full reps, add 15 pulse lifts on both sides while the leg is fully extended. Lift with the glutes and make tiny, isolated movements rather than swinging your leg.
5. Alternating Lunges with Dumbbells: 20 reps (10 on each side)
Grab a pair of heavy dumbbells and hold them straight down at your sides with palms facing in. With your feet about hip-width apart, brace your core and step back with your left leg and slowly lower your body until your front knee is bent 90 degrees (your rear knee should be nearly touching the floor). Press yourself back up and repeat steps with your right leg. Continue movement for 10 reps on each side.
Challenge: Once you lower into your lunge, raise the dumbbells into a bicep curl. Always look for ways to enhance your exercise by adding compound movements, like the bicep curl addition to your alternating lunges.
If you made it through this circuit with ease, repeat for 2-3 more times. As you add this 100-rep routine into your weekly schedule, look for ways to challenge yourself—add heavier weights, tweak the move to add a compound exercise, increase the number of times you complete the series. Don't get stagnant in your workouts, and always look for ways to ramp up the intensity level.
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