Stand supporting a barbell across your shoulders, keeping the weight mainly on your trapezious muscles, not your neck. Your feet should be shoulder width apart. Keeping your head up and looking forward, with your back straight, slowly bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. DO NOT bend forward at the waist. Push upward with your legs, keeping all weight centered over your feet, until you are standing up straight. DO NOT lock out your knees, but rather keep them just slightly flexed to protect the joint and keep tension on the muscle. Repeat for the desired amount of reps. This exercise can also be done holding a dumbbell in each hand, by your sides.



Similar to static lunges, this exercise can be preformed by holding a dumbbell in each hand, by your sides, or with only body weight. Stand a couple of feet in front of a bench or chair. Extend your non-working leg backward and hook your foot on top of the bench for balance. Slowly lower your body by bending the hip and knee joints of your working, (front) leg, until the upper portion is parallel to the floor. Keep your upper body upright, and back straight. Push upward through your front leg to raise back to the starting position, and repeat.

One Legged Squat

  • Standard Lunges - Stand up straight with either a barbell across your shoulders, or a dumbbell in each hand, feet together in a comfortable, approximately shoulder width stance. Take one fairly good sized step forward, and bend your knee on your leading leg to allow your trailing knee to reach a point just before touching the floor, while keeping your back straight. DO NOT allow the knee on your leading leg to extend forward farther than the toes on that foot, as this could cause undue strain on your knee joint. Pushing up through your leading leg, return under control to starting position, Note; This is not plyometrics, DO NOT try to launch yourself back to the starting position. Complete all reps for one leg before moving to the other leg

  • Alternating Lunges - Performed just like standard lunges but repetitions are alternated, first one leg then the other, etc...

  • Static Lunges - These are very similar to one legged squats. Begin just like a standard lunge, taking one step forward. Again, lower the knee on your trailing leg, however, in static lunges you only raise up and down maintaining the out-stepped position, do not return to the original starting position of standing up with feet together until you have repeated all reps for that leg.

    Static Lunges
  • Step Lunges - These are simply static lunges done with the front foot elevated up onto a step.

    Step Lunges
  • Side Lunges - Assume a starting position as if doing standard lunges with a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, or a barbell across your shoulders. Without twisting your torso, take a good sized step straight out to the left side. Keeping your right leg straight, bend your left leg until your knee is close to a 90 degree angle, then return to the starting position smoothly and under control. Repeat for reps. This exercise can be done completing all reps for one leg, then the other, or alternating reps between legs

    Side Lunges
  • Reverse Lunges - Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart and grab a dumbbell in each hand and let them hang at your sides. Begin by reaching one of your feet back behind you like you are taking the first step if walking backwards. Really reach back with this stride to get a good stretch. Bring that leg back to the start position and repeat the same movement with your opposite leg. Be sure to keep your back firmly upright and straight throughout this exercise. Repeat for reps. This exercise can be done completing all reps for one leg, then the other, or alternating reps between legs

    Side Lunges


Stand in front of a sturdy step that is 12"-24" inches high, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Raise one foot onto the step and using mainly the power of your lead leg, step completely onto the step. DO NOT lock out your knee. Lightly touch your trailing foot to the top of the step, but only for a quick reference point, not to support yourself. Then slowly lower yourself back to the start position. Either alternate legs for the desired number of reps per leg, or complete one leg first, then the other.

Step Ups


Sit up straight on a leg extension apparatus, if your machine has handles hold onto them, otherwise you might want to hold on to the edge of the bench. With your ankles hooked under the pads, slowly extend your lower legs until they are extended straight. Locking out is not a factor in this exercise. Pause briefly at the top of the movement, then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position and repeat.

Leg Extensions


Lie face down on a leg curl apparatus. Hook your heels under the pads, and slowly bend your legs to raise the weight. DO NOT allow your pelvis to raise off of the bench, as this will decrease the stress on your hamstrings and increase stress on your lower back. Slowly lower the weight, and repeat.

Leg Curls


Be careful with this one!! Assume a start position like a standard dead lift, however do not bend your knees to pick up the weight. Keep your back STRAIGHT (very important!), and bend at the hips. Using the strength of your hamstrings, NOT your back, slowly raise your torso up to an upright standing position. DO NOT lean back at the top. Keeping your back straight still, reverse the motion and lower the weight almost all the way to the floor. Repeat for reps.

Stiff Legged Dead Lift


This exercise is very similar to stiff legged dead lifts, and as such, be careful with this one as well. Start in a standing position with a moderately heavy barbell across your shoulders as in the starting position for squats. Keeping your back STRAIGHT (very important!), bend at the hips until your torso is nearly parallel to the ground. Using the strength of your hamstrings, NOT your back, slowly raise your torso up to an upright standing position. DO NOT lean back at the top. Repeat for reps.

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Workouts That Work