Taking Sides – Lower Body Workout – Plus Tabata

Hi everyone,

I was thinking about full body workouts the other day (as most of mine are such), but I got thinking about Time and how many of us are short for it. So I thought I would give you a lower body workout today and later in the week, an upper body one.

Focusing on upper or lower body might be more suitable for some people over others, for example those people who regularly suffer from Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), or those who just feel too drained after a full body blast to do anything else that day. It happens! So from time to time, you may need to split your workout, and that is fine. As long as you still put your all into it, you will still get great results.

This workout is focusing on building strength and shape in the glutes, with the added bonus of working the rest of the leg muscles and some cardio. The Tabata at the end will help with burning extra calories and it won’t over work the lower body as the exercises there challenge the upper body more.

While you perform the exercises below, try and focus on really extending the hips by squeezing the glutes. In practicing this movement, you will not only activate and strengthen the glutes, but you will also help with stabilising the entire core. The hip extension is one of the most beneficial movements to master. Unfortunately, it is also most commonly the weakest movement in those who are new to exercise – due to dormant glutes.

During the High Deficit Reverse Lunge try holding the weight to the opposite side, like I am, to activate more of the core. During the Side to Side Step Ups, don’t just think “step up” think “Jump Ups” – sink lower and then power up by extending the hip and knee (this will help your speed and acceleration), feel it right into the glutes and hamstrings. Then the Hip Thrusts (glute bridge for beginners), really squeeze the glutes to maximise the extension of the hip, without over arching the lower back. You may feel a stretch at the front of the hip, which is fine. Then, with the Swing, you must allow your hips to both flex (to load the hamstrings) and extend fully (glutes finish the hip “snap”) which will give you the most efficient source of power and the best results.

Anyway, now back to the workout.

Workout Breakdown

In section 1, there are 3 rounds of 6 exercises, mixing set reps and set times.  When possible, try and increase the weight you are using, or progress the exercise in some way to make it more challenging.

  1. High Deficit Reverse Lunge (right) x 8 – 15 reps (R1 with 14kg – 15 reps, R2 with 16kg – 12 reps, R3 20kg – 8 reps)
  2. High Deficit Reverse Lunge (left) x 8 – 15 reps (same)
  3. Side to Side Step Ups x 1 min (57, 56, 54)
  4. Single-Leg Hip Thrust (right) x 8 – 15 reps (15, 13, 12)
  5. Single-Leg Hip Thrust (left) x 8 – 15 reps (15, 14, 12)
  6. Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing x 1 min (with 20kg – 37, 36, 36 )

The reps and times above are only a guide, you may wish to increase the weight more and lower the reps, or vise verse, depending on your goals and your preference.  I like this rep range for KB work as it marries strength and endurance together.

Section 2 is Tabata:

Set your Gymboss Interval Timer for 8 cycles of 10 seconds rest and 20 seconds MAX effort and complete 4 rounds of the following 2 exercises (didn’t count reps):

  1. Burpees (minus the Push Up)
  2. Dynamic Push Ups

Hope you enjoy this workout, and I will be back next time with the upper body blast 🙂



  • April 20, 2011

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