Sweat-Marks Rock! Butt and Leg Home Strength Workout

by Marianne  - December 20, 2011

Hi everyone,

After my last Home Strength Workout, I have got a little buzz back for this type of design πŸ˜€ So I thought I would put together a mammoth workout which, not only combines Strength and Conditioning that focuses on our glutes and legs, but is all done with ONE Kettlebell and Body Weight. You will need a bench or chair, but if you don’t have these things then I offer alternatives to these exercises below πŸ™‚

In the video intro I had this whole spiel about how even working at at higher rep and lighter weight in this way will help most people build or maintain strength. But I waffled on so long that I had to cut it out. Basically what I was saying was that even though you will never reach your MAX strength at home (unless you have a huge selection of weights), you will STRENGTHEN your movement patterns by allowing yourself to train within full range of movement. Β So to use the Front Squat as an example: Because you are not front squatting MAX weights, you are more likely to squat more often with better form which reinforces your coordination, mobility, stability and basically muscle memory for the front squat. So all elements come together to make that lift better. Β For me, my home workouts have supported my heavier lifts in the gym but, more importantly, my home workouts have supported me in everyday life.

As I have said before here (and often to myself), it is not always about the numbers; it is about moving better, stronger and for longer – IN LIFE! For most of us, we need to remember how training really applies to our lives. Think about context. For me, I don’t ever intend on being a Powerlifter for example – I just want to be “Marianne Gone Strong”.

Obviously this is just how I see things (now), so I know there will be people out there who want the numbers. And I totally get that Β – because I still have a few “wee” goals in mind. But what has struck me lately (by watching people move, who don’t train) is that I would much rather my body moved well and was balanced across the board than ever reach my 100kg squat goal. I can honestly say that my workouts have been the BEST thing for that. Now, the credit doesn’t all fall with me, because you have all seen how much I have learned from others over the last 2 years and I have taken their advice and applied it to my home (and gym) training. It is just so interesting how these workouts have made such a difference. Β Just the other day I was watching some old videos of mine and OMG – what a difference!


What I am trying to say is that while today’s workout may not seem like a strength workout (because of the higher rep range), rest assured that for most of you this will help make you stronger! I can even tell you that the Contra-lateral Single-Leg Deadlifts are so effective for your glutes and stabilising muscles, that mine are still sore 2 days later (I did this workout on Sunday). Β And I know that the benefits of this type of exercise carry over into my work life. For example: There are times when I have to manage to put a blood pressure cuff onto a patient with little room around the bed meaning I have to reach over. Before, I would find my back straining as I did this, but now I do a little Single-Leg DL; hinging at the hips and letting the back leg pivot out, saving my back πŸ˜€ Pretty cool, eh?

The Workout

There are two sections; Strength then Conditioning. This is a long workout (took me about 50 mins), so feel free to maybe only do one section. Β The Strength Section focuses on lower body exercises and will really help strengthen and shape the glutes, hamstrings and quads. The Conditioning Section is a Full Body Interval Blast and this is when you earn your Sweat Marks πŸ˜‰

Strength Section

Complete 3 sets of each exercise before moving on to the next exercise. Β If you only have one weight available, then aim to do similar reps each set. If you have more weight, then increase it each set and adjust the reps accordingly. Β For recovery between sets I recommend focusing on how you feel. Everyone recovers differently (both physically and mentally), so wait until you feel ready to put your effort in again. But, don’t wait so long that you cool down or lose interest … that’s a little counter-productive LOL!

For the single leg exercises one set is when you have completed all the reps on both sides. Β EG – 12 reps (right) + 12 reps (left) = 1 set.

As always my weights and reps are in brackets.

  • KB Goblet Squat x 8 – 15 reps (24kg – 12, 12, 12)
  • *Single-Leg Hip Thrusts (right) x 10 – 15 reps (12, 12, 11)
  • *Single-Leg Hip Thrusts (left) x 10 – 15 reps (12, 12, 10)
  • **KB High Deficit Reverse Lunge (right) x 8 – 12 reps (24kg – 8,8,8 )
  • Same for Left
  • ***Contra-lateral Single-Leg Deadlift (right) x 8 – 12 reps (24kg – 8, 8, then 20kg – 10)
  • Same on Left

* -Remember to consider what level you are at for this exercise. Check out my Glute Bridge Progression tutorial for the progression/regression sequence. Β Also for people who don’t have equipment like mine, you don’t need it – Check out Bret’s Video here of another great Glute Workout and ideas for Hip Thrusts.

** Instead of such a high step, try using a smaller step off the bottom stair, or just do Reverse Lunges on one level.

*** For the Single KB, Single-Leg Deadlifts here is the progression sequence: Easiest – Body Weight only, next – One KB in two hands in front of forward leg, next is KB on same side as forward leg, then the hardest of these is Contra-lateral (meaning the weight is on the opposite side). Obviously you can double up your KBs if you have them, even if they are different weights πŸ™‚

Conditioning Section

Set your Gymboss Interval Timer for 24 cycles of 15 seconds recovery and 30 seconds effort. Complete 3 rounds of the following 8 exercises. I didn’t keep reps.

  1. ****Side to Side Step Ups
  2. Two-Handed KB Swing (20kg)
  3. Two Sumo Jump Burpee
  4. Alternating Bent Over Row (16kg)
  5. Stand-Kneel-Stand (right) (16kg)
  6. Stand-Kneel-Stand (left) (16kg)
  7. Plank Climber
  8. Dynamic Squats

Are you rocking your sweat marks πŸ˜‰

**** Don’t have a Step, then do High Knees, skipping, mountain climbers, jumping jacks … anything to keep that heart rate and intensity UP!

Have fun!



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  1. I only did the first half of this workout last week with 24 lbs and I forgot to do each exercise three times before moving on so I did all the exercises 10 reps then repeated 2 more times. But I could barely walk for a couple days. I finally figured out to put my shoulders on a stability ball and my feet on a bench so I could do proper single leg hip thrusts and that’s what got me hurting so much. πŸ™‚ So of course I have to try again this week and maybe next until I don’t feel so sore. Great combination of exercises to kick my booty! Literally!

  2. going to do this one today , minus the tabata, as i would be using my arm way to much. But i am wanting to know the advantage/benefit of using the two benches on the bridges. i really want one of those shirts

    1. ok i did this, tried the tabata, but couldn’t complete as, i’m still not fully recovered from being sick over christmas. This stupid cough is lingering on and on. but i will say its a goodie… i have written down all your top ten of 2011 and going to try to do them all.

  3. I’ve become such a huge fan of your site! And Girls Gone Strong! This workout I did right in my apartment w/my 33lb sandbag. It was KILLER and I was totally drenched and laughing because I was thankful I was wearing white and not grey even all alone in my apartment.

    Thank you for your hard work and dedication!

    My Scores:
    Goblet Squat (bear hug sandbag squat) 10×3
    Single leg Bridge (R then L) 10x 2 (was hurting my back so i didnt do it the last time thru)
    High deficit rev lunge (R then L) on a 13 inch step 10×3
    Contralateral SLDL (R then L) 10×3
    Total Time: 15:56:29

    15:30 x 24
    -Side to side (over 13 inch step) 27/26/24
    -Sandbag swing 18/15/18
    -2 jump burpee 6/5/4.5/4.5
    -inverted row (on my dip station bc when i do rows w/my SB my back hurts) 7/10/8
    -Stand knee Stand R 6/7/5
    -Stand kneel Stand L 7/6.5/5
    -Plank to push up 8/6/6
    -dynamic squat 18/14/12

  4. Great shirt! Thanks for the great workout-will try it soon! Merry Christmas to you and yours and Happy New Year! Keep up the great work!

  5. Ouch! That was a toughy – mentally and physically. The little devil (or maybe that should be elf to keep things festive?!) on my shoulder was telling me to quit, but as this is likely the last workout I’ll get to do before Christmas (or more likely New Year) I pushed through and got it done!
    Thank you – and Merry Christmas

  6. Hello,

    Thnx for the advice marianne, you know I always appreciate your honesty. And I’m sorry, I should have mentioned that the BB bridge & thrust are a new phase in my glute journey. Before coming across your blog…I would check out Bret C. site (that’s how I came across your information) and like you already know…he really breaks down glute activation right? I learned so much from him like: hip flexore flexibilty (i didnt know how important it was), mind-muscle connection, etc. Now I can maximize glute activation through heavy strenght training. And you are soo right, I had to go back to my BW when I first started learning all this information. I had been doing squats the wrong way for over 2yrs and never really did any bridges. Now I’m excited because I can finally start adding some weight on the barbell……happy training:)

    Ps- I had read the link to the progression, very good information by the way.

    1. Oh good Cita πŸ™‚ I’m glad ! And now you mention it, I think you maybe told me that before – I forget people’s information sometimes. Well then I would say to try adding both variations to your program. I know for example my left glute is weaker than my right, so the single leg hip thrusts are great for that. But they burn like hell!

      Have you tried the BB glute bridges yet?

      1. lol……my left glute is weaker 2. I noticed this when I first started doing the single leg hip thrust. What is it about the left one?? lol

        Anyway, yeah I’ve been doing BB glute bridges for 2 months now….and I love them. I’m thinking of increasing the weight every 2/3 wks on these, what do you think? Also do u think I should keep these on my compound heavy lifting days vs conditioning days?
        I dont want to over-train…..u know I have a tendency of doing that πŸ™‚

        Have a good one!

        Oh and your t shirt……very true…luv it

        1. Cita, you can do the BB Glute Bridges on your heavy days. The Glutes can take a lot of volume. I do BB Glute Bridges on my Heavy days, then I sometimes add the Body Weight Hip thrusts in to my home workouts πŸ™‚

  7. Hi Marianne,

    Love the t-shirt. Have you seen these? They were mentioned on Kellie Davis’s blog the other day and I sooo want one!


    Hope you have a brilliant Christmas with lots of wine, chocs and pressies πŸ™‚

    Take care,


  8. Hey marianne,

    Cant wait to try this one out. I’ll let you know my #’s later on this week. Hope you have a great holiday! I also wanted your opinion on the hip thrust, versus the barbell bridge….which one you like best as far as better glute contraction? I’m new to both of them, and I feel more of a burn on the single leg hip thrust! I want size on my glutes so which one do you think will help me achieve that?

    Thanx again for all you do!!!!

    1. Cita, if you are new to both of them, does that mean you are new to the movement in general? If so, then do neither and focus on body weight glute bridges. I mean two legs, with feet and shoulders on the floor until you can correctly do 3 sets of 12 – 15 reps. If you can do that then elevate the shoulders a little off the floor and work up to the same sets. Then think about elevating the feet too. One you have mastered these, only then think of adding weight – but to the glute bridge. It’s a humbling experience having to regress. The single leg hip thrusts should only be done once you are proficient at BW single-leg glute bridges or weighted glute bridges and hip thrusts.

      Confusing I know (considering it’s body weight only and considered a progression from a weighted exercise). Did you read the article I linked to about the progression sequence and why?

      Hope it helps. To answer your question, for me I like both. The BB Glute Bridge is badass for feeling strong as I can load the bar up to over my max deadlift weight and hammer out 10 reps, but the single leg Hip Thrusts are totally humbling as my ass burns from 8 reps onwards!! Plus it’s great for ironing out those strength imbalances.

  9. OK I sweated some… and pretty consistently… I really noticed my pant legs sticking! The leg portion got my HR up, but that seemed to diminish with the conditioning side. (I limited my rest period to 30 to 90 seconds.) I am really slow on the SKSs b/c of a bad left knee and the pain in my right hip, so my HR got lower on those. It was great to get in a longer challenging workout today, knowing I probably would not get to one tomorrow. I can always count on your workouts being a challenge and having variety… so I never get bored. I was glad not to write down numbers as I barely had the time anyway!

    HR +1/2 (mostly in the beginning) sweat + face light red

    Consistently great, demanding workouts — and the energy keeps me warm most of the day!
    ~ Gillian

    1. “face light red” – this cracks me up LOL! Do you have one of those colour cards with a scale of redness on it? You know like those home teeth whitening packs with all the shades of white? That’s what springs to mind πŸ˜› hehe!!

      Out interest, after no doing my workouts in a while and returning to them after trying other things, do you find them as effective? I will be interested to know if your other training has made my workouts seem easier πŸ™‚

  10. Marianne, I love your photo, the T-shirt and the sweat. That one made me laugh although your muscles look great. I always email your photo’s to my wife while she is at work. You are a great motivator for her (& me). I also enjoy your practical comments such as how exercise carries over to your work life. That is a great example.

    When we really open our eyes and look at the people around us it is amazing how many people are out of shape and most are not willing to put in the effort to make a physical change.

    1. Thanks Steve πŸ™‚ I nearly died when I saw my pits LOL, hopefully your wife will find it motivating. I’m sure other people (those who I see moving poorly and never trying to change) will find them gross πŸ™

  11. DISLIKE on the t-shirt, BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! :p hehehe, just teasing (sorta ;))

    I have been doing hip thrusts and glute bridges before each of my ETK program minimum days and OH MY GOSH, I couldn’t believe how hard they were at first! I am now using a piddly 45# weighted bar, but I love them now and I can’t imagine beginning a workout without them. My butt is a bit rounder, but I don’t know if that’s the bridges or the holiday chocolates πŸ˜›

    This workout looks really great, thanks for everything!!! xoxoxo

    1. You’re welcome Melissa. And you know how much I hate running. AND running hates me LOL πŸ˜‰

      It doesn’t matter what weight is on the bar, you are still activating your glutes so much more than any other exercise. Even body weight alone will do you arse good πŸ˜› … not so much the chocolates … maybe that’s why my skinny jeans stop at my hips now :-/ eek!!


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