Keeping up with the latest celeb workouts can be hard work. It always seems like there’s a new one to try out — but including them in your workout routine can be a fun way to add some variety to your training.
This workout has been doing the rounds on social media lately. It focuses on building strength and muscle in the lower body and makes plenty of use resistance bands and free weights. We asked one of our PTs to test it out to find out just how effective it is.
The RDL is a great exercise for developing the posterior chain muscles — including the erector spinae, glutes, hamstrings and adductors — and strengthens both the core and lower body in one movement.
This particular variation allows you to isolate one leg and increase the weight without increasing the risk of falling.
Muscles worked: erector spinae, glutes, hamstrings, adductors
- Load a barbell in a rack and step underneath it so it rests on your shoulders.
- Step back and stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Shift your weight onto your right foot and lift the heel of your left foot, sliding it slightly back a few inches.
- Keep most of your weight on your right foot and use your left foot only to assist with your balance.
- Drive your hips back, while lowering your chest forward. Keep your legs straight and knees soft but not bending.
- Once your feel a pull in the hamstrings, hold for a second, then drive your hips forward, push back up through your feet and squeeze your glutes at the top.
Banded single-leg step-out squat
Squats are one of the best exercises for building a strong lower body — using a resistance band can help make the movement even more challenging.
This variation works the quads, hamstrings, and glutes, helping build a strong lower body foundation. Isolating one left is a great way to work the muscles harder.
Muscles worked: quads, hamstrings, glutes
- Loop a resistance band around a fix point and step into it so it sits just above the knee.
- Load a barbell in a rack and step underneath so it lies across your shoulders
- Stand with your feet about hip-width apart, making sure the resistance band is taut.
- Take a large step sideways with the banded leg and plant your foot on the floor.
- As soon as your foot touches the floor, drive your hips back and down into a squat, keeping your chest upright, and back and core engaged.
- Once your knees are bent at 90 degrees, drive through your feet to stand, returning the foot of the banded leg to your other foot.
- Hold for a second, then repeat before switching to other side.
Banded kneeling glute thrust
If you want to build a bigger bum, there’s no exercise better than the banded kneeling glute thrust — it’s a must for developing the glute muscles, and also good for building power and speed.
The addition of a resistance band also helps to engage the core, hamstrings, quads, and hip adductors.
Muscles worked: glutes (maximus, medius and minimus)
- Attach bands to a fixed point on a rig, then step in and loop them around your hips.
- Load a weight onto your shoulders and make sure the bands are tight, then drive your hips forward, raising your bum up and off your feet.
- Squeeze your glutes at the top until you’re kneeling tall, then hold and slowly return to the seated position.
Heel raised goblet squats
Squats still reign supreme but variations like this one can help you target your quads more effectively.
Raising your heels on an elevated surface places greater focus on the quads and improves lower-body mobility.
Muscles worked: quads, core, glutes
- Place two weights on the floor and put the heels of your feet on top of them so they’re raised.
- Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in front of your chest or put your thighs between a resistance band — make sure it’s tight.
- Drive your hips back down into a squat, knees out and keep your chest up.
- Once at the bottom of the squat, drive back up to the standing position, then repeat.
Step back lunges with dumbbell
This is a great strength-building exercise for the lower body that also helps with flexibility and balance.
Loading a weight on one side of the movement is an effective way to isolate one half of the body.
Muscles worked: quads, glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors
- Hold a dumbbell in your right hand with your arm extended, and use your left arm for balance by holding it at your waist or out to the side.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, pushing more of your weight through the left foot.
- Step back with your right foot, bending both knees, and lower your back knee towards the floor.
- Stop when your back knee is just above the ground, then drive through your front heel and return to a standing position before repeating.
Take Home Message
These exercises are a great way to build a more well-rounded lower body, thanks to its focus on increasing strength in the legs, hips and the core, by targeting and isolating many different muscles, and its use of bands to add resistance.
Some of the exercises are a little bit on the advanced side, so it’s important to properly learn the basics before progressing. Make sure to focus on form, keep your core engaged, and hit the full range of movement.