Build Lower Body Strength With This 7-Day, Equipment-Free Functional Fitness Plan
Welcome to Week 3 of the 28-day ReNew Year Movement program. For the next seven days, we’ll be focusing on strengthening your lower body. We’ll kick things off with a targeted obliques workout, followed by a leg-focused bodyweight routine and an ooey-gooey lower-half stretch.
Because your legs are home to some of your largest muscles, they drive power in many everyday movements. Sure, strengthening your leg muscles helps you to squat or deadlift more successfully, but it also helps with functional movements like standing more comfortably, walking and running farther, dancing longer, and the list goes on and on. The stronger your leg muscles are, the better baseline of strength you'll have to do other full-body movements (like mountain climbers, planks, and burpees), too.
This week will hit your leg muscles harder than usual, so it's fine to take your cardio days a little easier to recuperate. The most important thing is to stick with it and move in a way that's fun and enjoyable for you. Lace-up your sneakers and let’s get started below.
Check back next Sunday for an entirely new plan to keep you going.
Day 15: Oblique workout (7 min)
There are nearly a dozen muscles in your core, but today we’re taking the time to specifically focus on the ones on your sides, known as your obliques, which are responsible for rotating and pivoting movements. Because they’re so closely connected to your back, keeping them strong can help you avoid injury and improve your posture.
In dedicating an entire workout to them, you’ll target your obliques without relying on the other muscles in your core for help. Get ready for some crunching, twisting, and a whole lot of love for your side body.
Day 16: Get moving
The rule of the day: Just move. You’ve been working hard, and your body is likely sore. Walk the dog, play with your kids, dance, hop on the indoor bike—it’s up to you. If a heart-pounding workout simply isn’t happening for you today? Feel free to slip into a yoga flow or tune into a restorative Pilates session. Simply do something that will make you excited to move your body.
Day 17: Lower body strength workout (10 mins)
Your legs are home to the largest muscles in your body, and today’s workout dedicates 10 full minutes to making them stronger. You’ll cycle through 10 moves—squats, lunges, bridges, and more—for one minute each to build muscle in your legs and glutes. Because you’ll be moving through things quickly, you’ll also spike your heart rate for a solid burst of cardio.
Day 18: Take a walk (25 mins)
Head outside and walk or run for 25 minutes. Aside from getting your daily dose of cardio, you’ll also reap the mood-boosting and stress-reducing benefits that come along with working out in the fresh air. Challenge yourself to hit between one and three miles, but remember to focus on what feels good for your body.
Day 19: Lower body release (7 mins)
Thanks to desk jobs, a lot of people have really tight hips, which can affect their overall mobility. Since your hips are connected to your glutes and hamstrings, your hip joint is at the center of all of your lower body movements. So, if you want to get stronger or be able to jump higher, your hips have to be loose and mobile so that they can load and explode.
Today’s series of pigeon poses, spinal rotations, and “the world’s greatest stretch” will have every muscle from your waist down saying “aah.”
Day 20: Join me for a live workout!
Join me on Zoom at 11 a.m. EST, where I’ll lead you through a 35-minute live workout. Sign up here!
Day 21: Rest and recover
After all the work you’ve put your lower body through this week, your muscles are likely begging for a few minutes with your trusty foam roller. Try one of these easy-to-follow sequences to reduce tension and leave your legs feeling like liquid.
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