High knees give you the benefit of sprinting without the space requirements. They’re simple to do, just sprint on the spot, driving your knees and your hands upwards alternatively.
The ab bike is a great movement to hit all of your ab muscles with one exercise.
- Lay flat on your back, with your feet extended in front of you.
- Bend your elbows, placing your hands at the side of your head (you can rest them behind your head, never pull on your neck)!
- Bend your knees at a 90 degree angle with your hips.
- Cycle between bringing your opposite elbow and knee to each other, whilst extending your other leg outwards as shown. Your legs should circle around like they would if you were riding a bike.
- Make sure to twist your torso, tensing your abs as you make a cycling movement.
- Each time you’ve completed a cycle of each side, that is one rep.
Flutter kicks are a simple way to give your hip flexors, lower abs and quads a workout.
- Lie flat on your back on the floor or on a bench.
- Lift both feet an inch or two in the air.
- Tense your lower abs to raise one leg.
- Alternate between raising each leg, lowering them to 1-2 inches above the ground. A flutter kick with both legs counts as one rep.
The pistol squat is the king of lower body, bodyweight exercises. It’s very difficult to master, but amazing at building leg strength and size without weights. Plus, it’s a great party trick!
- Stand on one leg, getting you balance and making sure your weight is through your heel. Put your arms out straight in front of you, and raising your other leg so your knee is bent. Your raised leg will form a counterbalance to give you stability.
- Really squeeze your core and the leg you’re standing on. Slowly bend the leg lowering your torso downwards. Take it slow.
- At the lowest, your butt should be an inch or two off the ground and your other leg should be extended out straight in front of you.
- Squeeze your leg again, slowly raising your body upwards again. This is one rep (congratulations)!
- Repeat on the other leg.
- Start in a high plank / push up position.
- Tense your core, shifting your weight over one of your arms. Lift the other arm, rotating it around until it is pointing up in the air. Hold for 2-3 seconds.
- Slowly reverse this motion, keeping your core tense until it is under you securely again. This is one rep.
Swimmers are a great way to work your whole body whilst giving your lower back a workout.
- Lie on your stomach and squeeze your glutes as hard as you can, raising both legs off the ground.
- Reach forwards with your arms, keeping your palms facing downwards a few inches above the ground.
- Lift your alternate arm and leg up into the air, squeezing all of the muscles from your shoulders down to your glutes. This is one rep.
- Repeat with the other arm rapidly.
Plank Reach Through
- Get into a push up position, with your hands on the floor below your shoulders, and your feet spaced slightly apart. Keep your spine in a neutral position.
- Reach one arm out in front of you, tensing your core for stability.
- Slowly tense your core and reach your arm under you, raising your hips at the same time as you tense your core.
- Touch your opposite knee with your hand.
- Return your arm to its initial position. This is one rep. Repeat on the other side.
This is a great dynamic movement to hit your whole body whilst working to tone your arms.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of you. Place your feet shoulder width apart and squat down. This is your starting position.
- Tense your glutes to explode up, using some of that momentum to raise the two dumbbells over your head in front of you. As you do this, twist to the side by tensing your obliques (side abs).
- Slowly reverse the motion, bringing your hands back down and squatting into the start position ready to do the same on the opposite side. This is one rep.
Forward Lunge With Twist
Twisting with your lunges is a great way to hit your obliques, giving your great leg workout an added abs component.
- Placing your hands at the side of your head, lunge down in a standard forward lunge.
- As you lunge, also engage your obliques to turn your torso to one side. Squeezing them for 2-3 seconds at the bottom of your lunge. This is one rep.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Start on your hands and knees and place your forearms on the floor, with your elbows directly under your shoulders.
- Raise your torso off the ground, having that balls of your feet touching the ground as shown.
- Brace your core and squeeze your glutes, whilst keeping your back in a neutral position without any curvature. Your hips should be level with your shoulders.
- Hold for as long as you can! Try to extend this time to improve your core strength.